Key hires for 2015: recruiting product managers

MTA media headhuntersAt the start of 2015 I went back and had a good long look over our recent completed searches. One thing really stood out: over the last four years, the number of product management roles we’d been asked to fill has increased dramatically. Four or five years ago we’d barely been approached to place one product manager, we’re now doing at least four or five every year.

For businesses still struggling with a print-to-digital transition, or even if you’re a well-established online player, product manager is an essential position. Why then, do so many media businesses seem to struggle with the discipline? Why do so many struggle when recruiting product managers? (more…)

Publishers need social referrals: so why have so few tapped into Pinterest?

Mention Drudge Report to any web publisher and they’re likely to grow wistful and yearn for the days when a single link from the site could send their annual traffic sky-high.

With few referral sites, small audiences and less competition, things were simpler for web publishers in the not-so-distant past. What traffic a site drew was usually direct, or via a search engine, and the volume of pages published on any given day often determined the size of the audience.

Fast-forward to today and the situation couldn’t be more different: the competition for eyeballs is more fierce than ever and (thanks to social media) the number of high-volume referrers has gone through the roof. (more…)

Social isn’t just bringing new skills to customer service – it can also change its function

Picture the situation: your firm is an airline, a customer enraged by the delay in getting back to him about lost baggage pays to promote a tweet about the ‘horrendous’ customer service. It gets seen by 76,000 people, what do you do?

Well, if you’re British Airways, you take eight hours to reply, enrage him all the more with your excuse, and carve out your own little corner of Internet infamy.

Customer Services may once have been the preserve of call centres but now, thanks to social media, it has become a high-stakes game. Not only do firms have to deal with a new channel, they also have to deal with a new culture. Now, customer grievances and the responses they bring are aired in public. If your firm gets it wrong it could end up like BA – with a black mark that (despite all recent improvements to social customer service) remains shareable and searchable. (more…)

What major themes did we cover in this media recruitment blog in 2014?

Trying to set the year gone in some kind of context is always tough – and 2014 has proved no different. Often, the problem is trying to distinguish how the previous 12 months differed from those that preceded them. That’s not an issue this year; so much has happened, it’s hard to know where to start.

My partner in crime Albert Ng has already rounded-up his key themes of the recruitment sector in 2014, so I’ll limit my review to the topics that have dominated this blog in the last 12-months (Ye shall know them by their fruits, and all that). So, what exactly have we spent 2014 writing about? (more…)

Five trends that dominated media headhunting in 2014

MTA media headhuntersIt seems like 2014 has shot by in a blur. The executive search industry moves fast, and for us this year seems to have moved particularly quickly. Yet, here we are with the calendar year drawing to a close. Well, what better time could there to pause and look back at some of the major trends and challenges that clients (and us headhunters) have witnessed and undergone in that time?

Here is my guide to the major themes of 2014 for headhunters and their clients: (more…)

Can gamification final make a mark on the recruitment sector in 2015?

With Christmas round the corner you’d think weary journalists and bloggers would begin to relax, to picture mince pies and a warming fire. This isn’t the case. Around now, fear rises. The mouth gets dry, the head light. They know it’s inevitable: any minute now the editor will lumber over and ask the question they’ve spent most of December hoping to avoid:

“Old chap,” the editor says. “Fancy writing a few hundred on what’s going to be big next year?”

Dusting off the crystal ball is amongst the most loathed of journalistic tasks: when asked to make predictions on what will set a certain industry alight in the next 12 months, it’s usually a toss-up between making grand proclamations that immediately turn you into a hostage to fortune, or saying so little as to barely cast your imagination forward at all. In short, it’s an unenviable task. But that said, let’s give it a go anyway… (more…)

Are you successfully tracking your content marketing efforts?

Content marketing. It’s come to save us all, hasn’t it? With consumers looking around every available social network for information and entertainment, all brands have to do is provide satisfying content and in return people will be only to pleased to fill their coffers. Right?

Well, stone me. It’s a little bit more complicated than that. According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, brands are either having difficulty (or simply not bothering to…) to measure the value of their work.

Just 21 per cent of B2B marketers claimed they were successfully tracking the ROI of their content marketing campaigns. (more…)

Programmatic ads, Martin Sorrell, and what they mean for agency and other media jobs

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal summed it up succinctly: some brands, it said, are increasingly using programmatic systems to buy digital ads themselves, rather than paying third parties to do so for them. A survey from Forrester Research and the Association of National Advertisers suggests a reason: it says 46% of marketers are concerned about the transparency of agencies tasked to buy online ads. Put simply, if the agency doesn’t tell you how much of your money its live buying desk spending on ads, and how much it’s taking as a fee, fears can spread.

(If you’re unsure of what programmatic ads are – might be an idea to pause here and read this…) (more…)

Five key mistakes firms repeatedly make when recruiting senior executives

MTA media headhuntersHiring the right senior talent into your business can be a time-consuming and expensive process. That’s where engaging the right executive search team to source talent can be crucial – it’s a time-saving and, ultimately, cost-effective process.

Time and time again we see hiring managers do things that, in the long-run, set them back. Common mistakes get made and, if not put right, they can repeatedly cost the hiring firm.

Here’s a quick and easy guide to the type of mistakes that occur time and again when recruiting senior executives - and the simple steps that can be put in place to rectify them: (more…) how increased transparency can affect executive recruitment?

As headhunters, one of the questions we get asked most (other than ‘how much is it paying?’) is ‘how is our company perceived out in the wider market?’ It’s something of which busy company directors can easily lose sight. In fact, I’ve been asked that question twice this week.

The nature of my executive recruitment job means I talk to hundreds of people every week, and in doing so I pick up an enormous amount of chatter about how happy (or unhappy) people are in their roles. Sometimes the reasons are personal – say, a lack of opportunities for progression. At other times, they’re directly related to office culture. We get a lot of the latter. If you’re in senior management in the media, the chances are we have a better idea of how prospective employees perceive your company than you do.

Earlier this week, I spent a fascinating half-hour or so on For those who haven’t seen it, it’s a bit like Tripadvisor for job seekers. It give people an opportunity to hear a number of views on what it’s like to work somewhere, before they sign on the dotted line. On my first visit, I immediately looked up 20 companies I’ve worked extensively for in the past. And on every single occasion, the feedback was pretty much as I’d expected. (more…)