Critical Mass US
Fri, 02 Sep 2022 14:46:46 GMT
As the talent wars continue – and gen z demands an entirely new way of working – digital agency Critical Mass is investing $25 million over five years in developing junior talent with training, onboarding, mentorship, and hands-on access to client work.
Critical Mass wants to change the way the industry invests in young talent and career switchers with the launch of Trailhead, a career accelerator for the next generation of talent.
In the advertising industry, new graduates are often expected to take internships rather than offered a permanent position. Just as often, junior talent is relegated to roles that don’t allow them to grow and learn at the pace they’re capable of, rather than giving them real client work. Internships are (typically) underpaid, robbing companies of top talent who can’t afford to take a job for the experience alone.
All of these realities tend to fall hardest on young BIPOC talent, and the Trailhead program is committed to addressing these inequities both through the program's structure and investments in partnerships.
To add to the complexities, there’s often not much room for junior talent to mess things up, learn from it, and move forward. Critical Mass wants to create a culture where being a work-in-progress is embraced (and celebrated). Trailhead is designed to be an inclusive space for the next generation of talent to develop their craft, be inspired, and bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the larger agency.
The program has three tracks: post-grad junior talent, career changers and student interns. Each person will be placed with a fixed cohort, allowing them to build community while giving them runway to share insights on the trends and culture shaping their generation. For post-grad incoming talent, the program offers permanent roles, rather than starting with trial roles and internships.
The program also focuses on career changers – candidates looking to break into the industry or transfer skills from another discipline. By offering them full-time roles with surrounding support and training, the Trailhead program aims to set them up for success. Career changers are a piece of global talent that our industry is largely missing, and these creative minds are often overlooked.
Trailhead acknowledges how hard it is to break into the creative industry. So the team recruits beyond the typical schools and looks for candidates from non-traditional backgrounds (like theatre, homeware design and non-profits). No matter where they come from, Trailhead is a place for them to take risks, try new things, and grow their careers.
As part of the program, talent will have access to career coaching through Bravely, an option typically not afforded to talent until much later in their careers. Junior talent can work through how to give feedback, or how to deal with unfair treatment. Bravely acts as an extra arm of support for all our employees globally, in addition to the CM talent team.