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90% of marketers say it’s getting harder to retain talent


By Chris Sutcliffe | Senior reporter

March 31, 2022 | 4 min read

Talent churn and worker retention is now the primary concern for maketers, according to a new survey by ID Comms, driven by the ongoing ‘great resignation’ has pushed that concern to the fore.

in housing talent

Churn has become a major concern for marketers

The UK industry has struggled with attracting and retaining talent, particularly when it comes to young and diverse entrants into the space. The industry has attempted to correct this for years and to varying degrees of success.

In the wake of the pandemic, the vast majority of respondents to the 2022 Global Media Talent Report researchers stated that talent churn and worker retention has surpassed previous concerns within the marketing world.

In 2016, talent churn was the fourth-highest concern among advertisers, while in 2018 it was third, with quality of talent and advertisers’ internal media/marketing structure preceding in importance. As of the latest report, however, churn has overtaken those more structural concerns, with 90% of respondents saying they believe it will become more difficult to retain talent.

Compounding the issue, inflationary pressures are pushing salaries higher and there is more competition from other sectors, making it harder to attract and retain talent. Only one-third of people think that media talent meets their current media needs, while only a quarter think it will meet their future needs.

Paul Stringer, senior consultant at ID Comms, said: “The current talent crisis is an opportunity to reflect on the hiring practices in advertising writ large. Within the last couple of years, we have seen numerous commitments from advertisers and agencies to improving diversity, equity and inclusion. While this is important for numerous reasons, expanding the current pool is likely critical to solving current gaps and shortages in the marketplace for talent, even if we have to wait to reap the benefits of the changes we start to implement now.”

The report also finds that the challenge will be particularly severe in high-demand areas such as data and e-commerce. 80% of all respondents selected data as an area where additional capabilities would be required over the next two years, closely followed by e-commerce (73%) and measurement (68%). Given that those disciplines create transferable skills attractive to employers in other industries, there is a crunch for talent retention on the cards.

The fears around retaining talent are also having knock-on effects on the debate around in-housing. Both advertisers and agencies reportedly “seriously disagree”; while 55% of advertisers think in-housing is more likely over the next 12 months, 54% of agencies think it is less likely: “Notably, several advertisers voiced concerns about the cost of hiring, training and retaining talent. In-housing will be approached cautiously by advertisers over the next 12 months, if at all.”

As the great resignation gathers pace and the gig economy becomes a viable alternative for many creatives, retention will become an integral part of the conversation around marketing talent.

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