Building a Talented Team for Your Digital Marketing Agency

On the latest episode of Nobody Likes Recruiters, we had the pleasure of hosting Joe Yates, a Digital Entrepreneur and Marketing Director who achieved remarkable success by founding, scaling, and selling a six-figure digital agency by the age of 21.

Over the years, we have worked closely with Joe to help him identify the right candidates for his growing business.

We have watched him take huge strides toward where he finds himself today, and in this episode, we dive into Joe’s journey and explore the challenges he faced in attracting and retaining talent for his agency.


What’s changed for digital marketing recruitment over the past few years?

The recruitment landscape in the digital marketing industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, leaving behind companies that failed to adapt. We’ve seen it personally.

These changes have been driven by the rapid advancement of technology, the shift to remote and hybrid work models, the emphasis on company culture and purpose, and the evolving skill sets required in the field.

Let’s be frank, technology has (and will continue to) revolutionise the recruitment process, enabling companies to streamline candidate sourcing, assessment, and selection through the use of applicant tracking systems, AI-powered tools, and data analytics.

There are few places where the disruption caused by technology is more pronounced than digital marketing.

Companies that have embraced these advancements gain a competitive edge in attracting top talent, while those that lag behind struggle to keep up.

Everybody knows the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote work and flexible work arrangements. Companies that successfully transitioned to hybrid work models widened their talent pool, attracting professionals who value remote or flexible work options.

In contrast, companies clinging to traditional office-based structures limited their access to talent and missed out on top candidates. We have witnessed some companies miss out on talent due to their insistence that staff constantly work in the office.

Candidates today seek more than just a paycheck; they seek meaningful work and a positive company culture.

Companies that have emphasised their values, mission, and inclusive work environments have excelled in attracting and retaining talent.

On the flip side, companies neglecting company culture and purpose risk being perceived as outdated and unattractive to candidates.

In this rapidly evolving industry, companies must adapt by leveraging technology, embracing remote and hybrid work models, fostering an engaging culture, and being open to upskilling.

Failure to adapt to these changes can leave organisations struggling to find and retain the right talent, while those that evolve and keep pace with the transforming landscape thrive and attract the best candidates to drive their business forward.


What can you do to ensure your agency stays ahead of the rest by finding the best talent (and keeping them).

As companies navigate the changing recruitment landscape, it’s essential to adopt strategies that prioritise growth and long-term success.

Being willing to train people, seeking candidates with a passion for digital marketing, and avoiding the temptation to overspend are prerequisites.

Firstly, it’s important to recognise that finding a candidate with all the desired skills and experience is unlikely. The rapidly evolving nature of the digital marketing field means that traditional skill sets may become outdated quickly. Instead of holding out for the perfect candidate, consider being open to training and developing the right candidate.

But here’s the good news, by investing in their growth and providing them with the necessary resources, you can mould them into valuable assets for your organisation.

Remember, attitude, aptitude, and a willingness to learn can often outweigh a candidate’s existing skill set. Those are things that just can’t be taught.

When evaluating potential candidates, look for individuals who demonstrate a genuine passion for digital marketing and a thirst for knowledge.



You might decide to ask questions like this during the recruitment process:

Can you tell me about a recent digital marketing campaign or project that caught your attention? What aspects of it intrigued you and why?

This question allows candidates to showcase their knowledge and enthusiasm for the digital marketing industry. Their response can reveal their level of engagement and whether they actively follow the latest trends and innovations. Look for candidates who not only discuss the campaign’s success but also demonstrate a genuine interest in the strategies, creativity, or data-driven approach behind it.

How do you stay updated with the latest developments and trends in digital marketing?

Digital marketing is a fast-paced industry that requires continuous learning and adaptation. By asking this question, you can gauge a candidate’s commitment to staying informed and their proactive approach to professional growth. Look for candidates who mention industry blogs, podcasts, webinars, or online courses they regularly engage with. Their response should reflect their curiosity and dedication to staying on top of emerging trends and best practices.

Can you share an example of a time when you took the initiative to learn a new digital marketing skill or tool? How did you go about it, and what was the outcome?

This question assesses a candidate’s willingness to go beyond their comfort zone and expand their skill set. Look for candidates who proactively sought out opportunities to acquire new knowledge or enhance their capabilities. Their response should demonstrate their resourcefulness, initiative, and commitment to self-improvement. Pay attention to the outcome they achieved, as it indicates their ability to apply new skills and adapt to changing circumstances.


It goes without saying, but a passion for the industry shows that they are not only motivated to excel in their roles but also willing to stay updated with the latest trends and developments.

In a field that is constantly evolving, having team members who are eager to learn and adapt can be invaluable. Seek candidates who actively engage in self-learning, attend industry conferences, or participate in relevant online courses.

Their enthusiasm and curiosity will drive innovation within your organisation and help you stay ahead of the competition, which is why we are so adamant that you should focus on it and ensure the candidate has these traits.


While it may be tempting to offer high salaries to attract top talent, it’s crucial to exercise caution and avoid overspending.

As entrepreneur Joe Yates mentioned on our show, many business owners have fallen into the trap of offering inflated salaries, only to face financial difficulties later on.
Instead of solely focusing on monetary incentives, consider offering a comprehensive benefits package that includes opportunities for growth, training, and a supportive work environment.

Candidates who are genuinely passionate about their work often value these non-monetary factors as much as, if not more than, a hefty paycheck.

By balancing financial considerations with other forms of motivation, you can attract candidates who are truly aligned with your company’s vision and values.

In conclusion, successful recruitment in the digital marketing industry requires a thoughtful and adaptable approach. Embracing a willingness to train allows you to develop talent from within, nurturing individuals who possess the right attitude and potential.

Seeking candidates who are passionate about digital marketing and eager to learn ensures that your team stays motivated and up-to-date with the ever-changing landscape.

Additionally, avoiding the temptation to overspend on salaries helps maintain financial stability and prioritise holistic benefits.

We can’t tell you how many businesses we’ve watched spend bucket loads of cash too quickly, and in the wrong areas, only to deeply regret it 12 months later.

By implementing the strategies we’ve covered in this article, you can build a talented and passionate team that drives your organisation’s success in the dynamic world of digital marketing.

The full podcast episode delves deeper into Joe’s journey, including the mistakes he made and his key insights for success in the digital marketing industry.

If you’re involved in this world, whether as an agency owner or a recent founder, don’t miss the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge from the full episode or get in touch to see how we can help you recruit. You won’t regret it!