Media is a sexy tech industry, don’t forget it

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 19 May 2017
Hyland founder Virginia Hyland

In varying adland pockets there's been recruitment woes for some time. Employers bemoan the extortionate wages those in programmatic can now demand and even sourcing mid-tier SEO execs or junior ad buyers can prove an arduous and unfulfilled process.

But if the the cookies aren't sold in-store, do you go without? Or should you perhaps take the time to bake your own? The latter is the view of Hyland founder Virginia Hyland, who was speaking at The AdNews Media + Marketing Summit’s ‘Will a Robot Steal Your Job’ panel.

When it comes to securing top talent, Hyland, who also this year launched Programmatic Media, an advisory company aimed at educating marketers, says it’s not about finding talent, but is more about training them from within.
 
“This industry [programmatic] didn’t exist five years ago and instead of going out and trying to find these people we actually have to build them within and build their skill-sets, and how we do that is bringing into the organisation highly skilled people that can train my team to learn more,” Hyland said.
 
She said despite hype around certain roles, media people have great tech skills, have strong broad backgrounds and understand how all the parts of the puzzle fit together. Some even have the added bonus of creative flare.
 
“For me that sexy tech industry that everyone talks about is really media,” Hyland says.
 
“Media is a sexy tech industry as well, and the opportunity for media people to really develop their skills and become even more valuable to marketers is there – the opportunity is huge right now.
 
“We have to find the people that have really great specialisations that they’re in, bring them into our organisations to teach our team so they can develop and become stronger and be the leaders of the future.”

Better training needed

Also speaking on the panel was recruiting firm Hourigan International CEO Anthony Hourigan. He agreed that it has become more difficult over the years to hire top talent “as the pool of talent that’s available has shrunk”.

He said one of the reasons is the result of training budgets being severely reduced by many companies, but not so much the independents, which are actually heating up in the training stakes.
 
“We have a big issue as an industry in ensuring that the very best and brightest graduates don’t go off into pure tech and banking and finance,” Hourigan said.

“We have to come up with ways that are going to attract the very best into media and the marketing communications and advertising space.”
 
He said the days are over of cruising up the ranks with ease, adding that you need the ability to constantly learn, train, retrain and adapt.

In summary, panel moderator AdNews editor Rosie Baker said: “It’s almost like we as humans need to take a lesson from machine learning and constantly keep relearning and reapplying to what we’re doing.”

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