I'll never forget a comment from former boss in 2008. "I like recessions, it means you can squeeze more out your people".
I'll let you decide on the moral implications of that comment.
But from a more practical perspective, while young people feel they have a strong work ethic, the pay and predictability of working in any kind of agency means it's just not the attraction it once was.
You have to be sure you like working with colourful, you have to like variety and not want to know precisely what you're doing this afternoon, let alone tomorrow. And, as The Rules State, you have to toughen up. Feedback is freely given, deadlines and changes of direction mean there will be out of hours working and stress, that's the job, that's the way it is.
So it needs to be as fun, interesting and fulfilling as possible.
Not made harder.
It's also the job of management to make sure their people are happy, that there is no unnecessary stress and people are allowed to flourish in their own way.
That wasn't the case with this boss and the organisation, which is why it's crawling into obsolescence. It was a place where your face had to fit, where the only way of doing things was One Way, and working 12 hour days was a badge of pride and a way to get acceptance, rather than an admission of not being efficient.
That won't cut it today, and, underneath the rubbish about the death of advertising etc, is why many creative agencies are not the robust species they used to be....they only get to hire one kind of person, the kind mad enough to give up their lives for work. That kind of person is rarer and rarer, and not that good at creativity, as ideas come from drawing new connections between a mind full of experiences and references, not trying a new variety of the same approach.
Our people are our best asset.