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Junior ad talent faces a lack of opportunities as hiring stalls

Junior ad talent faces a lack of opportunities as hiring stalls

An absence of opportunities is threatening to throw the job market for junior advertising and marketing professionals into 'crisis' according to a new report.Recruitment firm Aquent's 2021 Salary Guide paints a bleak picture for those trying to get a foot in the door, with the number of junior hires collapsing 29%.

An absence of opportunities is threatening to throw the job market for junior advertising and marketing professionals into ‘crisis‘ according to a new report.

Recruitment firm Aquent‘s 2021 Salary Guide paints a bleak picture for those trying to get a foot in the door, with the number of junior hires collapsing 29%.

A junior job market in crisis

  • Aquent‘s report documents a frozen jobs market which has been shut down by the decision of major holding companies to lay off staff in a desperate bid to cut costs.

  • Giants such as WPP, Omnicom and Haas have resorted to a combination of hiring freezes, mandatory pay cuts and redundancies to tide them through the crisis.

  • Heaping further misery on job seekers, Aquent points to the inherent challenge of sourcing new talent when working from home is still the norm, irrespective of scant resources.

  • On a brighter note, the report identifies roles which have enjoyed significant salary growth over the past year, with art directors, digital and graphic designers all ratcheting up 14% increases.

  • Senior motion graphics designers have enjoyed the biggest bump in pay, taking home 24% more than last year.

A ‘knock-on effect’ for businesses

  • Any logjam in recruitment is likely to filter through to all corners of the job market in time if allowed to continue unchecked, warns Aliza Sweiry, UK managing director at Aquent.

  • Sweiry said: “This year has been extremely tough for the creative industries as Covid-19 continues to have a huge impact on business. Unfortunately, this has been felt most severely by junior talent looking to make their mark on the industry, who are now really struggling to find entry level positions.

  • “Unless companies begin hiring junior roles again soon, it’s likely that this could have a serious knock-on to the future of team structures in the years to come.“

  • The failure to embrace new talent could prove devastating for broader efforts by the advertising industry to engage younger, more diverse recruits. In particular recent IPA research found that 53% of students and recent graduates were unable to identify a single agency by name.

  • Mindful of the developing crisis, projects such as the Brixton Finishing School has been established as a means to engage with ‘generation Covid‘ through virtual classes to broaden the future talent pool.

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