Educating young people about the positives of a career in advertising and ensuring employees benefit from comprehensive learning and development is vital to attract and retain the best advertising industry talent. This is the rallying call to action delivered by Richard Aldiss in his inaugural address as new IPA Chair for England and Wales.
Aldiss’s talent agenda feeds into the aims of IPA President Josh Krichefski’s People First agenda, launched last month, and focuses on three core areas:
Awareness and a positive perception of our industry as a viable and appealing career option for those at the very start of their career planning journey is crucial to attracting talent, explains Aldiss.
As someone who struggled at college, failed his A-levels and didn’t go to university, one of the key pillars of L&D that resonates with me is experiential learning. On the job experience is key, and I want to get more young people into our agencies to learn about the breadth of specialisms and careers our industry has to offer.
To address this, Aldiss’s first ask of IPA agency members is to join him in getting behind the IPA’s Advertising Unlocked scheme - the largest industry-wide careers ‘open day’ where the advertising industry welcomes the next generation of talent from local schools and colleges. This year’s Advertising Unlocked Day, for which his agency McCann Manchester, will once again be participating, takes place on 15 November, when agencies will be revealing how campaigns are made, what it’s like to work in advertising and giving students the opportunity to work on a brief. Agencies have until Friday 28 April to sign-up, via the IPA.
In setting out his second agenda point to encourage agencies to embrace learning and development as a means to retain and nurture talent, Aldiss explains that he will work closely with the IPA to:
A programme of Continued Professional Development (CPD) fuels a virtuous circle that benefits our people, our work, our clients and our businesses. Furthermore, some of the best CPD success stories come from low-cost initiatives and more easily observable results.
Building on his L&D focus and for his third agenda point, Aldiss will be encouraging agencies to strive for the highly regarded accolade of IPA CPD Gold. To achieve this, they will need to demonstrate a genuine culture of learning and measure the positive impact of L&D on staff retention, business growth, and client satisfaction.
Helping them on this journey, Aldiss highlights the support of the IPA CPD team and the upcoming CPD Best Practice Webinar and CPD Gold Webinar, to be held in May. There will also be lessons to heed from the successful 2022 CPD Gold winners to be announced next week.
In summing up his agenda launch to the business, Aldiss concludes: "Our aim has to be to help people be the best they can be whilst they are with us and make sure they are granted the opportunity through L&D that lets them achieve this. I very much look forward to representing and working with you all over the coming months and to learn more about how the IPA can help your people, our industry’s reputation and in turn your business. And if I can leave you with one last thought: A well-known quote from Benjamin Franklin – 'Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn…'"
Appointed Managing Director at McCann Manchester in 2017, Aldiss has been with McCann for 30 years. Joining the Manchester agency in 1997 as a media group head after an eight-year stint at the network’s Birmingham office, he has held a number of leadership roles at the 380-strong agency including head of channel planning. During his journey with McCann he has worked with clients in just about every conceivable sector. As MD he is board-level lead across clients including Magnet Kitchens, Smyths Toys, Miller Homes, Key Retirement and Irish Ferries.
Prior to his appointment as IPA England & Wales Chair, Aldiss held the position of IPA City Head for Manchester and the North West (2021-2023).
Having lived and worked in the North West for the majority of his life, Aldiss is very familiar with the creative landscape in Manchester and the wider region and passionate about the cosmopolitan city maintaining its position as a vibrant hub owning creative excellence.