The Challenge Of Retaining Your Digital Talent

Young creative team working on a concept
SHARE
THIS



In this opinion piece, HR business partner Jessica Rogers from digital agency Resolution offers B&T some top tips on one of the industry biggest issues – how to keep a hold of digital talent (and how to find your own Steve Jobs)…

We are in a remarkably tight talent industry. I don’t know about you – but this is the first industry I have worked in where people get triple promoted within a couple years. They literally go from pulling reports to deciding the strategic direction of a company and no one blinks an eyelid.

Jessica Rogers

Digital marketing is a relatively new area in the scheme of things. So new in fact, that in Australia a large portion of our talent is sourced from overseas markets. What I would be extremely interested in is looking at the source of influence. How many touch points does a person need exposure to before they consider a career in digital marketing? There are a lot more movies about doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. than there are about digital marketers. While it’s great when you are in it, it isn’t really a career path you think about travelling down, until you are already on it (often accidentally).

How long before academia catches on and includes digital marketing as a significant portion of their marketing qualifications? There are so many interns with Bachelors in Marketing, yet there are so few who can articulate what SEO, SEM, Content Marketing, programmatic buying, Analytics and CRO are, upon graduating. Granted, even armed with a photographic memory and a year’s worth of Omega 3 supplements, the hundreds of acronyms probably don’t help.

A bit of context

  • Average regrettable loss in this industry is 26.8 per cent (2014 Media Communications Agency Industry Census, MFA)
  • AHRI’s research places average cross-industry turnover at 13% (AHRI Pulse Survey Turnover and Retention, 2013)
  • 53 per cent of agency staff have less than 4 years’ experience (2014 Media Communications Agency Industry Census, MFA)

Combine a skill shortage with a rapidly growing digital industry and you get talent price wars and high voluntary turnover. Once you have laid the foundations of best practice HR what else is to be done?

The median age of the industry is 29 years. Gen Y. The Millennials. The Digital Generation. Some might say infamous for their sense of entitlement, short attention span and overly confident demeanour. This generation, whatever your view on it, is the heart and soul of the digital marketing industry.

This leads to the ultimate challenge: Retention.

Given the fast moving, highly demanding industry – businesses have to keep up with changing technology and consumer demands while engaging in a ruthless war for talent.

I would be highly suspicious of any HR practitioner in the industry not admitting to at least entertaining the idea of trapping Gen Ys with visa and PR conditions, or promising a 40 per cent salary increase and job title even the Prime Minister couldn’t refuse.

In this industry winning loads of new business is a double-edged sword – the desperate struggle to find resources to do the work can dampen the glow. In our darkest moments, while screening through hundreds of offensively unsuitable candidates, it can be hard to see the trees through the fog. But I promise there is light…

Resolution has been recognised as an Employer of Choice in The Australia Business Awards 2015– more relevant though is the fact that we have decreased voluntary turnover by 27 per cent in the last 12 months. I would like to share with you a couple of learnings that have had a massive impact on our business – with a very measurable impact on the bottom line. People + Product = Profit, right?

1. Peer pressure – the politically incorrect culture driver

In the 70s Leann Birch (Researcher at the University of Illinois) conducted a number of experiments to see what would get children to eat the vegetables they disliked. The focus here is not on eating more vegetables – just eating the specific vegetables they hated.

Birch tried a multitude of approaches, from telling the children they were “expected” to eat their vegetables to rewarding them with ice cream if they did. She also explained the benefits of eating vegetables and even used vegetable-eating role models. These tactics appeared to be the logical way to get the children to eat the vegetables – yet there was only one approach that worked predictably: putting a child who didn’t like peas, for example, with a few other children who did. Within a couple of meals the pea–hater was eating peas with as much enthusiasm as the pea–lovers.

Take on the role of the pea–lover in Birch’s experiment and create some healthy peer pressure. Focus and personalise retention efforts on key influencers or ‘the cloneables’ – the people who:

  • Are high achievers
  • Show high potential
  • Consistently display the right behaviours

The non-pea lovers will soon become uncomfortable and either adapt to the new way of thinking or move on. The focus here is on retaining the regrettable losses. Over time this will reduce your overall voluntary turnover because passionate, smart and personable people like to be surrounded by like-minded radiators, not drainers.

2. Find everyone their own Steve

What is Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerburg? Maya Angelou to Oprah Winfrey? Warren Buffet to Bill Gates?

“If you ask any successful businessperson, they will always (say they) have had a great mentor at some point along the road.” – Richard Branson

“A small amount of time invested on your part to share your expertise can open up a new world for someone else.” – Mark Zuckerberg

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates

Invest the time and resources into developing a mentoring program.

It’s a great way to inject the caring, support and development at an individual level without relying on the individual’s Manager and HR processes. Through a mentoring program, an agency can reduce the anxiety experienced by talent in taking big steps, can focus upcoming talent on setting and achieving their goals, and can help nurture emerging leadership. If it’s good enough for the world’s billionaires then it works for us too.

The bottom line?

See your employees as investors – they choose to invest their time, skills, and experience with your organisation. They are constantly evaluating whether they are receiving a return on their investment. The more you improve their marketability, the higher the ROI they see from their investment, and the longer they will continue to invest their human capital with you.

Build your business on the foundation of remarkable people doing remarkable work.

Hold yourself and everyone else accountable. Create an environment of nurturing and development. Get this right and you will be amazed at the impact it has on retention and ultimately on the bottom line.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Monash University And Y&R Melbourne Launch Wristbands To Deter Drink-Spikers
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Monash University And Y&R Melbourne Launch Wristbands To Deter Drink-Spikers

Y&R Melbourne has an innovative wristband on campus at Monash University that detect drugs by simply placing a drop of your drink onto the band itself. Designed for widespread use across festivals, events, bars, nightclubs and other venues where patrons are already accustomed to using wristbands, the ‘Sip Safe’ wristband is equal parts a utility, […]

Global Brand Events Agency INVNT Opens Sydney Office
  • Marketing

Global Brand Events Agency INVNT Opens Sydney Office

Brand events agency INVNT has announced it has expanded its operations to the Asia-Pacific region with a new office in Sydney. Originally founded in New York in 2008 by Scott Cullather and Kristina McCoobery, INVNT creates and produces brand engagements for every audience segment, including employees, customers, partners, investors, the media, and consumers. Cullather said […]

Former Fairfax Editorial Director Sean Aylmer Joins Res Publica
  • Marketing
  • Media

Former Fairfax Editorial Director Sean Aylmer Joins Res Publica

Full-service communication consultancy Res Publica has announced the appointment of respected journalist and media executive Sean Aylmer as its latest staffing addition. As editorial director of Fairfax Media from 2013 to 2017, Aylmer was the most senior journalist in the group and publisher of iconic mastheads The Age, The Australian Financial Review and The Sydney […]

The Copyright Agency Invites Visual Artists To Claim Image Royalties
  • Media

The Copyright Agency Invites Visual Artists To Claim Image Royalties

The Copyright Agency is inviting Australian artists and their heirs to nominate about where their works have been published or used on TV to receive payment for their copyright-protected work as part of a month-long campaign. The Copyright Agency, which recently merged with Viscopy, is Australia’s national copyright licensing organisation for the publishing, media, surveying […]

Study: Online Gambling Soars As Aussie Punters Take To Apps
  • Marketing

Study: Online Gambling Soars As Aussie Punters Take To Apps

A new study into the gambling habits of Australians have revealed that horse racing remains our number one bet of choice while we’re increasingly betting via online sports gambling apps. The study by Roy Morgan Research and titled The Gambling Currency Report found that of all bets 50.9 per cent was for horse racing, 12.5 per cent […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
League Star & Queenslander Cooper Cronk Fronts New Visit Sydney Campaign
  • Campaigns

League Star & Queenslander Cooper Cronk Fronts New Visit Sydney Campaign

This year, Sydney will host both a historic standalone State of Origin encounter on Sunday 24 June, when the NSW Blues face rivals QLD Maroons at ANZ Stadium in Game Two of the 2018 Series, and the first ever Women’s State of Origin game played under the Origin brand on Friday 22 June. In partnership […]

Nine Ways To Manage Underperforming Employees
  • Opinion

Nine Ways To Manage Underperforming Employees

We’ve all had one, and in this guest post, founder of HR Consultancy Ryan Gately, Karen Gately (pictured below), offers her tips on how to handle underperforming staffers. Gately is also author of The People Manager’s Toolkit: A Practical guide to getting the best from people (Wiley) and The Corporate Dojo: Driving extraordinary results through spirited people…. Are […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Pac Mags’ Emily Sak Joins Shopper Media Group As Its First Data & Insights Chief
  • Marketing
  • Media

Pac Mags’ Emily Sak Joins Shopper Media Group As Its First Data & Insights Chief

Digital retail out-of-home media business Shopper Media Group has announced the appointment of Emily Sak to the newly created position of head of data and insights. The new role forms part of Shopper Media Group’s expansion plan to keep up with the accelerated growth that has seen its portfolio surpass more than 220 shopping centres […]

CX Lavender Appoints Business Development Director For Melbourne
  • Marketing

CX Lavender Appoints Business Development Director For Melbourne

Customer experience agency CX Lavender has announced the appointment of Michael Rummery to the role of business development director for Melbourne. Rummery (pictured above) was previously account director of client services at global marketing and digital recruitment firm Aquent, and has held roles at a number of talent agents and recruitment firms with a focus […]

The New York Times Appoints WeThinkMedia As Its Aussie Advertising Rep
  • Advertising
  • Media

The New York Times Appoints WeThinkMedia As Its Aussie Advertising Rep

The New York Times Company has announced the appointment of media representation agency WeThinkMedia to represent its advertising business in Australia. WeThinkMedia will be responsible for all advertising in the region, including print, digital, branded content, programmatic, and events. The partnership will be overseen by Tom Armstrong, vice president of advertising for The New York […]

The Future Of Influencer Marketing: More Than Just A One-Night Stand
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

The Future Of Influencer Marketing: More Than Just A One-Night Stand

Influencers are the new powerhouses in driving stock off shelves, but brands are yet to find the right recipe for successful collaboration, according to Gleam Futures’ Guillaume Deront (pictured below). Here, he argues that marketers need to look beyond purely targeting an audience and channel their energy towards building long-term collaborative relationships. Australia punches above […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Designing Cultural And Organisational Change
  • Opinion

Designing Cultural And Organisational Change

In this guest post, Bronwyn Van Der Merwe (pictured below), managing director of Fjord Australia and New Zealand (part of Accenture Interactive), details the four traits of a ‘living business’ – something she believes organisations have to become in order to transform successfully. The digital age has created a plethora of challenges for modern organisations, […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Media

Free TV Calls For ACCC Oversight Of Facebook & Google

In a submission lodged with the ACCC inquiry into digital platforms, industry body Free TV today called for greater regulatory oversight of Facebook and Google. The FreeTV submission identifies a number of key areas of concern: Heavy regulation on traditional media providers and almost none on Facebook and Google Questionable claims about the reach, viewability, […]

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts
  • Media

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts

APN Outdoor has used its annual general meeting to announce three key contract renewals: Transport for Brisbane, Transdev Melbourne and Adelaide & Parafield Airports, for multiple years. Company CEO and managing director, James Warburton, said: “These contracts represent an important part of our advertising offering. The far-reaching impact they provide delivers a compelling proposition and cements our commitment […]

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren

It's the latest in our Women In Media profiles, and this one is so good you'll possibly get a nervous twitch somewhere.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers
  • Marketing
  • Media

LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers

M&C Saatchi Group’s customer engagement specialist agency, LIDA, has crafted an initial eight-episode series of bite-sized animated videos designed to help busy marketers stay ahead of the game. ‘60 Second Gets’ draws on LIDA’s wealth of experience to unpack the latest industry tools, tech and thinking. Launching today, the first video, ‘Success in 6 Seconds’, […]

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking
  • Campaigns

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking

Today Naked launches its ‘Start Talking’ campaign for Gidget Foundation Australia; a not-for-profit that provides support for families who are affected by perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA). The centrepiece of the campaign is a powerful TVC that brings to life this common, but often hidden illness, and shows how Gidget Foundation’s ‘Start Talking’ telehealth program […]

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums
  • Marketing
  • Technology

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums

For the first time ever, AFL spectators will be able to view real-time Telstra Tracker player data via in-stadium LED signage, thanks to the combined efforts of Telstra, Champion Data and MKTG. By integrating the Telstra Tracker data into the LED signage at the MCG and Etihad Stadium, fans will receive contextually relevant information from […]

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering
  • Marketing

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering

Scentre Group has unveiled a new brand look and feel coinciding with the re-launch of the Westfield.com.au and Westfield.co.nz sites. This digital-first visual identity sees a shift towards creating a more contemporary, invigorated and colourful brand, reflective of Westfield’s in-centre experience. The iconic Westfield logo will continue to lead brand communications, supported with a new […]

The Age Of The Ephemeral: Why Experiential Marketing Is Compulsory This Year
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

The Age Of The Ephemeral: Why Experiential Marketing Is Compulsory This Year

In this guest post, Keep Left’s head of consumer engagement, Johanna Murray (pictured below), explains the merits of experiential marketing, as well as sharing some tips on how to do it – and do it well. Humans love to label things – especially intangible things, like time. We like eras and ages and eons because they […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

The Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018

This trends report is a must-read for all marketers, although it contains no news on the return of the bubble perm.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Give And Take Feedback At Work
  • Opinion

How To Give And Take Feedback At Work

Georgia Murch (pictured below) is an expert in creating feedback cultures and author of Feedback Flow; The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Embed Change in 90 Days. In this guest post, Murch offers her tips on giving (and receiving) feedback from colleagues without botching it up… We all know that feedback matters.  Most of us want the good, the bad and the […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney

Have you completely forgotten what Sydney looks like? Well, thankfully this story comes with a handy pictorial reminder.

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV
  • Media

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV

SBS Radio has announced two new digital radio stations – SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and a refresh of SBS Radio 3 – is now available on digital TV. SBS Radio 3 will broadcast world news and current affairs from the BBC World Service (previously airing on SBS Radio 4 on digital radio) and special events […]

Aussies Invited To ‘Money With Sunny’ In New Suncorp Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Aussies Invited To ‘Money With Sunny’ In New Suncorp Campaign

At a time when more than two thirds of Australians are feeling confused and concerned about their finances, Suncorp has unveiled a new creative platform focused on making the complex simple. In a move that expands the brand beyond the sunshine state, Suncorp’s strategic approach is all about helping Australians focus on what they do […]

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive

For its first Australian campaign, Champion has partnered with creative and content agency Emotive to launch a music program titled ‘Revealed’. The program champions emerging Australian artists by intimately telling their story through video, and providing funding and creative support to create world class music videos for new release music. The first Revealed artist is […]

Finalists (And Host) Announced For Siren Awards 2018
  • Media

Finalists (And Host) Announced For Siren Awards 2018

Finalists for the best radio ad for 2018 have been announced, with 10 of Australia’s leading agencies from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth competing for the coveted Gold Siren. The finalists include The Monkeys, Clemenger BBDO, Marketforce, J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy, BMF, McCann, YR, Fenton Stephens, and The Brand Agency. One half of last year’s winning […]

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India
  • Marketing

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India

Australian-owned call analytics provider Delacon has continued its international expansion, opening an innovation centre in India to service local and global partners, and develop the next generation of call tracking and analytics solutions. The office in Chennai is the eighth for the Sydney-headquartered business, which enables brands and agencies to optimise marketing campaigns by accurately […]

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It
  • Marketing

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It

Sydney brand and digital agency Protein has been appointed to handle the retail and digital roll-out of recycling company Return-It, which has just been announced as the container collection network for the ACT. Return-It awarded the work to the 17-year strong agency, following Protein’s tender support and brand development of the retail concept. The public-facing […]

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure
  • Opinion

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure

This is an excellent article about celebrating failure. Although, admittedly, we failed to get to the very end of it.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt

Kimmie Neidhardt doesn't just have a very cool name, as you'll read here. There's a good head on those shoulders, too.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine