Unhappy workers is an issue that has adland in a pincer movement, according to B&T’s salary survey.
Of the various questions we asked over the past few weeks, the need for talented people and the transient nature of employees shone through more clearly than much of the other results.
The findings reinforce previous articles B&T has penned that show the industry is still in search of a solution to massive structural changes visiting every corner of the industry.
While the boss of Clemenger BBDO, Andy Pontin, argued it was due to a dollar shortage, not a talent shortage, others were quick to pinpoint companies need to focus on culture, not just money, to have smiling employees.
And when it came to the B&T Salary Survey, the results were rather dismal.
When we asked ‘Has your salary ever had you questioning your career choice?’, the response was overwhelmingly positive, meaning people are on the look out for a new career.
Just 27 per cent of respondents ticked the ‘I love the job so the money’s not even a consideration’, box. Showing that the industry can be a young person’s game, 44 per cent of respondents answered selected the ‘I love the industry but am thinking of retraining to make more money’.
While encouragingly only 8 per cent of respondents selected our choice of ‘Not a day goes by that I think about quitting the money’s so bad’, a more ominous 28 per cent selected the ‘The education and hours required in the industry simple aren’t worth the salaries on offer’, response.
When we asked the more blunt question of ‘Are you actively looking for a new, higher paying role?’, only 38 per cent of respondents said ‘No, I’m happy where I am’.
Eleven per cent of respondents agreed with us that ‘Yes, but no-one is hiring’, while 13 per cent admitted that ‘Yes every headhunter in town has my CV’.
However employers can turn it around, with 37 per cent of employees said they ought to be looking, but currently weren’t when they selected the ‘No, but you just reminded me that I should be’, response.
“I enjoy my work and the people in the business but the company pays well below the industry average. I am looking to get a job at another company now,” one respondent said in the survey.
Another respondent wrote: “Present employer banks on being a big brand to pull in eager employees – they have admitted to paying $10-20k less on most roles because they can, as people will come for the name. But the name doesn’t pay my mortgage, my salary does!”
Meanwhile, when we asked respondents to explain what sacrifices they had made to work in the industry, one respondent said: “I still stay in backpacker accommodation on holidays or else I’d never be able to leave. And I’ve just come to accept I will never be a home owner.”
However one respondent had this sage advice: ‘The advice I got when I wanted to go into advertising was “You’ll be underpaid for the first half of your career and overpaid for the last half”. That’s 100 per cent been my experience to date.’
So hang in there might be a good take away.