In an effort to attract talent from more diverse and non-traditional backgrounds, public relations and digital marketing agency Lewis, which counts Adobe and bareMinerals among its client base, is swapping credentials for the character. The move comes amid a flurry of new initiatives to bring talent into Adland as employees vacate.
New York-based agency Lewis announced today that it will not require job applicants to submit resumes, but instead invite them to share who they want to be. The initiative is designed to help the agency, which employs more than 500 people in 24 offices across North America, Europe and Asia, attract and retain younger and more diverse talent from a range of horizons and experiences.
The move comes as the advertising industry struggles to find and retain talent during what some are calling “the big resignation.”
To tap into young, diverse and perhaps non-traditional talent pools, Lewis encourages applicants to visit teamlewis.com/ER, where they are encouraged to use a single word to describe who they want to be and attach a link to their LinkedIn page. Lewis’ talent team will reach out to applicants to discuss their ambitions and see if they could be suitable for one of the more than 100 positions available with Lewis across the world.
“We understand that creativity comes from everywhere – so it’s important to include a variety of perspectives, because that’s where the best ideas come from,” Hillary Werronen, senior vice president of US operations, told The Drum. of the society. “And we also know that a traditional education isn’t for everyone and that a degree – or where your degree comes from – shouldn’t define what you want to do as a career. Different life experiences can contribute to the work you do, and it may not come from someone with an agency background or a degree. ”
A new generation of workplace ideals
The decision to “remove the CV” was made in response to an investigation by Lewis in conjunction with HeForShe, a gender equality initiative created by the United Nations. The study, which focused on Gen Z’s attitudes towards work, found that only 20% of Gen Z would work for a company that does not share their values, and 47% stated that if two candidates had the same qualifications, they would support the post. going to the “diverse candidate”. Considering that people between the ages of 15 and 24 now make up one-fifth of the global workforce, Lewis believes it’s more important than ever to meet the demands of this demographic.
The study also revealed “the effects of the Covid pandemic on groups like women, youth of the ‘Zoomer’ generation and the inequalities that have occurred in this industry upon exiting the pandemic,” Werronen said. . “The pandemic has caused a lot of people to look at their lives in general, where they want to make a change. A lot of people felt that the career was the easiest thing to be able to kind of connect and do something different. By focusing on who people are and who they want to be – rather than just their credentials – Lewis hopes to attract some of these people.
Social and personal impact
The move is the latest in a series of changes the agency has made over the past two years to support not only talent acquisition and retention, but professional development and job satisfaction as well. The company offers third-party career support and mental health resources to all employees. Plus, through its Cause program, every Lewis employee can select a nonprofit organization to receive $ 1,000. As part of the deal, Lewis offers creative ideas to the charity of his choice and, in some cases, takes on the creative work for the organization at no cost. “It has been a huge effort to help employees feel connected to the causes within their communities that have been affected by the pandemic,” said Werronen.
More recently, Lewis launched RISE Academy, a new program designed for non-degree holders and applicants with no marketing or digital training that offers training in lead generation, creative strategy, digital, content marketing, media production. , social media strategy and more. In some cases, participants have the option of working directly with Lewis clients. Successful participants may earn marketing certifications and may secure full-time positions with the agency. RISE Academy is part of the agency’s diversity, inclusion, communication and equality program.
Hiring during ‘the great resignation’
Calling to attract young and more diverse talent and from non-traditional backgrounds, Lewis’s decision to go without a CV reflects a broader trend within the industry as a whole. As the demand for talent exceeds supply – with new data suggesting that more than half of agency and marketer employees plan to change jobs or careers this year – agencies are investing in new ways to attract and retain talent as they compete with brands and the big technological players.
“The marketing industry and the tech industry – a lot of industries – have really struggled during what people are calling the ‘big resignation’ that we’re going through right now,” says Werronen. While she says Lewis has behaved well during the pandemic – and even increased his staff – it’s important to invest in new talent, and especially in new and diverse voices.
“What we’re trying to do is break down the barriers, so that no matter what group you fit into or how you categorize yourself, [that identity is] depending on what kind of job you want to do, who you want to be, what kind of changes you want to make in your life, ”she says. “In many cases, companies can focus only on salary, title or location. [But] there is a whole range of things that have an impact on what makes an employee successful in the job they do. And that really plays into more factors, like who they want to be as an individual. Do they want to be a help? Do they want to be creators? Paying attention to this is more than numbers. “