In my first two months as Director of Talent at Media Staffing Inc. I had the chance to place four candidates; here is an inside peek at what I learned in those early days.
The roles I placed were varied;
- A videographer/editor for a permanent role with a media company based in Nunavut
- A sales account executive for an OOH company
- A Media Supervisor with cross-platform traditional and digital planning and buying experience.
- A Media planner with cross-platform planning and buying experience.
Some surprises along the way;
- I thought finding someone willing to relocate to the far north for a permanent role, in a skill area where I had no personal contacts would be the hardest role to fill. It was not. It was my first assignment, and I crushed it using an atypical, creative outreach strategy.
- There needs to be more agency talent that has experience planning across all mediums. A lot of folks are siloed into a specific area. Fewer still have done the plan and executed the buy.
- The account executive role, which is the closest to my wheelhouse, and where I have the most connections, was the most challenging role to find excellent talent.
- 2 out of 4 candidates I placed were last-minute contenders when another preferred candidate was already being considered for an offer.
Lessons and takeaways;
- Leveraging established relationships and networking is the key to my success. People, even strangers, have been immensely helpful and kind. This is one of the reasons I love the media business. Networking should be a top priority.
- Many agencies have promoted staff much faster than usual as a retention strategy. Is it title and pay or just title and more responsibility? Hard to say. But it is effective. The downside? Media Supervisors with only a few years of planning experience. I see a lot of that, and I’m unsure if that’s the best for our long-term business.
- If you work agency side and want to open up career opportunities, figure out a way to work and gain experience across as many platforms as possible. Understanding how all the tactics work together and experiencing it firsthand are different.
- Media sales talent are more comfortable and content than I was expecting. Selling the sales rep is often a challenging feat. Grabbing their attention with new opportunities can take a lot of work. Employers know that the best talent is looking to work for leaders with an excellent reputation, general autonomy to get the job done, and a competitive package.
- Vancouver has many open agency opportunities and a smaller pool of qualified candidates. If you’ve dreamed of a west coast life, now is a great time to consider making a move!
- Following up and being available to move quickly is as important as ever and was a key factor for 2 of my placements.
I enjoyed the first 60 days as a Talent Scout and am so glad I took on this new role. If you need support finding top talent for a media, marketing or media sales role, I’d love to hear from you!