The ‘Great Resignation’ is currently a hot topic for the media and businesses, as an unprecedented number of people plan to seek new employment in the months ahead. This is due to a shift in focus down to the growing importance of flexibility, hybrid working, workplace benefits and a healthy work-life balance. Companies that embrace this change will be able to attract and retain the talent they need at a time where the number of job vacancies is at an all-time high, yet skills are scarce.

Talented creative and marketing professionals have been in an interesting position for the past few years, either seen as vital to disaster recovery during the pandemic or as a means of supporting business growth in uncertain times. Digital transformation has changed customer expectations and marketing departments, in-house teams and creative agencies are all scrambling to find candidates with the skills they need to drive business growth in the digital age.

What is the ‘Great Resignation’?

Our recent survey on LinkedIn revealed that 74% of employees will be looking for a new venture in 2022. Many employees are rethinking what employment looks like for them, as they have a renewed sense of what they want from their careers.

Many are driven to create a more fulfilling work-life balance and want to feel valued by their employers. As a result, they are moving to companies that can meet their needs at a time where candidates are firmly in the driving seat.

Why is key creative talent migrating?

There are many factors that are prompting creative or marketing talent to leave, but the most common reasons cited by employees are:

Better pay77% of those considering a move to another company say that they are being driven by an increase in wages.

Better work environment – employees increasingly want to work for organisations which support and engage them. 96% of employees think empathetic leadership increases their desire to stay with a company.

Greater potential for advancement47% of workers feel that a lack of opportunities to advance professionally is causing them to leave their current company.

Flexible working72% of office workers would prefer to work more flexibly rather that return to the office full-time, even if they made more money in a nine-to-five.

Approaches and strategies for retaining talent

Now we know why creative employees are choosing to leave, we can look at some innovative employee retention strategies and approaches to retaining talent, such as:

1. Evaluating compensation levels and be transparent about pay

Employees don’t want to feel that newer employees are more likely to be paid at market rate while they continue at pre-inflation wages. Evaluate your current compensation levels and bring them in line with expectations.

This is also a good time to be transparent about pay bands. Even if you are unable to raise compensation your employees will appreciate honesty and openness surrounding the issue and be more likely to stick with you if policies are fair.

2. Embracing flexibility

Allow employees to work more flexibly through hybrid and remote working models. Make sure you take the opportunity to give employees the chance to comment on and shape the direction of their return to the office.

You might also consider a more flexible approach to hiring. Re-examine your requirements and look for candidates with transferable skills or who can be trained in the skills you need to widen your talent pool.

3. Considering hiring freelancers and contractors

Many talented creatives and marketers who have re-evaluated what they want from their careers are considering the move to working as freelancers or contractors. Hiring freelance and contracting staff is a cost-effective way to keep this talent and expertise at your disposal and gives you access to a global talent pool. You also retain greater flexibility when it comes to being able to scale your teams up or down.

4. Investing in company culture

Prioritise creating a workplace culture that fosters connection and wellbeing. Open lines of communication by putting in place robust feedback procedures, encourage an approachable and supportive attitude amongst your leadership team and make sure that you address employee concerns quickly.

Developing a healthier work environment may also include giving employees access to wellbeing programmes, mental health support and making workplace policies on holidays and parental leave more inclusive.

5. Providing opportunities for professional development

Offer employees a clear path for growth and opportunities to develop new skills and hone existing ones. Take advantage of the skills that already exist in your company by offering mentorships schemes to promising junior staff and make goal setting a part of evaluation procedures.

Remember to get feedback from your employees. What do they want to see as part of their professional development?

How can DMCG help?

If you are looking for advice on how to create a recruitment strategy that attracts the best creative and marketing talent available, we can help. Our global talent consultancy at DMCG Global can connect you to quickly with talented individuals anywhere on the planet. If you are looking for high-calibre professionals and would like a bespoke, high-quality recruitment service, our expert consultants will be happy to help. Get in touch below to find out more.