The end of the pandemic has brought on a new set of unprecedented times (drink!). As brands return to the office, they’re likely to notice a significant difference in their officemates. A large number of marketing and communications professionals left their positions by force or by choice over the last year, and others that have grown accustomed to working remotely are likely to resist a shift back to a physical office.

This has led to companies rushing to backfill positions and even reconsider their agency relationships as they look to capitalize on the roaring twenties. As a result, we’ve seen a large number of brands poach agencies in their backyards, agencies move to acquire or hire anyone with a pulse, and a large number of former brand and agency employees venture out on their own, looking to do the same work they were before but with more freedom to work remotely.

This war will create entire classes of winners and losers that the bulk of the industry failed to forecast. Brands with the deepest pockets simply overpay for the best available talent (much like the Yankees and Dodgers in baseball) and will enjoy a distinguishable advantage over their bootstrapped counterparts. The deep-pocketed brands that also employ a flexible culture and emphasize work-life balance will experience an unprecedented upper hand in the talent war. A dog-friendly office and a booze cart aren’t going to cut it anymore…

The war for talent is even more cut-throat for agencies. Every member of our leadership has been offered another position in the last few months. Thankfully, they’ve all stayed. An agency’s willingness to be transparent with operational finances, create work-life balance for its employees, invest in education and growth opportunities, and compensate as competitively as possible will go a long way.

As brands continue to look for new agency partners that are focused on measurable returns, the gap between agency haves and have-nots will continue to widen. Savvy agency leaders will look to recruit from their counterparts that fail to deliver the entire package of quality work and measurable results from a team that is treated well. At Fidelitas and other shops like ours, the competitive advantage has never been so stark- or so simple.

On that note, we’re on the lookout for more great talent as we continue to grow. If you know someone that might be a great fit, reply to this blog post and we’ll be in touch.