Let’s Help Our Talent Survive The Coronavirus Employment Crisis

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One of our values as a business has always been “to do the right thing” and right now that can only be about supporting the amazing talent we face the prospect of losing, through no fault of their own, from the global media, advertising and marketing industry. The economic impact of Covid-19 is massive, looming large over employers, and we must, as an industry, do all we can to support the talent being displaced now and over the coming weeks and months. This is particularly important when we consider where the impact is most likely to fall – on younger talent and, as early indications show, women, in particular. We have been making some progress as an industry to try and become more diverse, albeit there is much to do, as highlighted, most recently through the Black Lives Matter movement. We cannot let the effects of this pandemic reverse the gains that have been made or indeed knock us off course with our desire to urgently address the need to build a more diverse workforce.

This is why we have launched TRANSITION. The idea came out of a brainstorm back in April as we started to see the effects of recruitment freezes, furloughing and the beginnings of redundancies. Our team got to work, made contact with our network who fully engaged alongside us to create the TRANSITION website free of charge, to provide relevant content (tips, talks, training) and job opportunities from companies who are in the fortunate position of still hiring – all in one place.

We launched on June 4 and have had thousands of unique visits to the site, with hundreds of individuals registered in the first three weeks. The responses have been across the industry: 46% from agencies, 54% from brands/media owners; 38% from the US, 40% from EMEA and 22% from APAC.

As we have engaged with this new community, it is clear many feel isolated and alone, understandably so when faced with the possibility of redundancy and even more if they have been made redundant. By rallying as an industry together we can make them feel that they are not being forgotten and give them some hope of finding a new role going forward.

We are being supported by companies who are in the fortunate position to be recruiting – we have had got jobs being featured from brands like O2/ Telefonica, Diageo, Amazon, Snap Inc, Fortnum & Mason, the AA, Headspace; media owners like Channel 4, agencies like Havas Health, Karmarama, Vayner Media, wearesocial, AnalogFolk, consultancies like Deloitte . The roles are from across the globe too, from San Francisco to Singapore. But we are still looking for more, so I urge any organisation who is looking to fill advertising /marketing orientated roles please do use TRANSITION.

Many companies are doing all they can to retain talent as we start to emerge from the pandemic but we also know that as furloughing and other government support packages get withdrawn, more redundancies are coming. We are calling on those companies to direct their people to the TRANSITION website as a way of hopefully supporting them during this painful process.

The support of the trade bodies, associations and wider industry organisations has been phenomenal. To date, we have had over 30 get involved including the World Federation of Advertisers, Marketing Society, Advertising Association, IPA, 4A’s, DMA, PRCA, D&AD – too many to mention here so please look at the website. We are very grateful for the support they are offering whether it providing relevant content in the form of advice, access to training, invitations to webinars as well as spreading the word of TRANSITION to their members. All helping us achieve our aim of bringing our industry together, to collaborate with all who make it so great, and to reach everyone who will need support and give them the chance of moving forward with their careers.

More recently, we have received even more support from the industry through the outdoor sector particularly. Through Posterscope and the generosity of Ocean Outdoor and Outfront Media, an outdoor campaign has launched across London including Piccadilly Circus), Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Edinburgh and soon to travel across the Atlantic and the iconic Times Square in New York. The creative was kindly produced by the award-winning adam&eveDDB and we have been receiving some great PR coverage through the industry media.

For an industry totally reliant on its people, the coronavirus is going to have a huge impact. The big challenge for us all is how we ultimately come out of this crisis stronger, with a talent pool fit for the future of media, advertising and marketing as we all want it to be. If you can help, please join us and give us your support.

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