Talent management companies are prevalent in Los Angeles and New York City, areas where TV studios and music labels have their headquarters. While talent management firms may be associated largely with entertainment, the term talent management can be extended to any profession where highly talented professionals are needed.
Assess the type of talent you will pursue. Your corporate clients and recruits need to know that you are an expert in a particular industry rather than a recruiting generalist.
Produce a business plan that covers your talent agency's plans every six months through the next five years. Start your business plan by defining your recruiting range, desired number of corporate clients and marketing goals. Include plans for expansion every year including new equipment purchases, new evaluation tools and industry events where your company will have a presence.
Research the epicenter of corporate clients for your area of talent recruitment and management. If you plan on managing actors and singers, for example, focus on Los Angeles and New York when searching for office space. Talent managers working in biotechnology, information technology and professional fields should look near college towns like Madison, Wisconsin, and Austin, Texas, to stay close to business startups and new graduates.
Join the Talent Managers Association if your talent management agency deals with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and other union members in the entertainment industry. The Talent Managers Association connects talent managers to agents and talent in Los Angeles and New York City while providing legitimacy to new members.
Fill your coffers with commercial loans, venture capital and initial public offerings (IPOs) to get your talent management company off the ground quickly. A single commercial loan from a local bank will help you meet payroll, pay for rental space and purchase equipment in your first few months in operation. Continue to pursue seed money from venture capital firms like Creative Capital Works! until you have secured enough money for national recruiting and evaluation. Use an IPO if you need a quick infusion of cash to push your talent management firm to the next level of recruiting goals.
Rent out office space with room for meetings, interviews and a handful of employees. Opt for smaller offices with street views or plentiful windows to avoid a dreary environment for recruits and clients. Purchase projectors, laptops and PDAs to facilitate presentations and phone meetings with clients around the United States.
Hire an administrative assistant, a recruiter and a part-time web designer for your talent management company. Your administrative assistant should be capable of calling agencies and clients without feeling intimidated. Look for recruiters among college admissions professionals and former human resource professionals seeking new opportunities. Your web designer needs to work only when the website has to be updated or a new website is needed for a recruiting drive.
Pursue a national recruiting drive, focusing on colleges and communities where young professionals are dominant. Use creative recruiting tools like Facebook, virtual interviews and chat rooms to draw in tech-savvy talent. Create a resume and video submission section on your website to encourage submissions from talented professionals who have learned about your talent management firm.
Post successful bookings and placements on your website's main page to encourage prospective recruits. Talent management companies working with actors and singers will cite shows, events and dates to verify that their recruits are getting work. These postings will encourage frustrated professionals who have been burned by other talent managers while demonstrating your growing reputation to corporate clients.
Write contract templates for recruits and corporate clients who use your talent management company. The recruit template should address grounds for ending representation, expectations during interviews, and disclaimers against the expectation of automatic placement for simply submitting an application. Your corporate client recruit should lay out monthly fees, standards and the conditions by which a client can cut off relations based on employee performance.
Consult with an advertising agency to create a clever campaign to attract new talent. Select an agency with experience in multimedia campaigns to take advantage of social networking, street teams and advertising methods that appeal to young workers. Focus your message on the rewards and prestige associated with entertainment, law, business and other fields within your firm's scope.
Stay in touch with news in the talent management industry with "Talent Management Magazine" and "Taleo." "Talent Management" is a publication designed for human resources professionals who are interested in learning the latest evaluation tools and industry happenings. "Taleo" is a blog that provides day-to-day updates on rising and falling talent management firms along with economic conditions that affect recruitment.
Compile a portfolio of resumes, head shots and other documents showing your stable of talent before visiting corporate clients. Prospective clients will not be interested in your website, advertisements or long-term plans if you do not deliver employees. Assemble a presentation of your top three recruits for a particular position and offer a broader spectrum of applicants if the client commits to interviewing your talent.
The Talent Managers Association discourages talent managers from being members of SAG and other guilds because of complications during contract negotiations.
- Photo by Darren Hester (Flickr)