How does direct resourcing effect media recruiting?


We’ve been working recently with eSocialMedia to improve the way that we communicate with our clients – an area in which, up till now, we could definitely improve.

I was intrigued to see on their website mention of the Direct Resourcing Think Tank (DRTT), which they hold every six weeks or so. Direct resourcing (for those not familiar with the term) is where companies try to replace external recruitment agencies by building their own recruitment functions.

As you can imagine, this is not popular with many people in the recruitment industry (even some in media recruiting!). I had lunch with one such head of resourcing who was proud to tell me that, globally, his company had saved over $1m in recruitment fees. And I paid for lunch.

But I can see that there is an advantage to companies. Direct resourcing, at relatively junior levels, can certainly be handled in-house, or through Recruitment Process Outsourcing. Many roles are easily recognised within the company, and the repetitive nature of the recruitment process means you can quickly build expertise internally. Moreover, it allows the client to keep the culture of resourcing consistent, and this is healthy for building company values.

Coincidentally, the next DRTT is held at Barclays. We worked with Barclays a few years ago to build their retail banking web team; we put in the head of editorial, the directors of operational stability, and other senior roles. In this, we worked directly with the bank’s DR team.

Why? Well, they were superbly equipped to recruit traditional bank staff – tellers, branch managers, even regional managers. But they were also smart enough to recognise when they needed external help. To misappropriate Donald Rumsfeld: they knew what they didn’t know. Sometimes, you need specialists who are can tell – for example – a good chef from a bad. And if you can’t get Michel Roux, there are specialist agencies which can help you.

Between me and the consultants at MTA, we have over thirty years’ experience in recruiting media people; web managers, editorial directors, and, yes, operational stability directors. These skills are not easily recognised or tested by people outside the media. And in a world where every company is using media to reach out to their clients, we are increasingly being called upon by corporations to advise them.


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Martin Tripp Associates is a London-based executive search consultancy. While we are best-known for our work in the TMT (technology, media, and telecoms) space, we have also worked with some of the world’s biggest brands on challenging senior positions. Feel free to contact us to discuss any of the issues raised in this blog.