Member Q&A Series: The 2022 Industry Talent Report

On September 15, 2022 Research & Resources

We recently released the updated IAB Australia 2022 Industry Talent Report (link to this report is at the bottom of this Q&A article) which showed that the Australian digital advertising and ad tech industry job vacancy rates have continued to climb, reaching 11.8% – an increase of 2% points higher than in September 2021 when the market was already suffering a severe talent shortage.

Despite this increase, the data from the report also suggested that the job vacancy rate may be close to peaking, with an increasing number of companies reporting no job vacancies.

In this week’s Member Q&A – we have collated some feedback on the report and general related advice from members of our Talent & Careers working group.

Marcelle Gomez, NSW Managing Director – iProspect Australia

The job vacancy rate has seen an increase YOY, 2% points higher than September 2021 and 70% of the open roles are ideally suited for people with five or less years’ experience. Do you have any insight as to why this is the biggest bracket wanted and do you have any advice for those who are in this bracket currently looking for work?

There are so many options available to junior talent in market across the marketing and advertising industry, even more so when it comes to digital. This myriad of opportunities exist across client, publisher and agency and because there are more roles than talent, salaries are inflated and competition is fierce to attract and retain top talent.

I think the problem stems from entry level roles and low awareness of our industry and the career opportunities available to people. Which is then compounded by churn as people burnout, decide on a career change or move overseas. Most people in the industry tend to fall into it – awareness of media planning and buying as a career prospect with graduates is low and we need to work together as an industry to address this.

At dentsu, we have created our own graduate program, Basecamp, which launched earlier this year to help attract and nurture upcoming talent of the future – helping to address this challenge from grassroots.

For anyone actively looking for work, I would suggest being really clear about what you are looking for in your next role. My advice is to:

  1. Be clear about your non-negotiables – what are things you are unwilling to compromise on when it comes to your decision-making process? Know this upfront and evaluate opportunities based on this priority list.

  2. Research the role and prospective employer before you interview and come prepared with a few questions to demonstrate this.

  3. Think about your mid to long-term prospects – what training and learning programs are offered? How will the company support your personal development and career aspirations?

  4. Make sure you find a cultural and values fit – we spend more time at work with our colleagues than anyone else, so you need to enjoy spending time with them, be able to learn from them and be aligned in mindset and working towards the same goals.

Sorrel Osborne, Head Of Business Operations – Playground XYZ

Whilst we have seen an increase in women in senior leadership roles, there is still quite a way to go to create a more level playing field. Do you have any advice for women keen to work towards stepping into senior roles? 

It’s great to see how many women are stepping up and into leadership roles in our industry.  This is happening alongside more and more gender diverse panels, thought leadership voices and especially representation in areas where traditionally we haven’t sat, like tech, engineering, senior commercial and management roles.

This increase means more and more women can see what they want to be, which is such a crucial part of continuing the growth of women in leadership for our industry.

My advice would be to put your hand up for the opportunities and seek them out if not apparent, even if you’re not entirely sure what it is you’re wanting to do/be or whether you’re experienced enough to do it. Taking a first step is the first step.

I really routinely see a lot of great women second guessing whether they’re ‘ready’ ‘experienced enough’ or ‘suitable’ for a new role within their company or another company and that has to change.

While I realise this is an age-old, industry non-specific challenge – I’ve found that, given the heavy tech focus of our industry, this is only more significantly a challenge for women in media. 

If you think there’s even a chance that you’d like to try a new role or throw your hat into the ring on a new opportunity, please please do it! There is never anything that won’t help your experience. Even if, this time around, you don’t get that role, you get the experience of speaking to the decision makers for that role and future ones – so put yourself out there, I’m sure you’d be surprised where that may lead. 

The job vacancy rate has seen an increase YOY, 2% points higher than September 2021 and 70% of the open roles are ideally suited for people with five or less years’ experience. Do you have any insight as to why this is the biggest bracket wanted and do you have any advice for those who are in this bracket currently looking for work?

What I have always loved about working in media is that so many great people get opportunities to grow themselves and their career a lot earlier compared to most other industries. I myself, thanks to the mentorship and leadership of great people, managed to get a start on a leadership position within the first 5 years

I know at Playground XYZ, we’ve had the pleasure of introducing a number of new managers this year who have been promoted from within and who do have <5 years of experience.

These opportunities mean that we always need a fresh new group of brilliant people with <5 years of experience to ensure we have the talent to fill new leadership positions that strong growth in a variety of organizations can create. So, it doesn’t surprise me that this is where media is most crying out for great talent.

They’re all incredibly talented and passionate members of our teams and the ability to support their career growth like this, should be one the most important parts of any media organisation’s role.

The increase in vacancy rate isn’t surprising for me either as I think a lot of businesses are still effectively playing catch up after a number of COVID hiring initiatives (freezing, slow down) which is combining with accelerated growth plans and creating the perfect storm of both a lag to catch up from COVID and a forward-looking growth gap to fill.

Jonas Jaanimagi, Technology Lead – IAB Australia

It was heartening to see some signs that the talent related pressures have hopefully now peaked here in Australia. Also positive was the recent news of the federal government’s decision to raise Australia’s permanent migration cap by 35,000 and to increase the salary cap. Both decisions will help somewhat to address some of the current skills shortages in our industry which is still desperate to fill both fairly standard industry roles, alongside the permanently hard-to-fill specialist roles.

This comes through clearly in the updated list of in-demand roles, which highlights both requirements – but it is still standard account management and sales roles that remain most in demand, and this specific need has grown since we ran the last report 9 months ago. To respond this we, as an industry body, are focusing on training to support this need and obviously our Mentorship Program has also been doing it’s bit to support the next generation of local digital talent for the last 3-4 years.

The other topic that always concerns me personally are some of the negative impacts of the ongoing shortages, particularly as we enter the incredibly busy (and stressful) Q4 period. It’s a time when digital businesses being cognisant of how their people are coping is highly recommended, and trying to balance this with the inevitable pre-Xmas commercial pressures is always hard for management.

However, some of the topics in the list below are particularly concerning at this time – and we strongly recommend that everyone be aware of their limitations, be prepared to seek support if required and culturally be empathetic of how you, your teams and your partners/clients are coping over the next 3-4 months.

To view the updated 2022 Industry Talent Report, please simply click on the link below…