A HUMAN RESOURCE CRISIS?
of pay is a serious worry, agencies need also to introduce a more serious approach to the development of human resources, says Vega School “navigator” Gordon Cook. “The ‘sink or swim’ strategy so many agencies have adopted in the past – with considerable success, it must be said – no longer works. Agencies have got to become more nurturing.
“It’s got to the point where we almost need to run a major information and education campaign targeting student bodies about the benefits of working in advertising. But it’s equally important to make agencies realise that what they offer is no longer attractive to young, talented people.
“The word on the street is that youngsters don’t regard advertising as a career. That’s a short-term interlude. But for something to be dignified as a career they expect employers to take it as seriously as they do. Ad agencies aren’t offering the benefits of the client side. Very little personal development takes place within ad agencies.
“It’s a real problem. Youngsters in agencies hear from talented friends about the ongoing training and development in the client companies and the better working environment and they turn away from the agency career route. We have to revisit the model. We need a whole new mindset. People today expect proper career development in the companies they work for. I hesitate to use the word crisis but it’s close to that.”