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Why We Did It - Changing Needs in Agency Staffing

This week we’re happy to announce that Ops Shop and Media Staffing are merging and becoming a new company, Elite Media Group. You’ve likely seen the announcement on our website, and if you haven’t - you can head over and read it here. The short version of why we did this is “because we do more than just ad operations, and we wanted our name to reflect that.” But there’s a follow-up question to ask, which is “why add staffing services?” And that’s worth diving into.

Joe Kaufman, CEO
Joe Kaufman, CEO

Over the last three years we’ve seen a massive shift in the agency space. The agency world has always had massive turnover - we’ve been recruiting at Media Staffing for 13 years now - and we’ve seen it hovering around 25%, give or take, making it necessary for agencies to constantly be adding talent. And traditionally the easiest and most effective way to do that was to hire an external recruitment team to go out and find the best candidates in the market, with the downside being that the staffing fees you pay there are traditionally expensive, but worth it in the long run.

Here are a few things we’ve seen, and how they contributed to our decision to marry staffing to our own in-house consulting and delivery services:

Finding quality media professionals is starting to become more difficult again. At a recent Media Buying Summit, agencies were asked what their largest obstacle was.  The majority responded with one word “staffing”. Hiring and retaining top talent has always been a challenge, and while that challenge has varied over the last few years - a massive hiring swell following COVID and the resulting fallout of the last year - figuring out how to effectively solve client problems with a mix of top talent and external partners has always been the goal. This can be further exacerbated by the natural rhythm of agencies, needing to hire and staff up to accommodate new clients and pitches and reduce headcount when clients leave. After the hiring frenzy of COVID we quickly came to a point where there was a glut of quality candidates but as we head into 2024, that trend is starting to turn again, particularly in smaller markets.

Media professionals are more widely distributed than before.

One of the biggest changes from COVID has been that capable media professionals are now much more widely distributed - many talented professionals moved out of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, etc. and bought houses across the US at low interest rates - and they aren’t looking to return. That means there’s a ton of great talent in “secondary” markets, eager to take on big projects and flex their expertise - but finding them and managing them can be more challenging. 

Agencies need a mix of integrated short- and long-term solutions.

Not everything an agency needs requires a full-time head to accomplish. Managing a social account here, handling search there - these are massively important tasks for a brand but may not require a full-time investment from a media professional. At the same time, they may become full-time roles but need external help now, with a plan to hire someone later. That’s an area where we can step in, providing that kind of short-term support while at the same time helping find a long-term staffing solution when that becomes the priority. And in those cases, it can ideally be that same person, and the agency is hiring someone already familiar with their business and clients.

Ultimately for us it’s about helping find both those short- and long-term solutions for agencies and brands in the space, helping teams who are both looking for a partner to hold their hand and deliver solutions and those who need a partner who can help guide them into a self-sufficient model. We’re happy to do both, helping with delivery and analytics problems and finding the staff to solve those challenges in the long-term. Staffing firms and media service companies have always been natural competitors but by marrying the two we can provide the best of both worlds, slowly moving our clients from the back seat to the driver’s seat when it comes to solving media challenges and driving business outcomes for their clients.


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