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Attracting & retaining creative talent. Part two.

I attended an event organised by Creative England & the IPA, which discussed the challenges the creative sector faces in attracting & retaining talent, below are some further points raised in the discussion.

1. It’s time to diversify  

There was an agreed responsibility that as an industry we need to ensure we engage with, inspire and employ talent from across the whole of the UK to accurately reflect the communities and groups we are marketing to.

Teams must reflect the diverse landscapes we live in to include people from all areas of cultural, ethnic, social and geographical age groups, to ensure the future success of our industry. This point was explained brilliantly by Anjna Raheja MD of Media Moguls who asked; ‘Is your team reflective of multicultural Britain’.

The under representation of diversity in our work force is often through a lack of education and an understanding of the opportunities that a career in the Creative industry can offer, but also through a lack of accessibility to opportunities.

2. It’s never too late

Kate Bruges Co Director of Talent at J. Walter Thompson shared an interesting study, conducted by the agency into the achievements and talents of the over 40’s work force. Examples were given from pop culture of the highest earning actors, pop stars and authors whose average ages mainly surpassed 50.

The study highlighted the point that this group can bring with them years of experience and well-developed skills making employees in the ‘grey pound’ group an invaluable asset to the industry.

3. We need to be open minded about the talent we hire

A point was raised during the discussion about the creative industry losing out on talent to other professional services organisations who pay higher salaries, especially at entry / graduate level. The average debt of current students leaving university is over £44K. Straight from university the choice of which jobs to apply for is often affected by the salary of the role.

Examples were given of people who have moved into roles within the creative industry from other sectors including; events, recruitment and financial services.

Employees with diverse industry experience bring with them a range of transferrable skills and bring new perspectives into their creative roles. Often candidates who have joined from other professional service practises are very commercially aware; a skill becoming ever more important in the challenging marketing landscape.

Moving into a role in the creative industry is often driven by a desire to use a creative skill set that has been left frustrated in other professional service roles. If a candidate is willing to take a salary cut & re-train, they can prove an incredibly valuable and dedicated employee.

The consensus of the evening was that whilst changes within the industry have increased the demand for new skill sets, our needs can be met if we take in talent from other industries, develop the skills those employees have, and train them in the areas they need support with. 

By Bridget Leonard, Marketing Executive

This entry was tagged Talent acquisition and posted on October 14, 2015

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