How To Grow Your Staff Without Adding People

by Roger Hurni

March 19, 2020 at 2:48 pm

It goes without saying that hiring more staff will typically optimize workflows, improve organizational operations, and grow a marketing business. The problem with this, it’s often too expensive to increase a workforce. Research shows that it costs, on average, $4,129 to hire a full-time employee and it takes around 42 days to fill a new position.

Imagine there was another way to expand your marketing business. Imagine you could increase productivity and profit without hiring more staff. It’s certainly possible.

Here’s how leaders like you can optimize your current marketing workforce without hiring more people.

Encourage Professional Development

Human beings are multifaceted and a company’s employees could possess a whole heap of highly-desirable skills that their managers don’t yet know about — creativity, adaptability, problem-solving, etc. These skills are lurking beneath the surface and it just takes a good leader to identify them.

Instead of hiring brand new staff, businesses can encourage professional development. This could involve identifying high-potential employees and nurturing their hidden talents (whether marketing-related or not).

As an example, one of the core values at Off Madison Ave is curiosity. At the inception of the agency 20+ years ago, we realized how critical it would be for everyone we hired to be in a constant state of learning, especially given how quickly the internet would change how we connect and communicate.

Research shows that human beings have a built-in desire for professional development, which happens through a process called “self-actualization.” This is when a person realizes his or her full potential, often with the help of others. It’s a manager’s job to help employees reach self-actualization! Here’s how to do it without hiring additional staff:

  • Pair high-potential employees with mentors. Mentors facilitate positive working relationships and, through encouragement and support, inspire employees to reach their full potential.
  • Challenge employees by giving them more responsibility. These employees will soon adapt to the demands of their new roles and become more productive, skilled workers.
  • Engage with employees on a deeper level. Find out what motivates, inspires, and excites them. Discover what makes them get out of bed every morning. This will help you and your team place the right employees in the right roles.

While you might not be able to afford to add more staff, you can certainly invest in the employees you currently have.


“Outsourcing” used to be a dirty word in marketing, but this is no longer the case. In fact, businesses in nearly every vertical outsource staff to access skilled expertise, increase in-house efficiencies, improve staff flexibility and cut costs. It’s no wonder that American businesses spent $75 billion on outsourcing in 2018 and 53 percent of companies increased their use of outsourcing.

Outsourcing works, but it’s not as easy as delegating tasks to an outside resource. There needs to be processes in place and long-term goals for how you will continue to get the work done. Outsourcing should be part of this strategy, not separate from it.

No one can do it all and do it well. One of Off Madison Ave’s fulfillment strategies is to find the right outsourcing partners for a variety of needs that arise from time to time, i.e., primary research. The critical thing we have learned is that it’s necessary to tie together workflow processes and inter-team communication. If you don’t, the outsourced relationship will fail and the quality of work suffers.

Lastly, technology can help. The latest programs provide business leaders with valuable metrics about their workforce so they can identify what type of outsourced resources they need (and how many) quickly and efficiently.

Staff Supplementation

It’s often a struggle to find the right staff to fill gaps in marketing skills and knowledge. Staff supplementation could provide a solution to this problem.

“Staff supplementation is the practice of providing temporary workers to a client company to supplement the current workforce during peak periods, for special projects, or during planned and unplanned worker absences,” says NextSource.

This is an area where clients and brands can lean on their agency partners given this is familiar space for these types of businesses. Off Madison Ave has always had a variable staffing model. It allows us to tap into the best resources we can find on any given project. Yes, we keep a core staff, but balancing that model with a robust list of experts in a variety of services allows us to create the best possible work on time and within budget.

There’s no need to hire full-time staff and write up long-term contracts. Staff supplementation provides more flexibility and it can improve work quality significantly. Variable staff on a short-term basis is the future of marketing.


The world of marketing is in a constant state of flux. In today’s competitive marketplace, it might not make much financial sense for a manager to hire new employees, but businesses can certainly still grow by leveraging a different kind of workforce.

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on hiring and onboarding full-time employees, you should shift your thinking, if you haven’t already.

March 19, 2020 at 2:48 pm

Roger Hurni