Global content production and technology powerhouse &FRIENDS today announces the roll-out of its end-to-end Talent Management Platform, allowing agencies and businesses to tap into an international community of world-class makers and experts – and create on-the-ground specialist production teams in any market, while also blending their existing talent pools and in-house resources – all in one place.
Heralding a new era in creative talent management and content production, the first-of-its-kind platform is designed to ensure businesses, agencies and marketing teams are equipped with the talent they need to answer the increasing resource and content creation demands. Dubbed TEAM+ (an acronym for Talent Expansion And Management+), the platform provides clients with a true 360 view of their whole talent pool and their respective capabilities, underpinned by a central management system for communicating and collaborating.
World Class Talent at Client’s Fingertips
In contrast to other platform players in the creative space, &FRIENDS enables clients to have all their talent at their fingertips – with the ability to expand and contract their talent pool at will, through access to the global &FRIENDS community.
The launch follows the recent announcement that leading talent platform for advertising and digital professionals, Cavalry Freelancing Australia, has merged and rebranded as &FRIENDS, further extending the network’s global reach and influence.
Addressing the Industry’s Talent Challenge
With almost all sectors experiencing a crippling shortage of global talent, &FRIENDS’ solution comes at a time of huge change in the creative industry, when market conditions are forcing companies to become more agile and achieve more output – with the same or fewer resources – but without compromising on premium quality. Indeed, Forrester has predicted that an urgency for talent and creativity will dominate agencies over the next year, as a perfect storm of layoffs, remote working patterns and ‘the great resignation’ result in a staff shortage of no less than 50,000 employees globally. All this, at a time when human ingenuity matters most to marketing.
&FRIENDS gives clients a simple solution to this complex problem: a sophisticated SaaS offering that manages both current and future creative talent needs, from one intuitive tool. The technology allows clients to unlock access to pre-vetted talent and build a unified and shareable team of experts – from both inside and outside their organisation.
In addition, the platform incorporates team onboarding, where pre-vetted team members can be prepped ahead of acute resource needs – eliminating pinch-points due to talent shortages. Clients are able to get up and running almost immediately – whether they require full-scale production from concept to delivery – or simply need to find and engage ad hoc talent from a curated global community.
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Built to enable companies to have all their talent at their fingertips, the platform improves content and marketing efficiency by offering a frictionless solution for resource planning. &FRIENDS blends the best of in-housing, outsourcing and agency servicing, shaped around real business needs. It’s an approach that &FRIENDS has dubbed FlexSourcing – and it’s already sparked interest from a roster of impressive clients – not to mention investors. The new platform is officially launching across EMEA, the US and APAC.
Global clients working with &FRIENDS include Gruppo Campari, Vodafone, Revlon and a raft of other blue-chips, while new client wins include global agency network, Dentsu, which has engaged &FRIENDS to support talent resourcing, in a bid to drive agility across the business.
&FRIENDS CCO, Matt Carroll said: “At a time when businesses need to produce more and better output than ever – at a faster pace, and with more cost-efficiencies – the answer that it’s ‘not possible’ is no longer valid. We’ve created a tool that will solve this fundamental and complex problem, very simply – enabling clients and partners to create premium quality content faster, and at previously unthinkable costs.”
Co-CEO Tom Maberly adds: “With such high demand for a variety of skill-sets across the industry, from creative, marketing and production to digital, we wanted to offer clients the ability to augment any team at any scale whenever, and wherever needed. Enabling greater talent readiness, the platform crucially means they can be far more agile both now and in the future.”
“Not only are we bringing world-class talent to clients’ fingertips, but we are also providing them with a holistic solution, binding every stage of the talent journey – including sourcing, onboarding, managing and payment – into a frictionless customer experience that takes away the pain, time and cost,” co-founder of Cavalry and now &FRIENDS co-CEO Dave Bentley comments.