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28 July 2022
Marketing is facing its ‘worst-ever’ talent crisis
Talent, skills, HR
Nearly half (48%) of all advertisers, agencies, ad tech companies and media owners think the industry is facing its “worst-ever crisis” when it comes to talent, according to new research from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and global media advisors MediaSense.
The situation is especially dire at agencies, where the proportion of respondents thinking that way stands at 54%.
Why it matters
The Media’s Got Talent? report*, finds that 67% of all respondents (76% in APAC) believe that talent scarcity is proving to be a major blocker to growth.
Seventy-seven percent of respondents admit that there is “some” or “high” scarcity of talent in their organisation, peaking at 85% among the agency and ad tech sectors, and at 81% in the US and 93% in APAC.
Key areas of talent shortage are in data and analytics (84% at both advertisers and agencies), e-commerce/retail media (71% at advertisers and 73% at agencies) and measurement (69% at advertisers and 74% at agencies).
Data and analytics are seen as the single most important capability to prioritise for the next two years, with 71% of advertisers and 64% of agencies agreeing; that’s significantly ahead of e-commerce/retail media at 53% and 42% respectively.
Factors blamed for the skills shortage include poor training, talent management (both 76%), a lack of purpose (68%), poor client agency behaviour (61%) and over-specialisation and recruitment by tech companies (both 58%).
Burnout is also a key factor behind talent shortage: 76% of respondents think that readdressing the work/life balance would have a significant impact.
Advertisers are most affected by the tech-steal with 64% of advertisers compared to 49% of agencies agreeing that this is a major contributor to the talent shortage.
“We spend a lot of time bringing in really talented people and asking them to conform to the systems, norms, and culture of the organisation, when we should actually be asking them to use their skills and experiences to really change us as an organisation. That’s how we keep moving forward” – Belinda Smith, Founder and CEO, Second Arrow and WFA Global Diversity Ambassador.
*The study is based on responses from more than 400 stakeholders from many of the world’s largest advertisers, agencies, media platforms and technology companies; 81% of respondents were at director level with advertiser respondents responsible for in excess of $110bn in annual communications spend.