Talent is top of the agenda in 2022 and rightly so. The pandemic has pushed the issue even higher on advertisers’ to do lists.
Media is a talent industry. The right people, in-house and at your agencies, will deliver better insights, more effective buying and improved results. That’s why advertisers should care about talent.
And they certainly do because the latest ID Comms Research, the 2022 Global MediaTalent Report, shows that they’ve pushed talent churn right to the top of their staffing concerns. This is quite a departure from previous rounds of the research, which have put issues of quality and internal operating structure as more important.
Clearly talent churn is not a new issue for our industry. Even before the pandemic, the ANA was reporting turnover rates were as high as 30% and putting it in the No. 2 spot behind tourism.
But what our research demonstrates is the impact of the pandemic on talent in 2022. We saw a huge number of layoffs at the start of the crisis, around 50,000 globally in total. What’s happening now is that the industry is struggling to get those people back. Those who stayed are also more reluctant to move.
That has meant there is a smaller pool of talent in 2022 as well as more competition for talent and inflationary pressures are pushing salaries higher.
It’s also worth noting that the satisfaction rate with the talent available has dropped. We asked respondents to give us an indication of satisfaction and nearly half agreed that current media talent didn’t met their needs.
The talent crisis feeds into the big debates about where the industry is going and how it should be structured.
The research found serious concerns about talent in areas where the capabilities need to be expanded and both agencies and advertisers highlighted areas such ecommerce, data and measurement as particular priorities.
Then, of course, there’s the debate about in-housing. There is clearly a split between advertisers and agencies as to where key work should be performed. The research revealed real concerns around the cost and retaining talent on the client side.
Advertiser sentiment identified a clear opportunity to build internal capability around data and analytics. That clearly makes sense for brands with well-developed data capabilities but the right solution – agency or in-house – is highly contextual and agencies have question marks about advertisers’ ability to attract and retain in-house territory as well as wanting to defend their own expertise.
Perhaps it’s best to end on a positive note. With talent hard to come by, this could the moment when advertising moves beyond its traditional bastion of white, upper middle-class privilege and seeks out a more diverse workforce and encourages remote working to access a more distributed workforce.
The current talent shortages make it vital that everyone takes action.