“Our business is solely about talent. It’s 75% of our costs and 100% of our value”, says Christian de la Villehuchet, Global Chief Integration Officer at Havas and President of the European Association of Communications Agencies.

Talent is on everyone’s lips, from big holding groups to National Associations. The communications industry is facing a talent crisis, both on the recruitment side and the retention of employees. On the one hand, the younger generations have different expectations when it comes to working in advertising – and the pandemic enhanced new ways of working, a need for flexibility and a clear separation line between work and life. On the other hand, people started migrating to greener pastures: 1 in 7 advertising people will likely leave the industry for good.

The talent topic unites several of EACA’s work streams: DEI, and our commitment to making the industry a more welcoming one for absolutely everyone, edcom, the network of universities from across the continent, the education task force and our National Association’s work to increase the reputation of the industry, as well as our partnerships with other organisations and associations for whom talent, or the lack of it, is also a genuine concern.

In 2022, together with edcom and with WARC’s support, we launched two simultaneous surveys aimed at identifying the gaps between students, aka soon-to-be-fresh-talent and the advertising agencies, aka the recruitment front. The results highlighted the chasm between the two groups regarding the wanted skills and expectations, the students’ career inclinations, and the recruiters’ Achilles heel(s). All the details, numbers and conclusions have been drawn in the “Should I stay or should I go?” White Paper, launched in March 2023.

Should I stay or should I go?