Why are some media disciplines way harder to hire than others?

Media agencies are finding it increasingly hard to hire talent, and are sometimes struggling to maintain standards of employees resulting in quite frankly ridiculous staff churn rates. This is a problem across the board, but some areas are worse effected than others, begging the question “Why is it so incredibly hard to find decent PPC people these days!”

There are a number of factors contributing to this infuriating dilemma, but the biggest and most important is one of choice. If you work in a decent London media agency as a TV planner buyer, and you want to move on, you can go to another media agency in a similar TV planning and buying related role. Easy.

You could move into an auditing company focusing on TV or if you are very lucky you could move client side into a TV specific role there, but the avenues open to you are reasonably restricted.

If you are a PPC planner buyer and want to move on you can go to:

  • Any number of literally 100’s of agencies facilitating PPC planning & buying in London from the very big to the very small
  • You can make the transition client side
  • If you’re lucky, you can get a job at Google or Facebook and practically double your salary! If not, there are other plenty other media owners keen to take you on too.
  • You can go to ad-tech companies
  • Auditors and media consultants are expanding and keen to bring on experienced biddable people
  • You can move abroad and pick up the same job anywhere around the world as long as you can speak the language.
  • You can drop out of the full time permanent workplace and be a freelance gun for hire.
  • Or you can change discipline and take on another biddable discipline of go all out to become a performance media specialist.

So, in the face of unprecedented competition, how can employers ensure they give themselves the best possible chance of attracting the highly demanded talent they’re after?

This isn’t a straight forward answer, and essentially you need to have a good look at yourself as a company and consider what you offer and how you convey it:

  • The work environment counts for a lot and the more conducive it is for your staff to enjoy time at work the better. This goes hand in hand with the benefits you offer staff, and currently the most popular of all is “flexible working hours” including working from home. The vast majority of people will work standard start times, stay a bit later than contracted and hardly ever request time to work from home. However, it’s important to offer people this option to use, not abuse.
  • Make sure people like you and want to work for you right from the start. Treat the first interview like a date!
  • Look beyond the position you’re recruiting for. How will this person start and progress? Is there clear development potential for them? If not, you’ll be in the same position 6-months down the line. Retention over acquisition is well established as a successful business model – apply the same logic to your staff.
  • These people are bright, ambitious and keen to expand their knowledge of the industry sector they operate within. If possible, offer integration with and full exposure to other, related disciplines. It makes the job way more interesting and offers significant differentiation to much of your competition.
  • Money talks, but don’t just make that the focal point of hiring people with over demanded skills. Be realistic about what you can expect to get for the salary offered. These people progress quickly! Any minor gaps in their knowledge / skills can quickly be plugged. Possibly quicker than your ability to fine someone who ticks all your boxes!

Sadly, there is no simple solution to the problem of how to fill your PPC Search vacancies, but a bit of introspective consideration and keeping your mind as open as possible will go a long way.

It’s never been harder to attract these elusive people, so be mindful of that and make your role stand out from the crowd as much as possible and dare to do different. If you’re really struggling to hire these people, it’s because you are not as competitive as other employers and the solution will lie in one of the aforementioned points. You just have to be bold enough to challenge what you’re currently doing and affect positive change.

If you are finding it frustrating as hell trying to appoint people with highly demanded, specific digital media skills, don’t suffer in silence. CONTACT US





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