It’s time for a culture shift

Hidden Talent surveyed talent from top-tier creative agencies in Sydney and Melbourne, looking into 'What Talent Want'. Director Nicola Barrett shares some of the surprising results and insights.

What we found  was that 47% of creative agency talent is looking to move to a client-side role, and 46% are concerned about the future of the industry.

This has been a growing trend over the past five years and one that provides agencies an opportunity to rethink how we nurture talent within the industry.

The key to keeping great talent is creating a culture where they can thrive. The importance of culture can’t be underestimated as it is the number one reason people will leave an agency. And for 51% of people considering a new role, culture is an ‘absolute must’ when they are weighing up the opportunity. Culture is multifaceted and if you get it right, it provides an opportunity to attract and retain brilliant talent.

So what makes a good culture?

meeting team collaboration office teamwork

Gone are the days where you could put on a quarterly booze-up, have the odd agency BBQ and give people their birthday off. Those things are nice enough, but they’re not really want talent are looking for.

When you delve into what makes a good culture, one of the most important areas is developing brilliant work, with 45% of respondents saying they ‘need it to thrive’. No matter what department you work in; client service, strategy, production or creative, everyone has a role to play in making the work great. The challenge is to create a culture which is able to balance the development of great creative but not to the detriment of the very people involved in the process.

The next ‘must have’ is feeling connected to the team (35%) – being able to work together and be part of that creative spark.

Then comes flexibility (30%), recognition (30%), team collaboration (17%) and career progression/training (12%).

There is currently a spotlight on flexibility, particularly as we come out of the worst of the COVID pandemic. 0% of survey respondents want to return to work as it was, and 96% of people said that providing flexibility will help them thrive. So, flexibility isn’t just about where people work, it’s about creating conditions that bring out their best.

Agencies have always been a place where interesting, creative people get to meet and collaborate. It’s something a lot of other industries can’t offer. But during COVID, people’s priorities have started to shift. From here on, having a good culture will be vital for keeping talent in the sector (and hopefully, at your agency), and attracting great new hires. The good news is, if you get it right it won’t just be your staff that thrive – your business will too.

Nicola Barrett is the director at Hidden Talent. 


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.