Welcome to Robert Half’s Thought Leader Q&A, a series featuring insights from the staffing experts who have made our company a great place to work and a premier provider of talent solutions.
This week, we feature Greg Detter, senior vice president of the marketing and creative practice at Robert Half, which connects professionals with companies hiring in marketing, creative, digital, advertising and public relations. In this role, he is responsible for the strategy and execution of business and recruiting initiatives for the practice’s locations across North America.
Greg started his career as a sports broadcaster. Doing play-by-play in the big leagues came second nature to him after growing up with a father who worked in radio and a stepfather who played professional baseball. But the late nights and travel weren’t so appealing after his own son was born, so he looked for work as a writer. That’s when he stumbled upon Robert Half.
Fast forward a year later, and Greg was working as a recruiter for the world’s largest specialized talent solutions firm. He moved up the ladder over the next 17 years, working as an account executive, division director, branch manager, senior director, vice president and now senior vice president at Robert Half.
Here’s what Greg shared with us about the chaotic job market, the strategy of creating a team environment and three causes he’s passionate about:
How has the market changed for job candidates in the years since you've started in the talent solutions industry?
Options and awareness, and that’s a great thing. When I started in the business, most candidates didn’t know staffing existed for specialized talent. We’d reach out and explain that we were a free service, and they’d be hesitant until we showed them a great experience.
Now, talent knows they have options — different places to go, different styles of service — and all of that in a more people-focused business. It’s created a multitude of great options but, concurrently, has created a lot of noise. The sheer existence of these myriad options has actually generated even more need for firms that provide clarity amid the storm.
Candidates are getting called, texted, DM’d and messaged at an alarming rate. So, the best agencies, like Robert Half, aim for clarity and honesty in an effort to level the playing field and give talent the best options.
Read Greg Detter’s post for Digital Creatives: 4 Tips for ‘Designing’ Your Career.
What are the most challenging aspects for companies looking to hire skilled marketing and creative professionals?
Simply put, supply and demand. The digital age didn’t just get here, but its ever-increasing demand has made it difficult to find enough skilled, talented marketing and creative professionals to keep up. And since everyone is reaching out to everyone else at the same time, it’s mayhem.
So, great companies that may be offering precisely what the talent wants in an employer can get drowned out. That’s one of the things Robert Half can provide — someone to cut through the noise and help attract great talent who are simply inundated with messaging.
How are organizations stepping up to retain top talent once they get it?
It’s no secret that one of the positive elements the pandemic brought was something of an awakening for employers and employees alike. In the blink of an eye, people had their priorities recentered, and it was a wonderful thing. They recognized what was most important in their lives, while employers realized they could help provide those things while still getting great work from their people.
Remote and hybrid opportunities are everywhere now, as opposed to the occasional situation a couple of years ago. Flex hours, better benefits and, simply put, a more employee-friendly culture and environment are the results. And I have to think it’s only the beginning.
Are there strategies you can share for building a pipeline of promising leaders in an organization?
I believe strongly in giving all your team members ownership of the team. Create a team environment where everyone is invested in the health and growth of the team, and not a bunch of individuals hoping to do well for themselves. This spreads goodwill, shows people you believe in them and gives people an opportunity to showcase leadership traits.
I always try to remember that the best performers aren’t always the best leaders, which is a mistake I’ve made a number of times in my career. So, by giving people small opportunities to perform like leaders and not just individuals, you’re providing opportunities for growth and for learning who has those natural tendencies.
What causes are you passionate about, and how do you support them?
First, I’m the volunteer newsletter editor and writer for Wings of Hope, a global nonprofit dedicated to saving lives through the power of aviation. Wings of Hope transports sick kids (and some adults) all around the world to receive medical care. It’s an incredible organization, and I’m so proud to be a part of its volunteer team.
Additionally, I’ve lost both of my parents to cancer, so my family has raised a lot of money for cancer research, specifically pancreatic cancer.
And lastly, as a writer, I just had a book published. It’s called Faith for the Filthy, Foul and Flawed. I’m donating 50% of all proceeds to various charities, specifically the ones I just mentioned.
Follow Greg Detter on LinkedIn.
Meet other Thought Leaders at Robert Half, such as Paul Flaharty and Brandi Britton. And be sure to subscribe to the Robert Half newsletter for future installments of our Q&A series and to discover more unique stories, experiences and perspectives on the latest hiring trends.