I was talking about this the other day with Alison Hall. Alison’s a top flight head hunter-type who’s got a consultancy called Seven Arts. She disagrees. She reckons agents are sleazy and that clients wouldn’t use them. The thing is, I have my talents (honestly) and they are various. I’ve also got decades of life experience and loads of very specific skills. I’m multi-faceted you see. Unless we’ve had cause to work together, though, you have no idea what I can do.
For instance, I can state the total cost of a job during a pitch without laughing, proofread a Powerpoint presentation on a moving escalator, get a smile from the snootiest Venture Capital receptionist in Mayfair and divine the secret purpose of a digital strategy using only instant coffee and a pencil. I’m like a God! So all I need is an agent.
The conventional recruitment/placement process blocks most of the important information. It’s staggeringly inefficient. Even LinkedIn, Facebook and the rest are weak: they apply powerful network effects but essentially commoditise me, reduce me to a profile, a node (don’t forget to friend me though, will you: Facebook, LinkedIn). If there was a culture of ‘representation’ in this business (as there is in the arts and in sport), I could just go out and hire an agent who could get on the phone and tell the world about my remarkable mix of charm and perspicacity; devastating analysis and sparkling creativity. But where are the agents for digital types like me? There are none.