Why are some media disciplines way harder to hire than others?
Media agencies are finding it increasingly hard to hire talent, and are sometimes struggling to maintain standards of employees resulting in quite frankly ridiculous staff churn rates. This is a problem across the board, but some areas are worse effected than others, begging the question “Why is it so incredibly hard to find decent PPC people these days!” There are a number of factors contributing to this infuriating dilemma, but the biggest and most important is one of choice. If you work in a decent London media agency as a TV planner buyer, and you want to move on, you can go to another media agency in a similar TV planning and buying related role. Easy. You could move into an auditing company focusing on TV or if you are very lucky you could move client side into a TV specific role there, but the avenues open to you are reasonably restricted. If you are a PPC planner buyer and want to move on you can go to: ·     Any number of literally 100’s of agencies facilitating PPC planning & buying in London from the very big to the very small ·     You can make the transition client side ·     If you’re lucky, you can get a job at Google or Facebook and practically double your salary! If not, there are other plenty other media owners keen to take you on too. ·     You can go to ad-tech companies ·     Auditors and media consultants are expanding and keen to bring on experienced biddable people ·     You can move abroad and pick up the same job anywhere around the world as long as you can speak the language. ·     You can drop out of the full time permanent workplace and be a freelance gun for hire. ·     Or you can change discipline and take on another biddable discipline of go all out to become a performance media specialist. So, in the face of unprecedented competition, how can employers ensure they give themselves the best possible chance of attracting the highly demanded talent they’re after? This isn’t a straight forward answer, and essentially you need to have a good look at yourself as a company and consider what you offer and how you convey it: ·     The work environment counts for a lot and the more conducive it is for your staff to enjoy time at work the better. This goes hand in hand with the benefits you offer staff, and currently the most popular of all is “flexible working hours” including working from home. The vast majority of people will work standard start times, stay a bit later than contracted and hardly ever request time to work from home. However, it’s important to offer people this option to use, not abuse. ·     Make sure people like you and want to work for you right from the start. Treat the first interview like a date! ·     Look beyond the position you’re recruiting for. How will this person start and progress? Is there clear development potential for them? If not, you’ll be in the same position 6-months down the line. Retention over acquisition is well established as a successful business model – apply the same logic to your staff. ·     These people are bright, ambitious and keen to expand their knowledge of the industry sector they operate within. If possible, offer integration with and full exposure to other, related disciplines. It makes the job way more interesting and offers significant differentiation to much of your competition. ·     Money talks, but don’t just make that the focal point of hiring people with over demanded skills. Be realistic about what you can expect to get for the salary offered. These people progress quickly! Any minor gaps in their knowledge / skills can quickly be plugged. Possibly quicker than your ability to fine someone who ticks all your boxes! Sadly, there is no simple solution to the problem of how to fill your PPC Search vacancies, but a bit of introspective consideration and keeping your mind as open as possible will go a long way. It’s never been harder to attract these elusive people, so be mindful of that and make your role stand out from the crowd as much as possible and dare to do different. If you’re really struggling to hire these people, it’s because you are not as competitive as other employers and the solution will lie in one of the aforementioned points. You just have to be bold enough to challenge what you’re currently doing and affect positive change. If you are finding it frustrating as hell trying to appoint people with highly demanded, specific digital media skills, don't suffer in silence. Get in contact with me and I'll see how I can help you. keith@dotgap.com    



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Many people fall into a media agency job doing PPC Search by virtue of their natural affinity with numbers / tech and the fact they had a sympathetic degree. That’s fine, but where do you go once you’ve done a couple of years learning the trade?  

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Write a good job brief!

  • Get the balance right between “the company”, “the role” and “the candidate” and make the brief clear and easy to decipher.
  • Be highly prescriptive when specifying things the candidate must have, and feel free to state that without a specific skill or experience your application will not be successful.
  • Break the document up into clear sections (the employer, the job, what you are looking for, and why it’s good to work there).
    • Pitfalls: Say an appropriate amount about you as a company/employer. If you are e.g. Mediacom, people will know you, so don’t bang on about it. If you are e.g. Electric Glue, more explanation will be required.
    • Pitfalls: Make sure the person reading your job spec knows precisely what you are after. It must be clear and obvious!


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How Media Agencies Are Recruiting Grads – Now & Next

Amongst teenagers in recent years there has been a noticeable trend for NOT going to university, primarily because of the costs involved and also because of the alternatives now available. The government has invested massively in promoting apprenticeships and offering heavily subsidised personal development courses through NCS. [http://www.ncsyes.co.uk/]  

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London has been hoofing down quality burgers for a few years now, and the success of dedicated boutique burger restaurants around the capital is testament to this. Some are excellent, others not so, and the fact that many top class steak restaurants now take serious pride in delivering a veritable burger master-class to their customers is further proof of our relentless hunger for quality patties. Here’s a run down of five firm favourites. Enjoy!  

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We should never underestimate the importance of social media, and when looking to progress your career it’s LinkedIn that many people turn to as a first port of call. If you are an employer looking to put substance to recommended names that have been suggested by peers, or if you are a recruiter looking to formulate a long-list of candidates, LinkedIn is an essential reference site. Most of the info you display in your profile is purely factual, functional historic information and it’s up to you how much you want to display. If you take this social platform seriously and want to get the most out of it, then you’re advised to display as much info as possible, get your profile fully complete and upload a profile picture.  

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We would love to hear from you if you are either looking for a new job in the digital media industry or if you are looking to find talent and hire people from the digital media industry.

We work mainly with media agencies, advertisers, media owners, marketing agencies. technology companies and creative agencies.

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