Talent War – Inside OMG’s program to lure career changers from other industries


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Advertising is now looking to other industries to attract talent to fill gaps in media agency ranks.

Omnicom Media Group (OMG) has invested $3 million in a program called [email protected] aimed at attracting career changers.

[email protected] provides successful applicants with all the training they need to change careers and launch a media career.

Just a week after the program was announced, OMG received more than 70 enrollments, many of them endorsed by current industry insiders.

OMG has encouraged existing employees to refer interested friends and family members.

The $3 million is just the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of what OMG is willing to spend on recruitment initiatives. Peter HornCEO of Omnicom Media Group Australia and New Zealand said AdNews.

“One component of that number is the cost of training, but the vast majority is the cost of the people with 30 people in the first tranche.

“If we like it, we flush, iterate and scale up the program pretty quickly.

“We’d like to run multiple programs in parallel, I think the maximum we could handle is one intake per quarter, but we’ll see how we go about it.

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“Insanity keeps doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

“We’ve been targeting graduates for ages, and we still have a talent crisis, so we have to think more laterally.

“So it seemed like a good idea to look at people from related industries where skills can parallel and also where they can bring different perspectives, diverse skills and just a fresh perspective.

“It’s a different approach to solving the pain some of our employees feel when empty desks sit next to them and work is still piling up.”

What if the 30 recruits get promotions from existing employees?

Horgan isn’t concerned: “I think the reality is that management is promoting people as fast as they dare in this current environment.

“The big pain point for our existing employees isn’t how fast do I get promoted? It’s the workload and the need to fill in the gaps.

“When the new people come in, they are seen more as cavalry coming to the rescue than a disgruntled cohort.

“Internally, the program has been very well received, our employees are excited that something meaningful is being done for them and provides a new channel for the entire industry to truly address these issues [talent] Print.”

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[email protected] is led by Alanna Bowman, a former Senior Investment Manager at PHD Sydney.

archer said AdNews: “Since our industry isn’t really well known to the general public, we believe that by getting industry people to recommend their friends, many applications will come.”

In practice, the program combines theoretical learning presented by OMG specialists and hands-on training in dedicated customer teams such as Telstra, Suncorp, Coles, Vic Gov, Unilever, VW, Asahi and ANZ Bank.

Participants have the opportunity to specialize in one of many areas such as programmatic, media investment or media planning.

Bowman said: “I think what is unique about this program is that candidates will be 100 per cent trained for two months and will not yet be on a client team. Instead, they learn all the basics and receive background information on media life.

“Then they spend one to two days in training and three to four days in a customer team.

“The idea here is that the training that usually comes from their team is done externally. For example, if a team really needs a TV buyer, the recruit can learn how to buy TV in the day or two of their kickstart training.

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“As such, the program takes the pressure off the client team to do 100% of the training themselves and instead allows the recruit to train in a larger group.

“It actually gives the customer team time back.

“This role of Account Executive and Account Manager is what we’re really looking for.

“I think the account manager role in particular can be quite difficult to find because if someone has been in the agency for a couple of years, they probably won’t move to another agency at the same level, they will rather choose a managerial level.

“As such, it can be really difficult to find people with that Account Exec level who have experience.

“People who come in at the Kickstart level are promoted to account manager after a year.”

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