Fundamental changes in communications –  including a  shift in the skills needed to be successful in coming years – have had an impact on the area’s ad community.  Capitol Communicator asked a number of agencies about what they are facing regarding this new reality and were told the following:

Christina Pantelias, Executive Director of Strategic Planning at RP3 Agency, told us:  “I think we’ve seen a painful shortage of good account leaders, for sure.  It’s a job that requires a really broad range of skills – business knowledge, marketing knowledge, how to lead teams, how to lead a client and provide client service, how to manage a revenue stream and resources. Plus, it requires great communication skills.  It’s a big ask and I think it’s been hard work finding people who can do all those things.”

Matt Smith, CEO of SmithGifford, said: “There is a huge shortage of people in the creative field. We saw this happening around 10 years ago. Young talented people want to work for Google, Facebook and other types of companies. Yet, basic marketing skills which are evergreen and not all tied to which format the marketing is in are not being taught or even worse, being hired and grown within the agency world. The first three years of your job can dictate where you work for years. Social media is a great job opportunity for young talent, but not all that good for marketing skills in brand building and other forms of marketing.”

Raymond Crosby, president and CEO of Crosby Marketing, told us: “It continues to be hyper-competitive to attract and retain talent in the marketing space, particularly for digital and social media positions. The industry has been on a 10-year hiring run and the talent pool is leaner than ever. At the same time, burnout continues to be an issue and we’re starting to see some concerns about an economic downturn. Agencies that have a great culture, are financially sound, and treat their staff well regardless of the economy will be in a great position to attract talent in the coming year.”

Cary Hatch, CEO of MDB Communications, told us:  It’s been documented by the 4As (American Association of Advertising Agencies) that “the standard practice of hiring talent based on needed skills is outdated” and ill-serves “organizations in a fast-moving world of quantum change.”  A candidate’s ability to adapt, a desire and willingness to learn and experiment, should be weighed, as much if not more, than the traditional skills of advertising and marketing. The recent 4As “Quantum Age of Marketing” study underscores the need to nurture heightened enthusiasm for employee entrepreneurship. This is a hiring concept that didn’t exist a decade ago. Identifying thoughtful, disciplined marketing minds with an entrepreneurial bent can be challenging, but keenly critical to our success and future proofing our firms.”

If you have insights regarding the ever-changing job market, let us know.

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