Organisations across many sectors, particularly in white-collar, office-based sectors such as consultancies, advertising, PR, etc, are facing challenges with recruitment and resourcing. As yet, there is little evidence that these challenges are subsiding quickly as life returns to ‘normal’ and people return to offices and/or hybrid working patterns.  

There has been much press coverage of ‘The Great Resignation’ with apparently high levels of job dissatisfaction, and unhappiness with company cultures, leading to employees feeling they have had enough and moving on. 

MRS working with Daughters of Sailors and Vela, have conducted some research to understand attitudes in the research and insight sector and what is driving the current talent shortages.  The initial top line figures were published earlier this year.  The full report is now available here.

Although some of the findings emerging from this research are concerning, it is clear this is not a situation facing our sector alone – however, it does not mean that specific action cannot be taken to look at the issues being faced, and start identifying actions that could be taken.

As a result of this research and its findings, MRS has established a new programme of work to look at People & Talent across the sector. This will comprise four key workstreams, each of which will have specific areas of focus to drive action and achieve real change. The workstreams are: 

  • New & returning talent which will consider recruitment targets, recruitment communications and channels, broadening out the UK University Roadshow programme and introducing a school’s outreach initiative to attract more apprentices and graduates into the sector.
  • Wellbeing which will review existing resources, such as those provided by the MRS Flex Forum and the Company Partner Service and enhance where necessary to ensure that research practitioners have the support they need.   
  • Professional learning & development which will review MRS’ current training and qualifications provision and oversee the new Market Research Executive apprenticeship programme and identify further apprenticeship opportunities to broaden out the pool of talent attracted to the research sector.  
  • Agency culture & leadership which will identify areas within the supply-side and other sectors where there is good employment practice and staff support and use these examples to identify areas where sector wide improvements can be made.  MRS will work with suppliers, across all levels of seniority, to make changes, where necessary, within their businesses to improve supply-side culture and leadership approaches. 

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