Clients and agencies are facing a major “talent disconnect” as millennials look to a range of other industries that they perceive as being more attractive for developing long-term, meaningful careers.

That was the headline finding from “Bridging the Talent Disconnect: Charting the Pathways to Future Growth,” a study commissioned by the ANA Educational Foundation (AEF) – a division of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) – and conducted by research firm GfK.

“Marketers, and the agencies that work with them, are facing an unprecedented talent challenge, or ‘talent disconnect,’ as millennials look to other, seemingly more appealing fields to build careers,” the study said.

“This is driven in large measure by a lack of common vision, vocabulary, and perceived relevance among marketers, young professionals, and the schools that are expected to educate them.”

In reaching this conclusion, the AEF investigation drew on the views of the three main stakeholder groups making up the talent pipeline:

  • Talent: Students and new hires.
  • Academics: Deans, professors and career counselors.
  • Practitioners: Chief Marketing Officers, human-resources specialists and line managers at agencies and brands.