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Recruitment & retention of good employees to be main concern for M&E sector

MUMBAI: As the global economy eases, the recruitment and retention of good employees will become a primary concern for the media and entertainment sector.


Employees with flexible or multiple skills (within different sectors of media) as well as in-depth knowledge of each sector will have a cutting edge. The rise of new media will also lead to niche and entrepreneurial skills.


The scope of convergence of two or more media into one entity is gradually increasing. The changing complexion is evident from the growth of podcasts to IPTV, Wi-Max and newspapers with online editions. When the line separating the boundaries of each media becomes invisible, media organisations and their existing organisational structure are likely to undergo a massive change, depending on the need of the hour.


The quality of talent especially at the entry levels requires much focus. What industry players can come together to do is to help hone young talent by aligning with major media schools and providing specialised courses sensitive to the actual needs of the industry.


Furthermore, it is likely to help develop a better talent pool from which new candidates can be recruited, thus reducing the need for hiring people from other industries, particularly for managerial, sales and administrative positions. Media players could well afford to learn to
identify staff with a high potential and retain them.


Managing emotionally-charged talent and keeping them engaged with the overall organisation priorites requires that the talent management initiatives are customised to individual employees, a KPMG report said.


In an industry where the talent pool remains relatively small, hiring from other industries is also being followed by many media players. Whether it is such talent coming from other industries or new hires from media schools or lateral hires from competitors organisations, the companies who have met with success in customising talent and retaining them over a period of time have focused strongly on ensuring detailed and customised induction programmes for new hires.


Active participation in supporting different media schools and hiring from them is increasingly growing. The practice is starting to pick up but more media houses can afford to participate in it and make this a stronger custom by which the right talent for the right job gets effectively recruited.


Many of the top media players do have some kind of an HR Information System in place although the extent to which their HR practices are followed online or are standardised is still disparate. Appraisals usually do not take place online.


The development of HR policies and practices leaves much to be desired and it is likely to take sometime before the industry can have a fully automated system in place for all their HR functions and processes. There is a clear consensus among media organisations on following a well-structured HR policy framework and more importantly sharing that transparently with employees.


The talent management needs for the creative and sales teams have proven to be very different with both working with completely different career anchors and motivations. The nature of their work being opposite ends of the spectrum, many of the HR departments try to maintain a fine line between the creative vs. the sales teams. Showing too much inclination towards any one team could result in difficult situations. This is especially true while dealing with a dynamic and spontaneous industry like media, where creativity stems from thinking “out-of-the-box”. The HR heads of media organisations are increasingly developing talent management and retention programmes customised to the varied orientations of different employee groups.


The other issue regarding compensation in the M&E industry is the compensation benchmarking issues. Barring a few specific sectors like broadcasting, the M&E industry has still not adopted formal benchmarking of compensation and benefits which is a standard practice across other industries. By and large, there is a general tendency to be hesitant about sharing information, especially regarding compensation, so the salary structure setting comes from a general understanding of the industry and the informal ways of sharing information, the KPMG report said.
 

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