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Chief growth officer and MD Vanessa Romann on Havas, hiring & hybrid working

The Drum Awards for Agency Business celebrates the agencies that excel through strong workplace culture, effective management and excellent performance. The jury this year is led by Vanessa Romann, chief growth officer and managing director at Havas New York. In this series, she gives insight into the agency’s culture and outlines her hopes for this year’s awards.

If you work for a special agency, there’s still time to enter and be recognized for its great work and culture. You can apply for an extension here. You can also check out last year’s winners for inspiration.

“We’re coming together and setting the new course for what marketing is like in today’s society.”

In an increasingly competitive hiring market, Havas is staffing up. “We’re looking not only for people with tonnes of experience, but also for new people that might want to enter the industry during a time of inflection,“ Romann says. “We’re using these tensions and using this time to expand our consciousness and our creativity.“

Having been at Havas for quite a while, Romann has seen the company evolve. “I feel that it has been a number of different companies, in the best of ways: it continues to iterate, responding to the changing needs in the market.“ And what drives those changes? The same pressing issues that have been shaping our culture outside of work. “We’re connecting with issues outside of our clients, doing more for sustainability, doing more not-for-profit, responding to the issues that cause culture to get stirred, and people to take action.“

At Havas that can take a number of forms, from cultivating new behaviors in the market, or building new levels of awareness and finding solutions that are helpful to people. Romann believes the company is committed to change. “It’s been really inspiring to see the leadership lead that charge, and everybody follow suit into, fulfilling what a modern creative company can be. You really come together to get inspired by all of the people around you – even remotely.“

On the subject of remote working, Romann confirms that Havas will adopt a hybrid working model. “While we are officially open, it’s not mandatory to come in at this time. So I think we are very much craving the more immersive interaction that comes with being face-to-face.“ A hybrid model will allow staff flexibility: “We’ll get to come together more, but we can also work asynchronously, in a more thoughtful way if we need the time on our own.“

You can watch the full interview with Vanessa Romann on our YouTube channel.

Find out more about The Drum Awards for Agency Business here.

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