Our Agency Uses a Hybrid Staffing Model, and it’s Awesome. Here’s Why.
It’s all about the client.
When we started almost 20 years ago we never thought that we’d get big quickly. But it happened. Through hard work, handshakes, and more coffee and whiskey than one should safely consume we built Jacob Tyler to a big SoCal agency. I personally made the mistake of trying to be everything to everyone and hiring for all types of agency positions. By 2012 we had over 35 employees and clients all over the country. And then, the sh!t hit the fan… we became the agency I really never wanted to be. In fact, I promised myself we would never be. Our work started to suffer because we had the wrong team in place, a couple accounts took their work in-house, and a couple more went with other agencies.
As a result, some employees left (which was in some cases a good thing) and some got laid off. It’s the nature of the advertising/marketing/branding industries (especially with technology changing so fast) but even still, honestly, it completely sucked. You build something special. Your dream. And you watch it become something you didn’t plan for and then fall apart. The worst thing? You put other people’s lives in flux. So, after licking our wounds for a while… okay, more than a while, more like 5 years, I knew that I had to go back to my roots and ask, “Is there a better way? A way that’s more flexible to roll with the punches of this industry? A way to come out on top year in and year out?” Turns out, there was. The answer was a hybrid workforce. And after years of trying it, it’s awesome.
What do we mean by “hybrid workforce”? It’s having a core group of full-time employees to handle the everyday necessities of running a business — new business, project management, client strategy and services, etc. — and a crack team of subject matter specialists that can work nimbly on projects as our needs and our clients’ needs change.
‘I knew that I had to go back to my roots and ask, “Is there a better way? A way that’s more flexible to roll with the punches of this industry? A way to come out on top year in and year out?” Turns out, there was.’
Why We Do It
- Scalability – Less overhead for our client to cover our costs.
- Increased Expertise – We bring in the best people when we need ‘em and we are not limited by the talent of our internal teams.
- Internal Knowledge Building – The more people with diverse experience we’re exposed to, the smarter we all become.
How We Make It Work
- Smart Selections – We pick people with a minimum of 10 years of experience and those who are self-defined “organizational freaks” or “self starters” because they have to be more accountable.
- Video Conferencing – As we have become a global agency, it has been necessary to adopt technology that lets us communicate with our clients and vendors in an efficient and personable manner. It’s great being face-to-face even though sometimes we’re across town, across the country, or in another continent.
- Flexibility – Everyone here is flexible. It’s an old trope that in advertising you’re always working. We don’t play by that but more by… hey we give you the freedom you want, all we ask in return is a bit of flexibility to make things work when the client needs it.
When Jacob Tyler was founded, clients really wanted to make sure we were staffed internally and felt it was important to have that “marble” entryway with someone at a front desk welcoming them and getting coffee while they entered a large conference room and felt important. I have noticed that recently (in the past 2-3 years), meeting requests AT our office have slowly declined. With technology really making it easy to meet “in-person” from a distance and create new efficiencies, our clients have realized that it’s just not as important to be face-to-face. They would rather a smart, nimble, and small team to handle their account. That doesn’t mean we’re not willing to host a meeting in person or travel to a client’s office. We always go above and beyond to help our clients feel comfortable when working with us. But the reality is that if we can use technology to save money, save time, and do better work that gets better results, we’re gonna do it. That’s just how we roll around here.