Ten years ago, Josh, an actor and promotional staff member earned between £10 and £12 per hour, up to three times minimum wage, working on experiential marketing campaigns up and down the UK. The comparative high pay made the industry compelling, enabling him, as well as countless students, artists, actors, musicians, dancers etc., to pursue their primary career or educational goals. This value proposition enticed excellent staff and left room for the agencies to make strong margins.
Fast forward ten years and minimum wage has increased from £4.20 to £6.08, whilst agencies continue to pay £10 per hour due to price pressures from clients. In real terms, the value of this industry to the likes of Josh has declined 31%. The pain isn’t one sided either, the cost of employment has increased for the agency over this period and the economic conditions have driven margin down considerably.
This leaves staffing agencies with two challenges:
- How to create a value proposition for staff that continues to entice the very best people and keeps them motivated enough to deliver excellent work, consistently, and for a sustained period of time.
- How to deploy staff on to activity more efficiently without dehumanising the booking process, creating significant resource savings that ensure agencies can increase profit per head and shore up defences against increased cost competitiveness.
Both of these challenges are excellent opportunities and those agencies that choose to address them stand to capitalise as old school agency models gradually lose to market pressures.
At watu, we believe that the solution to both of these challenges lies in the technology platform, more specifically, in a platform that creates an ecosystem that drives time efficiency, transparency and stakeholder participation from both sides of the fence. We’re building this ecosystem.
Exciting times lie ahead.