close menu

Advertising industry has limited career training for juniors

The advertising sector creates high barriers to growth for newcomers. According to the IPA’s annual research, the rate of training new talent shows no sign of significant change. In 2021, the new employee recruitment rate between companies is 26.8%. Less than 4% down from 2014. Ian Priest, the founding partner of VCCP, emphasized that advertising’s employee enrollment record is a “pretty embarrassed number”.

A lot of young people feel lost in the digital advertising industry in Vietnam today. There is a huge distance between the experienced foregoer and nonexperienced starter.

The cause 

The reasons why young people face obstacles when entering the advertising environment in Vietnamese agencies are as follows:

“Newbie” label

The label newcomers to someone puts a lot of pressure on them. With young people, they are unprepared for this as each working environment has its advantages and disadvantages. At the beginning of their career, the juniors need time to learn the general rules of the agency to best adapt. For example: instead of working at a fast pace, they should slow down and focus on their thinking (low pace). Listen more and talk less. Debate minor and prove major. Quietly give ideas and act humorous at the right time.

Although the Vietnamese agencies put themselves in the shoes of newcomers to meet the needs of young people. But this is very limited in practice.

Communication panic

Perhaps the required skill of the digital advertising environment is proper communication. In school, we communicate based on the formula model or “learn by heart”. However, professional agencies demand more than that. Young juniors need to be provided with authentic experiences to push boundaries. They must forget “books” to communicate in their new environment. Here are some examples of communication skills:

  • Active listening techniques and seeking clarifications
  • Non-verbal communication (body language)
  • Showing respect to everybody
  • Adjusting voice volume while speaking
  • Giving the true and honest feedback
  • Emotional and feeling control
  • Words choice wisely in communication

So nervous to communicate, career advancement opportunities will be “zero” for young people. Communication/ interpreting skills are a must and are one of the top assets employers are looking for in new hires.


In agencies, all employees are asked to have a multi-tasking mindset. Because every colleague is so different. Each individual possesses a dynamic and organized set of characteristics. Cultural diversity is the norm. Then, the common in the agency should be attitudes, goals, and motivations. Most newcomers lack of these skills. During the interview process, the hiring managers often mention beliefs, attitudes, and soft skills. It means they need changes and new ideas. Single-tasking mindset will not fit in their company. 

As a result, newcomers to the agency are expected to do more than complete a task list. Although not all become “leaders” immediately. However, everyone should have a “start-up” spirit to succeed.

Count on “HR”

This is considered the “ooh hello HR” motive. By default, employees like to rely on the “HR” department in an agency environment. Even managers, team leaders and senior members often convince the human resources division to help young employees. This leads to newcomers looking to “HR” more.

Many studies show performance for employees in a new role takes not a week, not a month, but 12 months! Therefore, quality training will help new employees master what they need to know.

Effective training process

For all of the above reasons, agencies need to support and lead new hires during the first few years. Here are some tips on how to train new talent:

Value trust 

Advertising is an industry that fosters dreams and confidence. Trust is the most powerful tool to the recruitment process. How many times have you heard of the saying “do not give me anything ambiguous”. We want to stop people from thinking about failure. We want to give the juniors an opportunity.

Improve performance

Professional development may sound outdated, but it is really necessary. To create improvements, you can look for solutions to invest in new employees’ capacity. All the long, evaluate the competency of employees to drive the growth of the agency continuously.

Encourage to shine

Normally, in meeting with clients, the young people do not attend. Ownership is something that young people should have. The brands love fresh thinking, so we need to change this stereotype.

Provide instructions

Directions from supervisors can ensure that new employees are enhanced in productivity. Both working skills and good citizenship enables young juniors to work well. Examples: Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) training course, Treatment training, Inclusive recruitment, Anti-discrimination, Gender equality, Disability awareness, Diversity inclusion, etc.

Match creatives

Help the young employees broaden their creative skills with an exchange program. You can swap new employee positions with an employee at another agency branch. This method is suitable for foreign agencies with offices in Vietnam.

Regularly, employees with similar knowledge and experience will cover each other while swapping jobs. The results are above expectations. They quickly improve their skills whenever they return to their original positions.

Honor contribution

Recognition/ reward is key to retaining gifted talent. Even young talent owns a growth mindset and just applies to an agency that is committed to their breakthrough career. Thanks to the close support from the agency, they will become more loyal.

Today, digital advertising agencies have started using rewards programs in their recruitment process.


We need to see a positive value of young talent as depth experience and proof of resilience.

Why agency is famous for the high-pressure environment and long working hours? Inside an advertising agency, you can make employees proud of what they do. Stop assuming young people are not ready for their careers. Let young people keep learning and challenging themselves.