The appeal of working in in-house marketing vs. agency roles can lead to talent attrition over time. By focusing on retaining key staff, marketing agencies can ensure that they do not suffer from this loss of capability.

In this guide, we’ll look at the eternal conflict of digital marketing agency vs. in-house marketing jobs, why talent retention matters to both disciplines, and what can keep the most capable marketers agency-based in the face of lucrative in-house offers.

Why is it important to retain staff?

Every time you hire an employee, you make an investment into that individual. The initial time and administrative costs associated with advertising a role, interviewing a candidate and choosing who to hire are just one small part of this.

Over time, it’s likely that you will invest more into training that person, whether that means upskilling their expertise, or just getting them up to speed with your internal company policies.

If they leave, you lose that investment. Your time and money literally walks out the door. What’s worse, somebody you have trained may end up working for a direct competitor or move into an in-house role with a company that could otherwise have been a customer of your marketing agency.

How to retain staff in the workplace

Retaining staff starts from before you even hire them. Recruitment processes should include the creation of a fair, appealing and sustainable remuneration package. Make sure you understand the requirements of your applicants – whether it’s cash bonuses, work-life balance, or some other benefit like free gym membership or health insurance.

Once personnel come on board, do what you can to listen to their concerns and respond to disputes. Tackle disciplinary issues early, so they do not become major problems, and generally focus on extending your workforce’s employment for as long as possible.

How to keep your staff happy

Happiness is an important element in staff retention. Try to appreciate some of the stresses that apply specifically to working in a digital marketing agency vs. in-house roles, for example:

  • Ever-changing workload and client contracts
  • The need to adapt to different marketing channels
  • Changes in co-workers and team structure

One big draw to in-house marketing vs. agency jobs is the level of consistency offered by in-house marketing positions. Talented individuals may want to get their teeth into a long-term campaign where they can deliver results time and time again.

Marketing agencies may be less able to offer this, as clients and campaigns come and go, but you can compensate for that by introducing consistency where possible, whilst embracing the dynamic nature of marketing agency work.

Final thoughts

Your employees know what they want from their careers, so monitor their happiness and satisfaction levels, and don’t be afraid to talk to your personnel to find out what will retain them for longer.

Develop a specific employee retention strategy that addresses the main attractions and the less favourable aspects of your business – and remember to set these against the biggest draws of in-house marketing roles, if you find you lose personnel to in-house jobs regularly.

Finally, recognise that keeping your employees happy is not just about their welfare, but is about protecting the investment you have made into your human capital. Ultimately that’s good for your business and your workforce alike.

For any further information on how we work with our clients or how we can help you recruit the ideal marketing professionals who are invested in your company’s long term vision, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.