Creative industry talent on the move, in search of hybrid working & creativity

The creative industry should expect talent movement this year, with pursuing new opportunities on the cards for the majority of respondents in Hidden Talent’s ‘What Talent Want’ survey.

24% of respondents said they were actively looking for new roles within the industry, while 26% are open to opportunities and 31% open to a move if it is the right one.

The research was conducted by recruitment company Hidden Talent late last year. 200 respondents were surveyed from agencies including Clemenger, CHE Proximity, Leo Burnett, Momentum, M&C Saatchi, R/GA , The Hallway, The Monkeys and WhiteGrey.

Following the impact of COVID-19 on the industry last year, which saw widespread salary sacrifices, stand downs and redundancies, 54% of respondents felt optimistic about the future of creative agencies, however 47% were looking to move client-side.

Source: Hidden Talent

Those considering a new opportunity valued the culture of a prospective employer the most closely followed by the people involved at the business and its vision for the future. The majority of respondents said creative opportunity would motivate them and make them happy, but it was not valued as a “must have” in a new role.

The creative industry will also need to navigate the new normal in working conditions, seeing as 96% of respondents said they want to maintain flexibility in working conditions, such as working from home, however the majority of respondents have felt unengaged and disconnected from their company while doing so.

Additionally, 38% said having the team together was better for sparking creative ideas, and 45% said that working from home had somewhat stifled creative output.

The need for agencies to strike a balance between hybrid working models and environments which cultivate creativity is backed by research conducted by Pitcher Partners, Bastion Reputation Management and Bastion Insights.

The survey of 1000, nationally representative Australians found that employees are seeking flexible work plans between the office and home, seeing advantages in work-life balance, lower commute time and cost saving, however 20% said the lack of socialisation is the biggest problem in such a model.

The ‘Adapting to the new normal’ report also found a disconnect between employers and employees expectations for hybrid working.

79% employers surveyed said that their return to office plans had been based on discussions with staff, however only half of employees surveyed said they had been consulted by their managers about the plan.

More employers believed that hybrid working would positively impact productivity and business performance, however believe it will have a negative effect on collaboration and communication, and thus performance management.

On the other hand, employees felt that a hybrid working model would positively impact productivity as well as their ability to perform their jobs.

Clare Gleghorn, CEO of Bastion Reputation Management, said: “What the survey highlights is some of the gaps in expectations for what hybrid working models should look like over the long-term and, if left unaddressed, could widen further. These include the potential to dilute team culture, connection and engagement levels.

“This is particularly the case for small and medium sized businesses that are less likely to have the required planning in place, given the sheer volume of challenges they have had to work through over the past 12 months. What’s most important is to create a shared understanding by maintaining an open dialogue and engaging with staff about their concerns and preferences but equally about what businesses need to operate effectively and productively.”

Bastion Insights CEO, Dianne Gardiner, added: “The real insight is some of the gaps identified. For example, the concern over isolation expressed by employees mean that employers are at risk of having staff who work remotely grow more disconnected and not realise it. The value of research such as this is that it provides organisations with the information and insights they need to make timely interventions.”

The Bastion research, also conducted in November, was carried out through two surveys, the first taking the views of employees, and the second using complementary questions to the first, surveying 300 employers.


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