A satisfying career in the advertising and media industry needs more than the shaky but comforting progress of the drinks trolley leading the way to another weekend.

The industry is currently going through something of a talent squeeze with some roles in high demand and the prospect of strengthening salaries.

Brands have returned to the market post the pandemic year of 2020, pushing media spend to growth for the first time in years.

This means opportunity. So, if you’re trying to decide where to land next take a look at this list, a top 10 in order: PHD, L&A Social Media, King Kong, Half Dome, OMD Australia, Active International, Hatched Media, M&C Saatchi, AFFINITY, and Hotglue.

They are from the 2021 AFR Boss Best Places to Work list for media and advertising. The assessment of the agencies was made up of a staff survey and a written submission on policies, practices and programs. The methodology is underpinned by Inventium’s Workplaces of the Future framework, which identifies ten factors to employees feeling motivated and engaged.

What made these agencies so special? Why would someone want to work there?

PHD won first place for its commitment to the wellbeing of its people, including learning and development.

Mark Jarrett, CEO of PHD Australia, says it’s been a continuing ambition for many years to make the company a great place to work.

“I think it’s a combination of a number of things… having a clear purpose, trying really hard to give the team and everyone opportunities to develop and be really engaged in their work,” he says.

“And also a sense of fairness and integrity in what we’re trying to achieve. I don’t think it’s one thing but those are some of the main points if you spoke to people here.

“The longer you’re here, the more holidays you get. We certainly focus on wellbeing and mental health and we’re running a number of things for our staff to ensure that they are looking after themselves.

“We invest a lot in learning and development and training. And we’re also really clear on the company’s purpose and vision. And there are a whole heap of social events.

“There are drinks as well, but also events with no drinks involved, whether it’s the boot camp we’re running in Sydney or the annual tennis tournament in Melbourne.”

In his five years at PHD Jarrett has enjoyed seeing the agency evolve and grow.

“Also a lot of the people, who have been along for some or all of that journey, have evolved and grown and changed,” he says.

“It’s been really rewarding seeing the journeys so many different people have made over that time.”

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