Arati Rao
Feb 01, 2012

Live Issue: “Will the slowdown talk affect recruitment?”

Arati Rao poses the question to the spokespersons of five different organisations to get their views on the job scene

Jobs will be available, in case you want to emulate this classic ad
Jobs will be available, in case you want to emulate this classic ad

Remember 2009? When everyone advised you to stay put in whatever job you had, because having one was a blessing? Worry not, turns out 2012 won’t be all that dire at all, as per the industry veterans we spoke to. The undisputed response to our first question, “Will your organisation be recruiting this year across all levels?” was “Yes.”

Speaking on behalf of Lodestar UM, Nandini Dias, chief operating officer, says, “We are always on the lookout for good people at all levels.  We had some great business additions last year so we don’t mind adding well-qualified people. There is always a need for people in digital, brand experiences, for the Lodestar LabCenter and mobile. And we would welcome strategists and brand custodians too.” On what functions or departments JWT will recruit for, Colvyn Harris, chief executive officer, commented, “All, but with a special focus on digital and new age skills.”
About the quality of skillsets sought in the publishing space, Tarun Rai, chief executive officer, Worldwide Media, says, “The nature of skillsets is changing across editorial, marketing and ad sales. And so is our expectation from our people. The lifestyle magazine space is full of opportunities. And these opportunities are not from the traditional areas but entirely new ones. Our titles are increasingly multi-platform. Our content needs to be multi-platform and the revenue opportunities are also multi-platform. There is, already, a migration from other streams and I see the trend growing. I have maintained that the lifestyle magazine space in India is a sunrise sector. It is exciting and rewarding. I am sure more and more young people will be attracted to this industry.”

On whether pay packages will be affected because of the talk of slower rate of growth, Kunal Jeswani, country head - India, OgilvyOne Worldwide, says, “2011 has been a fantastic growth year for OgilvyOne. We are the country’s largest digital brand communications agency and we have no intention of slowing down.” He adds, “The quality of talent OgilvyOne takes on has changed. While the ability to define the marketing problem, generate great ideas, and build strong client relationships still form the core of great talent we hunt in the communication business; specialist skills are becoming increasingly important for OgilvyOne.”

While Viacom18 will recruit for its new channels Comedy Central and Sonic, Abhinav Chopra, executive vice president, human resources, says that recruitment for other functions will go on as well. Since there is no embargo at the moment, Viacom18 will use this time for long-term recruitment planning, and to further their ‘What’s your story’ programme conducted across colleges to recruit creative talent. As far as the industry trend is concerned, Chopra believes, “There is more consolidation that is happening – so there is a bit of a dip in the kind of job opportunities that are there, but it won’t be of the kind that we saw in the years of recession. This year’s outlook is far more optimistic than what it was at that time. We will watch the situation carefully and aren’t taking any drastic steps regarding recruitment decisions.”



Media Agency

Nandini Dias, chief operating officer, Lodestar UM

“A learning from the last slowdown indicates that there will be much less churn of people from one agency to the other. So unless there is a glaring existing gap or a new business gain, agencies will not recruit with the same intensity.”




Creative agency

Colvyn Harris, chief executive officer, JWT India

“Our ambition to continue to lead our industry for the benefit of our clients continues. We need to partner their market leadership ambitions comprehensively. Recruitment never stops. The industry has an attrition of over 20 per cent at the junior to mid level, and we need to replace to have a full team at all times to service our clients.”



Digital agency

Kunal Jeswani, country head - India, OgilvyOne Worldwide

The focus will be on recruiting talent with specialist skills. We’ll be hunting for the best talent in social CRM, digital engagement, original content, usability and digital production. As far as the industry trend goes, roles will become more defined. Businesses will hunt for (and pay a premium for) experienced talent with specific skills.




Tarun Rai, chief executive officer, Worldwide Media

“Worldwide Media has been on a very fast growth path in the last four years. From just four magazines in 2008 we have thirteen today. As a result we have grown both revenues as well as our team. Further recruitment will depend on our new launches in the next financial year. Plans are being made and once that is done we will recruit accordingly.”



Media network

Abhinav Chopra, executive vice president, HR, Viacom18

“There are certain skills which are not easily available, which will always demand better compensation. These skills would be in areas that are specific to the television industry – more in the creative function.”

Campaign India

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