Demand for media sales pros is soaring as the explosion of new
media and the success of contract publishing leave media owners
scrabbling to find suitable recruits.
A survey of more than 20,000 media job ads, conducted last week by MMS,
showed that the number of sales executive positions advertised in the
year to July 1999, was up 11 per cent, a significant rise given that
1997/98 was a boom time in the media sales market.
But recruitment consultants and media owners said that the survey was
only a pointer towards the hunger for sales people at all levels.
’Demand for sales people is simply outstripping supply, there are not
enough good graduates to go around,’ Ann Jamieson, managing director of
recruitment consultancy, Price Jamieson, said.
And it is not just the graduate and entry-level executives who are in
demand. Fran Cassidy, sales director at Carlton, commented: ’The real
shortage is in good people with two to three years’ experience, because
the industry did not recruit enough people a few years back, and because
the sector is growing at a phenomenal rate.’
The boom in new media is draining the pool of candidates, according to
recruitment consultancies. Neil Barnes, director at Phee Farrer Jones,
said new media placements have grown 60 per cent. Gill Hollis, joint
managing director of Davis Company, pointed out that salaries in new
media sales have grown 31 per cent on average this year, compared to 5
per cent in traditional media.
Huge growth in contract publishing has exacerbated the shortage. Barnes
reported increases of 30 per cent in placements over the past year.
Hollis agreed: ’Contract is growing fast. Fmcg companies and ad agencies
have seen the value of contract publishing, and it seems a more
Direct marketing was also experiencing rapid growth, according to Phee
Farrer Jones. Placements were up 50 per cent this year. ’The response to
the migration of above-the-line ad budgets to direct marketing is to
look for more well-trained media sales people,’ Barnes said.