Put a door in this brick wall

Kendall Tarrant’s report on graduate recruitment (MW August 28) raises valid points on the need for the creative disciplines to join forces to attract top graduates back to the industry.

But will we honestly see the below-the-line agencies following their larger peers in taking graduate recruitment seriously? By my estimate, fewer than five per cent of agencies consistently recruit graduates, and fewer still run a graduate training scheme. Is this really good enough?

Recently, I’ve heard too many agency people moan about the lack of strong account managers available, while simultaneously refusing to employ graduates. It’s time graduates were not seen as a dispensable luxury, but as a vital lifeline to an agency’s future talent.

Looking ahead, where will this failure to recruit young blood leave the industry in two years? In my opinion, with an irreversible drought of the strong account people it so badly needs. My company is consistently briefed to find “good account managers”, but where do agencies think these people will appear from if they refuse to invest in junior staff?

The problem facing the industry is that no one wants to touch graduates without experience, yet everyone wants graduates to have worked for one or two years in the industry. Clearly action is needed to solve this dilemma, or marketing services – like advertising – will continue to lose the best graduates to other disciplines and industries.

Jack Gratton

Chief executive

Major Players

London WC2

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