Archive for October 2011
Unsurprisingly, our roundtable event also led us to discuss how to be sure when you think you’ve found great talent. I was curious to see how this question would be answered by each of the Creative Directors amongst their peers. Any junior out there trying to impress at their next interview should read on:
Peter Bidenko of Leo Burnett got the ball rolling on this one, indicating that at the junior level he’s more focused on enthusiasm. “The more senior they are the more I want to probe into how strategic they are and what they have actually done.”
Mark Bamfield former long termer at TBWA and new ECD of Y&R Jordan had this to offer, “Can they think? Take them out of their comfort zones and challenge them to think and articulate new ideas.”
Similarly, Ben Knight ECD OgilvyAction Dubai is also looking for people who can demonstrate their own creativity; “People that can talk comfortably about a good piece of work lets you know they came up with it.”
Mark Bamfield continued with the same theme, “I like to just hear people talk about their work. Putting the website and portfolio aside – we need to revert to getting them to describe an idea as well as show it.”
Adding to these views, Ryan Reed of Y&R went a step further to talk about the type of individual he looks for; “It’s about the personal side as much as about what’s in their portfolio. I want to know what inspires their creativity. Without personal there’s no passion. In some ways I like to see potential over achievement.”
Tim Styles the new ECD at The Agency, Doha and former CD at M&C Saatchi London confirmed the importance of personality, concluding “It’s about two things: energy and curiosity. I want to see people show a burning interest in something. It’s about character – an unwritten rule for creatives. People that creep up on you with hidden depth are preferable to those who are trained and overt. I prefer people who are like truffles-it ain’t obvious.”
I hope that has given the next Frank Lowe amongst you a few tips…
Back in the day
It was only recently that I suddenly realised I am the oldest in the office! Given that I am still young at heart with a full head of hair; it was a shock to discover that I am almost 15 years older than my colleague who sits next to me!
This started me thinking about how recruitment has changed since I started out 10 years ago. Young and ambitious, I rose through the ranks working with a director on IT recruitment in investment banking, burning candles very brightly at both ends!! .
The environment was very different to today, e-mails were rarely used unless submitting CVs; use of the internet and job websites were only just coming into their own, however many still relied on personal networks and not technology.
Learning the ropes
The skills I learnt then are still the best skills to have today; networking, building client relationships, understanding candidates, and negotiating on behalf of both parties. There is still nothing better than getting an exciting, senior level, exclusive mandate and starting your search.
The new dawn of recruitment
There are however, a number of things that have changed.
The main thing is the tools that we now to improve the service we provide. Large investments have been made by many recruitment agencies into CRM databases that hold vast levels of information on the best talent across the market – it remains the consultant‘s responsibility to use this efficiently and judiciously in order to move quickly to fill roles.
There are so many online avenues now – job sites have much greater functionality, company websites not to mention the advent of social media in recruitment; LinkedIn is fast becoming a very essential tool for recruiters.
Same old game
In conclusion, I would say that the key fundamentals of recruitment are exactly the same now as they were over the last 20 years or so……..It’s still as competitive, if not more; the clients are just as demanding and the job is certainly as challenging as it has ever been. One thing that will never change is the thrill of success and that is why we are all still in the game!!
“The skills I learnt then are still the best skills to have today; networking, building client relationships, understanding candidates, and negotiating on behalf of both parties.”