Sally Henderson
Powerful change from the inside out




The 3 P's for Successful Talent Engagement every aspiring creative agency needs to know

Today, in this blog, I'm going to talk to you about the importance of achieving brilliant engagement with talent. It's something that I see costs creative agencies hundreds of thousands of pounds and lack of successful engagement really weakens employer brand.

If you've been reading my posts recently you'll have seen me talking a lot about this. Effective engagement with talent is so important and it's where a lot of the problems start and a lot of potential is lost.

Too often the experience talent has around development and successful engagement is like the monkeys pictured above. More often than not agencies choose to ignore what's right in front of them, on where they are going wrong or could create much more successful strategies. And this makes no sense to me!

So, how do you engage really successfully with talent? I have three 'P's. Be Prepared, be Present and be Purposeful.

Let's start with being prepared. I understand that my clients in creative agencies never have any time; it's part of the buzz, it's part of the challenge; but I have seen lack of preparation so often kill successful talent engagements. It's a crying shame when a creative organisation has put in so much work to engage successfully with talent. The business is clear on what the employer brand needs to be, why they're recruiting, that person's role and clear on the desired outcome; but when it comes to the day, live in action, what does that person sometimes do? Just doesn't prepare. Doesn't show up in the right frame of mind, on the right day ... All of that work might as well be thrown out of the window. Prepare, prepare, prepare. It's one of the biggest assets you have for engaging successfully with others, and yet it's the one key criteria that's often left wanting.

The second point, is to be present. I talk a lot with my clients about energy and how we are instinctive beings. We understand if somebody isn't really engaged with us, we have a primal setting in our bodies that helps us understand this. You know if someone's a bit distracted, if their mind has stayed in the meeting that they've come from, or their mind is ahead in the meeting they've got to go to. Being present is an amazing asset for successful talent engagement. Why? Because you do something really powerful, you actually connectWe are humans, we want to get connection from our work and working environment. Talent wants to get a sense of "is this me? Is this not me? Will I belong here? Will I be happy here? Will I be effective here?" The more present you are, when you connect with your prospective talent, and your current talent, then the more in-tune you'll be with these people's needs and the more able you will be to make really sound decisions; because you are present and focused, you are connected.

The final point, be purposeful. Purpose is such a buzz word, isn't it! “What's your 'why,' how are you going to understand it?". "How are you going to connect to it?” The more purposeful you are about engaging with your talent, and helping them engage the purpose as to why they come to work every day; the more your agency will stand out, the more authentic the business and your leaders will be, and the greater the connection (back to my last point about being present), you will have with talent.

Be Prepared. Be present. Be Purposeful. Those three things will mean that you engage with your talent far more effectively, save a lot of money, and increase how your agency work and the results you achieve.


This is my passion. I have been advising leading creative organisations on talent and recruitment for the past 20 years. I am on a mission to rid the market of shoddy recruitment practices, upgrade the creative industry’s approach to talent and help ambitious companies IDENTIFY, ATTRACT & RETAIN Exceptional Leaders

I'd love to hear from you what your challenges are, so please email me and I look forward to having a conversation with you.   

sally henderson