A lot of talk, but not a lot of action
Recently there has been a lot of chatter surrounding the talent issues our industry is facing, but there hasn’t been enough action.
Many top agencies take advantage of high demand for a limited number of roles by taking on unpaid interns. These internships are only viable for young people with considerable financial backing and therefore give only a privileged section of society a leg-up into the industry, in turn resulting in a lack of diversity in the industry.
People always say that to get into advertising you have to know someone. And in my case, this was totally true. I found out about my first role through a friend. His first role had also been found through a friend. This leads me onto my next point.
In early 2018, Marketing Week found that only 3% of 18-24-year olds saw marketing as their best career option and suggested that there is a lack of interest in the industry amongst young people. From my own experience, I just don’t think young people are aware of the industry and the opportunities it presents.
With so many agencies courting this 3%, TIPi Group, as a small independent competing against global networks with large perk packages, faced an uphill struggle when it came to attracting the best talent. An inability to source talent in turn damages the potential success of up and coming industry challenger agencies.
And then, even if we do source brilliant industry talent, for many young people entering our industry, it’s unclear what junior roles actually entail on a day-to-day basis, as it was to me. This often leads to recruits starting off in roles that don’t suit their skills or ambition. This can lead to frustration and a lack of career progression. So how do we avoid hiring the wrong people for the wrong roles?