The talent revolution in advertising

The talent revolution in advertising

While advertising wouldn’t traditionally be considered a digital industry, digital expertise and activity are becoming almost as important as creativity. This is creating a surge in demand for talent with the right skillset from the junior level on up to the C suite.

The ‘Mad men’ style of advertising is all but a distant memory (but damn, those lunch Martini’s looked fun though) as advertising continues to undergo a digital transformation.

Forbes recently reported that businesses will spend more on digital advertising than traditional advertising by the end of this year. However, there is a real lack of people with in-depth knowledge of and expertise in social media, mobile and other digital technologies, which poses a significant challenge for organisations and advertising agencies.

Advertising agencies are constantly looking at new ways to bridge the gap between the digital marketing expertise needed and the talent actually available to them at every level. Here’s a quick guide to building digital capability:

5 ways to bridge the digital skills gap

  • Deliver digital skills training to existing staff: There has been insufficient focus on nurturing and grooming talent, training and formally assessing capability. Some firms are now offering a range of training options – including bringing in external experts to facilitate these sessions - to build in-house digital skills, capability and experience.
  • Graduate programs and internships: Companies are moulding their own talent by hiring people straight out of university and investing more time and money into graduate recruitment programs.
  • Cross functional talent: Some firms are addressing the lack of supply of talent by hiring technically and numerically minded individuals (typically with a computer science background) and providing on-the-job training to develop their advertising/creative skills.
  • Greater focus on retention: The growing surge in demand has put pressure on agencies to retain existing staff, particularly if bigger pay packets are on offer elsewhere. When budgets can’t stretch to pay rises, there are a number of other ways to reward, motivate and retain staff. These include flexible working hours, work-from-home arrangements, additional annual leave, etc.
  • Partnering with a specialist recruiter: Organisations and agencies are reaching out to recruiters with experience in the digital sector to help them fill advertising and marketing jobs with people with a strong tech background.

Bridging the digital skills gap in the advertising industry is critical and companies that invest in building capability have a huge opportunity to accelerate ahead of their peers.

If you would like to discuss this topic further or if I can be of any assistance, please contact me.