Why Is Talent Leaving Ad and Media Agencies? New Data Examine Reasons for Departure, New Ways to Retain Talent

4A’s, ad agency talent, advertising pros, American Association of Advertising Agencies, attracting talent, Jann Schwarz, LinkedIn, Marketing, marketing agency talent, media pros, Nancy Hill, Pr, Public relations, retaining great talent, Talent Brand, talent recruitmentAt the recent 4A’s Transformation Conference, on the heels of a panel called “The Truth About Talent,” LinkedIn and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) released exclusive data on reasons advertising and media professionals leave their agency jobs and what influences their decisions to join—or not to join—another agency.

While there has been much speculation surrounding the challenges of attracting and retaining great talent, this survey is among the first of its kind to reveal specific issues that directly impact agencies and talent recruitment. The top reasons professionals leave the agency world are due to concern over the lack of opportunities for advancement and wanting more challenging work. Dissatisfaction with compensation and benefits came fifth.

“In order to attract and retain the best talent, agencies must begin addressing these issues through building their Talent Brand,” said Jann Schwarz, global director of agency holding companies at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, in a news release. “Talent Brand is what we call the public and social face that reflects what professionals think feel, and share about the company as a place to work. The research shows that professionals in the advertising industry are looking for more than just money to keep them at a company. The solution to filling this gap is for agencies to focus on telling the story of their culture and purpose, showcasing their Talent Brand in a compelling way that offers sustainable differentiation.”

The data also revealed the following reasons advertising professionals hesitate accepting a job at another agency, including:

  • Applying to the company and not hearing back
  • Not knowing what it’s really like to work at the company
  • Facing difficulty negotiating my salary, title, role, etc.
  • Being contacted by recruiters who didn’t provide me with enough information about the role or company
  • Being contacted by recruiters who didn’t match me with the right role

“Today’s advertising industry talent is so different than the talent of generations past—these entry-level professionals crave experiences, connection with their work and, of course, fair compensation,” said Nancy Hill, president and CEO of 4A’s, in the release. “This data helps us identify where we can improve, whether it’s providing a better work/life balance, or ensuring junior talent can see their career trajectory at a certain agency. We need to up our game in terms of what we’re offering employees to incentivize them to continue to grow in the industry.”

Furthermore, the data shows the agency community needs to work on perception. When compared to eight competitive industries, the perceptions of the marketing and advertising industry from potential employees came in last in the categories of “good work/life balance” and “long-term strategic vision.” The industry also came in second to last in the categories of “excellent compensation and benefits,” “strong career path,” “job security” and “values employee contributions.”

The insights were uncovered leveraging LinkedIn’s proprietary platform data, along with two of the professional network’s annual talent-focused surveys—Job Switchers and Talent Drivers—both of which are the largest professional global studies of their kind.

Download full survey results here.

This research pulls data from three sources:

  • LinkedIn’s Job Switchers survey: The largest global survey on professionals who recently switched jobs, surveying more than 10,000 professionals in March 2015 who had changed companies between December 2014 and March 2015
  • LinkedIn’s Talent Drivers survey: The largest global professional survey, surveying over 300,000 global professionals between September – October 2015 across all industries and in all functions
  • LinkedIn data based on member behavior as of February 2016

In all sources, LinkedIn analyzed or surveyed global members through the lens of the professional platform. As such, the samples are influenced by how members chose to use the site, which can vary based on professional, social, and regional culture, as well as overall site availability and accessibility. These variances were not accounted for in the analysis and we did not weigh the global survey data. For the two surveys, LinkedIn members were invited to participate in this survey through an email invite.

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

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