A renewed focus on talent

Post-pandemic employees have questioned where, why and how they work. This has prompted mass resignations that have affected companies across the globe. To prevent a talent drain, the creative industry must renew its focus on figuring out how to attract and retain the world’s sharpest creative minds.

Human talent remains the most competitive factor in the creative industries, despite the fast-moving pace of technological innovation. However, agencies are still struggling to bring in talent. This was widely expressed in our State of Creativity Study; over half of you told us that securing talent was ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ challenging to deliver right now. You told us more focus must be placed on creating an evolved workforce management system with opportunities for flexibility and development.

Focus areas for 2022

Fight the pressure of quick fixes

The Great Resignation has left agencies with a significant talent gap. Company benefits such as flexible working and trendy offices are all table stakes now. Agencies need to reflect extensively on their company culture to understand what aspects are the most important to people.

Value existing talent

Creatives have been discouraged by the lack of opportunities to grow their skills, and this has been a large contributor to the talent crisis. Business leaders urgently need to address how they support the development of their talent - offering them opportunities to train and upskill.

Career development

Business leaders must draw out clear paths for progression to help talent map out their future career. This can be further fuelled with cross-department shadowing and mentorship programmes. Clear actionable steps will help talent see that career progression is attainable.

Take this talent crisis as an opportunity to look at ourselves, to create new, modern leadership styles… If we create new hierarchies and dynamics, our teams will flourish and thrive better.

Natasha Chetiyawardana Co-Founder and Creative Partner | Bow & Arrow


Progress in play from the 2020/21 Lion winners …

To encourage other businesses to help close the disability employment gap, BECo launched #StealOurStaff. This campaign flipped traditional ad recruitment on its head by shining a light on BECo’s own talent. The brand used its product packaging to highlight the skills and experiences of its best employees. The intention here was to get their employees recruited elsewhere, making room for more inclusive vacancies at BECo.

Check out the full campaign on The Work.





Further Insight

79% of agencies cited working styles and environment as critical to future knowledge or wanting to learn more.
70% said that personal development is a very or extremely important area to upskill the workforce in 2022.
56% of brands and 55% of creative partners say securing talent is the most difficult aspect of transformational creativity to deliver today

LIONS State of Creativity Survey | 2022

Thought starters for today:

  • Identify what motivates your talent. Is this embedded in the work culture?
  • Consider which areas of development are most important to your talent. Do you have the facilities in place to upskill and train?
  • Move away from the hierarchy mindset. Can you structure teams so that they promote fair consideration of ideas from all members in the group?