McCann London has launched a new initiative which aims to diversify its next generation of employees by encouraging a broader spectrum of prospective candidates to consider a career in advertising. “Open Hour” is a weekly hour-long session of 15-minute one-on-one Skype calls, initially with CCOs and Co-Presidents of McCann London, Rob Doubal and Laurence (Lol) Thomson and will later be extended through senior management in disciplines including strategy, planning and new business. The sessions are targeted at anyone who is considering a career in advertising – and particularly those who hadn’t previously considered this career path but would like to find out more.
Open Hour will be advertised in schools and job centres across the country, aiming to spark interest in both schoolchildren who may not have decided on their career path and those changing careers at a later stage in life. It offers participants the opportunity to ask questions to advertising industry experts and can be used to show work or ask advice about working in the industry. The idea was conceived when current interns commented how difficult it can be to get a foot in the door in an increasingly competitive industry. The creative pair, alongside McCann London’s Group Head of Talent Rob Stone, offered Skype sessions to students who proactively contacted the agency. Following a warm reception and with a firm commitment to recruiting from varied backgrounds, ‘Open Hour’ is now being rolled out to encourage a path into advertising through non-obvious routes.
“At the heart of this initiative is the idea of accessibility. The best agency model is one which has multiple flexible models within it and Open Hour is one element of that”
Rob Doubal, CCO & Co-President, McCann London, said: “We’re basically bored of ourselves, and want to be surrounded by interesting people from all walks of life. The more budding submariners, junior venture capitalists, brick layers and monks we can get into the industry the better. If you know anyone completely wrong for the industry, tell them to skype us.” Rob Stone, Group Head of Talent, McCann London, added: “Our aim is to attract talent from beyond the usual routes of university and art college. We believe that hiring from various backgrounds gives us the breadth we need to truly understand our clients. We already recruit from diverse industries (for example fashion, music, and even the police force) but we want to take that a step further and give ourselves a broader base from which to build a diverse future workforce.”
McCann London is one of the most internationally awarded UK agencies this year. Its current internship programme recruits from Miami Ad School, IPA’s STEM programme and charity Art Against Knives. McCann London will partner with Creative Equals on this initiative.