Mid-level talent is hard to find now. How do we draw top people with five-plus years' experience?

It can be a very difficult process to attract and hire SAE/account supervisor candidates because there is a limited amount of passionate mid-level candidates that see this as a career and take it seriously enough to want to master each level before moving on to the next.

It can be a very difficult process to attract and hire SAE/account supervisor candidates because there is a limited amount of passionate mid-level candidates that see this as a career and take it seriously enough to want to master each level before moving on to the next.

The tight market has given some candidates a sense of entitlement, which can be hard to manage. On the other hand, these talented mid-level stars in the making are getting offers from every agency.

In order to attract talent at any level, your agency has to be branded in the marketplace. What makes your firm different? What type of accounts, benefits, training, and culture do you offer? Rely on the talent within; never underestimate the network your current team has. Establish a program, if one does not exist, that rewards internal referrals.

You must also be part of contemporary networking and ad programs, while also following the key blogs and Web sites. And when you don't get to hire that pro this time, stay in touch. You never know when the stars will be aligned.

Cathleen Graham is SVP of HR and recruiting at Ruder Finn.

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