Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
03 May 2010

HR hotspots in media & entertainment - update from Handle

03 May 2010 • by Changeboard Team

Recruitment activity

According to a recent report by the CBI, the worst of the recession has now passed and recovery is now slowly but surely underway. And while the political pundits are treating any signs of recovery with cautious optimism, recruitment activity has quite literally gone through the roof suggesting that business leaders are convinced that any recovery is likely to be sustained in the longer term.

EMEA demand

There is particular demand for experience of EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) markets echoing the move by some organisations to look at expanding business operations into new territories. Consequently, those internal recruitment and resourcing professionals who have experience of setting up satellite offices in overseas territories and mapping talent within those areas are likely to find a variety of opportunities available to them.

In the media and entertainment sector it is very important that internal resourcers not only have the commercial skill sets to be able to get the best out of third party recruiters, but are also able to really sell an employer brand to potential talent. They also need experience of new sourcing strategies and in particular, how to use social media to leverage that employer brand.

Employee relations experts & language

While in the depth of the recession HR generalists and employee relations experts were in the spotlight; post recession, it is engagement that is at the top of many HR directors agendas. Consequently there is now much more of a focus on retention, succession planning and learning & development. Languages are always useful. 

Many brands and workforces - are now completely international and so the ability to speak a second European language will definitely boost an HR professionals marketability.

Shortage of HR assistants

There is also a marked shortage of HR assistants. As departments get busier and more overworked, we have seen a resurgence of roles at this level driven by the need for efficient administration to support HR activity. Typically, for the types of clients we recruit for; media, entertainment and instantly recognisable big brands, candidates will have had 6-12 months experience or an internship in a similar industry.

While there is definitely a supply and demand issue at the moment, employers are still discerning and obviously want the very best talent. And when it comes to record labels, film studios and publishing houses, candidates really have to demonstrate their ability to communicate with a variety of personalities and cultures in what can be a very fast moving and even cut-throat - commercial environment.

Activity in HR business partnership roles

We are also seeing increased recruitment activity at business partner level as employers look to HR professionals who can support commercial objectives and add strategic value by aligning HR to overall business strategy. This is particularly true in the media and entertainment sector where there has been constant change. The new digital media age has led to major restructuring within some businesses, while others have evolved to bring on new revenue streams. 

While many of these roles are on a permanent basis we are also seeing a number of contract roles around change management initiatives. Additionally, as some organisations (particularly larger US corporates), are still finding it difficult to obtain sign off for increases in permanent headcount, it is not unusual to see HR professionals being offered both short-term and long-term renewable contracts.

Salary levels

And what of salaries? While pay levels have been fairly static over the last 12-18 months, the recovery is beginning to push salary levels up very slightly. Certainly candidates are negotiating more than they were able to do in the recession as those with in demand skill sets can secure two or three offers. The recession may not be that far behind us but the war for talent is well and truly back.