Media owners hit by skills shortage

Media owners are finding the shortage of sales staff is reaching critical levels, forcing companies to change their recruitment policies and even their pay scales.

Media owners are finding the shortage of sales staff is reaching

critical levels, forcing companies to change their recruitment policies

and even their pay scales.



In off-the-record interviews, two recruitment consultancies this week

admitted they were struggling to find candidates for the increasing

number of vacancies.



Reed Business Information - in the unenviable position of having to find

50 sales people for its TotalJobs.com site - Haymarket and Centaur are

among many on the hunt in the magazines sector. Granada and Flextech

have a number of unfilled positions in TV, while Atlantic 252, Capital

and Virgin are looking for more than 20 radio sales staff between

them.



’We’re doing OK,’ insisted Paul Sissons, director of recruitment at

RBI.



’But so many players are competing for the same graduates with two

years’ experience.’



He said the ’vast number of people going to sell for dotcoms’ was a

problem, but added the buoyancy of the recruitment market was also a

factor. ’Sales people in the recruitment market are doing well because

the market is good - so they don’t want to leave their jobs.’



Melanie Williams, head of recruitment at Haymarket, said it is becoming

harder to attract candidates to print media. She added: ’The market is

expanding with launches and acquisitions. We are victims of our own

success.’



Steve Johnson, sales director at Atlantic 252, said: ’The pool of people

is still small, and competing with the dotcoms isn’t easy.’



Niamh O’Connor, human resources manager at Flextech, said the TV company

had realised it was going to have to change its pay scales. ’We have had

trouble finding good new people to fill the sales executives slots.’



The National Magazine Company has changed its recruitment policy in

response to the skills shortage. Where it used to require two to four

years’ experience and a knowledge of media agencies, telesales people

with little experience are now being considered for some roles.



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