MIAMI – Recruiting young talent to advertising and media agencies and holding onto them is no longer like “catching fish in a barrel” than it is offering mentoring and coaching—things that don’t always come with today’s flexible freelance work mode.
As agencies compete for talent with tech companies and their own brand marketers, which continue to bring certain activities in house, perhaps the toughest challenge is the freelance marketplace, according to Jennifer Frieman, Chief Talent Officer of Momentum Worldwide, a global agency.
“Technology has opened up the door to individual entrepreneurs and they can create their own businesses and pick and choose the work that they want to do,” Frieman tells Beet.TV in an interview at the annual Transformation conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. “And it’s really challenging to attract that kind of talent to come in house.”
For a very long time, talent flowed naturally into the marketing realm. “So maybe it was kind of like catching fish in a barrel,” Frieman observes.
One of the things that need updating is the ad industry’s history of long work hours. Agencies will need to be more flexible and, frankly, creative in their approach to tending its workforce. The goal, says Frieman, is to offer a “robust talent experience” consisting of mentorship and coaching to foster long-term growth and success.
“If we’re really clued into that and thinking about it very carefully, then we can create an incredible experience,” Frieman says. “It’s about how we look at the individual and create individual journeys.”
This requires agencies becoming more comfortable with the fact that technology enables people to do their jobs from anywhere. “We don’t have to lock them in a room to do it,” Frieman says.
As for employee diversity, a longstanding hot button in the ad industry, Frieman believes that the best creative products throughout history were derived from mixed cultures.
“It’s incumbent on us to create really diverse and inclusive environments if we want to create the best environment for high performing work. That’s how we get to the best creative product,” she says.