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ArabAd - - COVER STORY - By Nadim Khoury, CEO Grey Group MENA

In truth, it’s hard to find good peo­ple these days. Peo­ple who un­der­stand the im­por­tance of crit­i­cal thought, who have a yearn­ing for dis­cov­ery, who can work well un­der pres­sure. Peo­ple who have a thirst for knowl­edge and aren’t afraid of hard work.

Too many new re­cruits de­mand high salaries and au­to­matic pro­mo­tion, and yet lack the nec­es­sary work ethic. In the old days, we used to work for seven or eight clients at a time. We jug­gled ev­ery­thing. Mul­ti­ple meet­ings, pitches, client de­mands. You worked hard, you did well, you were pro­moted. Now you’ll be lucky if a new em­ployee can cope with two clients or has the nec­es­sary skills to progress.

Much of this is down to in­ad­e­quate ed­u­ca­tion, par­ent­ing, and the en­cour­age­ment of a be­lief that says the world owes some­body a favour. But it is also clear that we are los­ing the bat­tle for tal­ent. Big tech and start-up cul­ture have seen to that. We also have to recog­nise that we only have our­selves to blame. We have lost much of what once made ad­ver­tis­ing ap­peal­ing – the ex­cite­ment, the edge, the glam­our, the sense of pur­pose.

As such, we have to take a long, hard look at our­selves. Why are we be­ing over­looked by the most ac­com­plished grad­u­ates? Have we dis­re­garded craft in favour of a pro­duc­tion line men­tal­ity? Have we con­sis­tently failed to nur­ture and in­cen­tivise our great­est as­set – peo­ple? Too many times I’ve seen pas­sion stripped from em­ploy­ees sim­ply be­cause they were un­der­val­ued or over­bur­dened.

None of this can be looked at in iso­la­tion of course. Ad­ver­tis­ing has been trans­formed by tech­nol­ogy and the eco­nomic hard­ships that have chal­lenged our in­dus­try. Clients are re­quest­ing more for less; con­sumer con­sump­tion habits have al­tered beyond all recog­ni­tion, while the com­pe­ti­tion for tal­ent across the in­dus­try has risen con­sid­er­ably. All of which has had a di­rect im­pact on the de­mands felt by em­ploy­ees and the level of sat­is­fac­tion that’s pos­si­ble in their work­ing lives.

Tal­ent is a multi-faceted is­sue. But at its core is a sim­ple ques­tion. How can our in­dus­try at­tract raw, un­fet­tered tal­ent and re­tain it? Not only that, but en­cour­age, sup­port and cul­ti­vate it. If we can an­swer that ques­tion, then maybe the fu­ture will be filled with the op­por­tu­ni­ties that we all seek.

Too many new re­cruits de­mand high salaries and au­to­matic SURPRWLRQ DQG \HW lack the nec­es­sary work ethic.

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