The Middle East’s media talent pool is notoriously competitive, and with the rise of the Millennial workforce, businesses need to re-evaluate their approach to hiring and retaining the best people. In 2016, despite slow industry growth in general, there has been consistent demand for quality digital talent and strategic positions. The competitive nature of the marketing and advertising field means we will continue to see demand for experts in the rapidly developing fields of digital, data and analytics.
Millennials are no longer looking for a job. They are pursuing experiences that will adequately equip them for a career in the digital economy. We are lucky to attract caliber Millennials due to our ability to offer such opportunities. While Millennials are known to be jumpy, agencies must look to retain its talent by offering a range of training and development as well as a clear career path via a robust development framework.
At Dentsu Aegis Network, our development tool is called Horizons, where all employees have a clear understanding of what’s expected of them in their current role while also being able to look at a growth ladder towards potential future roles and find out where they need to develop their capabilities. We also like to ensure that our people’s personal development supports their career ambitions. We offer the opportunity to work in any of our nine network brands in digital, content, media, PR, sports sponsorships and more. They can also transfer to work in any one of the 145 countries Dentsu Aegis Network operates in. In 2016 alone, five employees have moved between brands or markets.
This range of autonomy and flexibility is very important to Millennials who are constantly expecting more than just a salary with benefits from their workplace. Reward and recognition must go beyond monthly salaries, increments and bonuses. We believe that by meeting these expectations with the right company culture, opportunities and work life balance, we can prevent the cycle of jumping and create not only loyal employees but also strong brand advocates for the agency. Our people are our best brand ambassadors and we need to enable them to be the change agents and our chief storytelling officers.
Currently 60 percent of our workforce is Millennials. By 2020, we believe this will be closer to 80 percent. When attracting diverse and multi-generation talent we have implemented a robust acquisition process at Dentsu Aegis. This includes a 12-month internship program that allows candidates to experience several disciplines in media and digital but also support functions IT and HR. I’m happy that many candidates later take on full time positions. We have also redesigned our candidate experience to provide hires with the right information to make their career decision. Often this includes spending time with their potential new team in the office and social environments.
The most important factor to encourage employee engagement and loyalty is the company’s culture and values. This is what differentiates one company from another and the building blocks for any employer-employee relationship. Giving responsibility and encouraging employees to be pioneering and agile, in an environment where they are enabled to ask, grow and learn foster a high performance culture that makes people want to stay for the long term.