Recruitment evolution and the skills gap

Recruitment evolution and the skills gap


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Recruitment evolution and the skills gap

Journal Article from EMS Broadcast

Tue 02, 08 2022

Dermot Casey

Managing Director at EMS Broadcast

Dermot Casey, Managing Director at EMS Broadcast, specialist recruitment agency for the technical, operational and creative areas of the media and broadcast industry, shares his thoughts on how 2022 is shaping up and his vision for the future.

Fundamentally there is a shortage of quality candidates and, post Covid, people are re-evaluating what makes a “good” job. They’re looking for, and selecting from, roles with the best salaries/rates, location, corporate sustainability and more importantly than ever, the best lifestyle options for them and their families, in a way not seen before.

Market forces and inflation rates mean rates are needing to rise to be competitive - especially as the competition from other big players, looking for candidates with those same specific skills, is increasing not only from within the industry but from other industries with the same base line of requirements.

Essentially quality candidates do often need to come at a premium, but the total package is key!

Elements such as location, job title, salary and opportunities for progression still do play a major part in the decision-making process for candidates, but we have found more and more are prioritising other factors too. For example, ‘how will this role fit in with the lifestyle I lead?’, ‘is it flexible enough to work around childcare and other commitments?’, ‘can I work remotely as and when I want to?’ and ‘what are this company’s ESG credentials?’.

The best candidates are asking these questions and doing this research before committing to a role, knowing that - if they hear the answers they’re looking for - it’s a role that’s worth investing their time and effort in. And the most forward-thinking companies are accommodating this.

But the result is a candidate-led, very cautious and competitive recruitment landscape.

This is especially the case when the number of people looking for candidates with those same specific skills is increasing - not only from within the media and broadcast industry, but from other industries with the same base line of requirements as well, such as gaming, aeronautics, manufacturing, and IT.

We are particularly seeing a high demand in Broadcast for talented and multi-skilled/agile candidates, especially in fields within the industry relating to Technology, IT, Production and Creative. The effects of this demand that myself and my team are already seeing include:

Good candidates feeling more empowered to choose exactly where and how they want to work, as well as who they want to work for, and are often making the call on taking roles after pushing multiple other opportunities to the final stages

Clients are offering more incentives to attract the best talent, including flexible working, childcare options, bonuses, and much more - and those who do not embrace these new post-pandemic ways of working will lose out

Salaries and contract/freelance rates have increased, as quality candidates do often need to come at a premium!

We can only see this demand increasing over the rest of this year, made even more certain by the UK’s recent investment in content - especially via reasonably new entrants to the market, like Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Google, Netflix, Warner Bros/Discovery and more.

For example, Amazon recently revealed that it has invested more than £1 billion on TV, movie, and live sport content in the UK in recent years, with plans to increase spending even further and make it a must-have streaming service for all households.

The big question then is; where do we find this new talent and how can we attract them to our industry and plug the widening talent gap?

This is a dilemma, one which the whole industry needs to give serious thought to. But it isn’t just the companies themselves that can make impactful changes.

Yes, broadcasters will need to be open to attracting talent from other sectors, such as banking, pure I.T. the M.O.D., aviation, and more, as well as being willing to help support them through this career transition and equip them with all the tools and training they need to thrive.

But it is also the responsibility of our government which needs to make it easier for us to attract talented people from other countries, through supporting the right to work, making the sponsorship process simpler and reviewing the impact of IR35 legislation changes.

And finally, it’s down to our parental and cultural influences. Schools, universities, and training schemes can all play a vital role in getting young people excited about a career in broadcasting - but it often isn’t talked about enough day-to-day, so it’s easy for young people to have an outdated idea of what it is or get confused by all the different areas of it that they could get involved in.

These issues are being addressed through the setting up of organisations like RISE, which EMS Broadcast is proud to be a 2022/23 sponsor of.

RISE is an extraordinary membership group that supports gender diversity across the media technology sector and also runs Rise Up Academy - an outreach programme delivering broadcast engineering and technical workshops to primary and secondary school children aged 9 through to 18 years old.

But support and guidance at all levels is crucial to see more companies looking to not only take on more graduates but trainees, apprentices and entry level people and offer them training and support to create the talent base.

While the above outlines the main causes and some potential solutions, it really only scratches the surface of what is a crucially important issue within the industry and one that we all need to put action and energy into solving sooner rather than later as the skills gap continues to widen.

We’re so pleased to announce that EMS Broadcast will be exhibiting in Hall 1 B09 at IBC 2022 in Amsterdam later this year, in what will be our twenty-fifth year exhibiting at this prestigious industry event.

So do please drop by or get in touch if you would like to discuss this topic in more detail or to go through your specific broadcast recruitment requirements with us.

I will be there with my colleagues, please find our email addresses below:

About EMS:

EMS Broadcast is a leading specialist recruitment agency for the technical, operational and creative areas of the media and broadcast industry – but it’s also so much more, each of its recruitment specialists has experienced a career in the media, broadcasting and production industry before moving into recruitment, so know the processes and the skill sets that are needed to take any operation to the next level.

Working with the most progressive broadcasting companies of all sizes to help them find the best talent for their departments and working with candidates to help them build exciting careers.

EMS also prides itself on providing a completely end-to-end recruitment journey – taking care of everything from sourcing and interview preparation to compliance and payroll.

The company headquarters are in West London, we work with clients and candidates across all areas of the UK, Europe, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

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