Could an Ogilvy Find a Job in Today’s AdLand?

Imagine a 30-something businessman man walking into a FORTUNE 500 company. He wants a job in advertising.

Does he have advertising or marketing experience? Sort of. Does working door-to-door sales count?

Does he have a degree in advertising or marketing? Nope, didn’t finish his studies at Oxford.

But his brother works at an agency…is that good enough?

Sadly, if this same scenario happened in 2016, we probably would not even hear the name of Ogilvy. Thank goodness he came of age in the 1930s.

The barriers of entry for advertising and marketing professionals in AdLand are confusing. With the ability for anyone to engage in some sort of marketing, it is certainly difficult to make a reputable living.

Also, with all the bad advertising out there, one would think that there are no real barriers for good professionals to overcome.

Think again.

AdLand, these days, are not very fond of outsiders. And that’s a shame, for when we look back through the decades, it has been those outsiders who have helped spurn the growth, change and prosperity of creative thinking and advertising. With AdLand shutting its doors on people with moderate or little experience, or refusing to provide opportunity for professionals who were successful elsewhere, it is sealing its own demise.

Yes, we understand that the ‘old guard’ can learn new techniques. There’s no question about that. But the way we do business and even think of business is changing, while AdLand is not. Our industry needs to pick it up in order to stay relevant and attract quality talent.

Our Suggestions:
1) Remove the “years of required experience”
We understand that in the past, it was thought that people had to have a specific amount of time to understand an industry, position, and what have you. But in the past, people did not have the amount of technology and information at their fingertips. Training, learning and on-the-job training is the best its ever been. You want to search for understanding and comprehension; a 3-year pro may have just as many contacts and have just as much insight as a 10-year pro. Give them both an open ear.

2) Be more open to diverse backgrounds
AdLand sucks these days at looking at people coming from different industries and disciplines. Perhaps it is the risk factor- because these people are supposed to contribute immediately and successfully, somebody not “matching the keyword search on the recruiting site” may not excel.

Though we understand, but the thinking is misguided.

If we are looking to fill a marketing manager position, and someone with a sales background and someone with a psychology background both apply, which one would you look at first?  Obviously in the LAME keyword search, the salesperson is going to look better.

But you can teach someone to sell. It’s harder to teach someone to examine how and why people think. We’re going with the psychology person. When we look at consumer behavior and consumer intent, that’s going to improve our marketing efforts. Not just a good salesperson.

3) STOP Relying on Keyword Searches!! 
Big brands are using keyword searches in resumes as a screening process for interviews. They want to make sure that the resume matches the job description. Though that’s fair, as more professionals learn that, guess what?

Professionals will simply copy and paste the job description in the resume, and modify it to make sure they still highlight what they’ve done. How’s that for unintended consequences?

Human resources need to treat their human capital like people. And you know, actually read stuff.

Well, those are our suggestions. Hope you enjoyed them.



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