As client needs change, it’s time to stop the skills rot

Having spent the past five years observing our industry from a human resources perspective, I have found that too many people today have skills that are not sufficiently tuned to meet the growing needs and demands of clients, which expect their design consultancies to supply fully integrated communications solutions.

Furthermore, as these individuals have received little or no career mentoring, training or advice, they are not equipped to promote themselves effectively – a key ingredient, I would suggest, to facilitating their successful placement.

Creative businesses continue to focus on recruitment ‘quick fixes’, rather than planning for growth and broadening the skills of their existing employees.

The truth is that design agencies are in part responsible for creating the monster that is recruitment as we know it today. I maintain, therefore, that as a whole, the creative industry is doing itself no favours in its attempt to develop its resident, natural potential.

When people move on, they frequently don’t have the levels of experience to make a difference and seldom, it seems, are they rounded enough to transfer their knowledge to the next generation.

Without radical changes to how our industry represents itself, standards will continue to fall, and the ‘creative free for all’ we are now experiencing will become the norm.

Our industry is at an all-time low. Sure, there are businesses that remain ahead of the game, but we all should have a duty of care, because we want our industry to continue to make a difference.

Jon Alport

Managing director

Alport Consulting

Essex CB11 4NL

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