Is the media “out” as an employer? – Recruiting in the media industry

How media companies can meet the challenge of recruiting suitable employees - especially in the current disruptive transformation phase.

No other industry attracts as much attention as the media industry. Yet it doesn’t seem to be as attractive to employees at the moment. What should you do?

“What do you want to do for a living later on?” – “Something with media.” This or something similar sounded, often smiled at, in many dialogs with graduates just a few years ago. With the harsh upheavals of digitization and the rise of social media and streaming services, the situation has changed fundamentally. Media is no longer seen by many graduates and professionals as the industry of the future.

Upheaval in the media world

Indeed, the upheaval in the media industry is enormous and can be felt at all levels. Traditional revenue models no longer work. Layoffs, takeovers, and sales slumps are making negative headlines. Many media companies are faced with the challenge of redefining themselves if they do not want to continue to downsize and even go under.

At first glance, these transit processes with layoffs and the almost simultaneous development of new revenue models are not conducive to making the media appear particularly attractive as an employer.

The search for suitable active and creative employees from industry environments who are needed is correspondingly difficult. Whether it’s product management, controlling or sales – many talented media employers don’t seem to be able to offer the future prospects they want.

For many talented people, media employers do not seem to be able to offer the future prospects they desire.

Reorientation in the media industry

This is only one side of the coin, because yes, jobs are being eliminated, but on the other hand, new areas of responsibility and positions are being created at the same time. The necessary restructuring requirements mean that new departments are being developed with new job profiles and the need for employees who are to play an active role in the development and sale of attractive offerings.

Unfortunately, the opportunities currently offered by the reorientation and also the reorganization and new steps that have already been taken have not yet been communicated to the outside world, or not sufficiently so. For many decision-makers in this situation, the task of consistently presenting and marketing themselves as an attractive employer brand both internally and externally seems too great.

As a result, the employer ratings in the relevant forums – with a few exceptions – are usually not cause for jubilation. It should be emphasized at this point that this is not about quick, hip employer branding, but about developing and implementing a coherent concept that interests potential and already hired employees and that can be implemented in practice.

Ironically, the know-how on how to attract and inspire an audience is basically available in the media. But the attitude that today application management can also be communicated via media techniques – and I’m not just talking about the AIDA formula (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) – is often not yet lived in the way that would be possible and supportive in the recruitment process.

Personnel consultant – Yes or No?

In my experience, it is precisely in transit situations such as those described above that the use of personnel consultants proves extremely helpful for several reasons. With an outside perspective, they can usually provide impulses more easily and quickly on how to make the presentation more effective, even with a manageable budget; on the other hand, in the position of a “neutral third party,” they are in a position to credibly convey not only the strengths of potential employees, but also the benefits and development opportunities of tasks, positions and the respective media employer, and to refute any objections that arise.

There is another point to bringing in an external third party for recruitment to fill positions in a timely and adequate manner. Job advertisements that only address job-seeking candidates are still a common means, but they are also often no longer promising.

Modern talent management goes far beyond this and includes other candidates in the recruitment process from the outset.

Last but not least, a note with a wink 😉: Experienced recruiters are usually not only digitally ready, but also used to providing their services “on demand”: With good consultants, decision-makers in media companies therefore always have the choice of having candidates found for specific vacancies, which is often sufficient, or of jointly developing how an attractive internal and external image can increase the impact as an interesting employer.

Nach seinem Studium der Betriebswirtschaftslehre in Berlin, Toronto und Frankfurt am Main begann seine Karriere in der Modebranche bei Hugo Boss und Strenesse, bevor er im Jahr 2000 nach Berlin in die Medienwelt wechselte. Nach verschiedenen Stationen als Vertriebs- und Verlagsleiter machte er sich als Partner und Personalberater bei der GKM-recruitment AG selbständig. Seit September agiert Martin Ludwig als Inhaber von INGENIUM-konsult und hat sich auf die Beratung von Medienunternehmen spezialisiert, deren disruptive Transformation jetzt erst richtig an Fahrt gewinnt.

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