MEC global chief executive Charles Courtier tells M&M Global that media agencies will change ‘exponentially’ over the coming five years, as new types of talent are recruited.
GroupM agency MEC has worked hard to change its approach to talent acquisition. As described in M&M Global by global chief talent officer Marie Claire Barker, the business has used events such as Advertising Week in New York and SXSW Interactive in Austin to present a new image to potential recruits.
This innovative approach arrived in London earlier this week, with its #MECLiveHire programme at Advertising Week Europe.
Young people – some of whom simply turned up on the day – were invited to take part in a series of 15-minute ‘speed interviews’ with senior staff. The upshot is that 12 successful candidates were offered ‘Evolution Apprentice’ positions within MEC on the same day as their interviews.
According to the agency’s global CEO Charles Courtier, this “real-time” hiring is representative of a desire to present MEC as a unique employment proposition for those entering the industry.
“I think it shows them that we’re a different kind of company,” he says. “Our expectation of these young people is not to sit there and know anything about MEC. It’s a method of us getting to know them, and finding talent with something special, something unexpected.”
‘Young, raw talent’
Much has been written about the need for the media industry – and agencies, in particular – to adapt to the unique desires of Millennials and the next batch of youngsters to arrive on the scene – known by monikers including Centennials and Generation Z.
Courtier says MEC is determined to both hire in novel, innovative ways, and then to find methods to ensure those individuals choose to develop their careers within the agency: “How do we find great, young, raw talent, and then what do we do with them to develop them to the best of their own capabilities, as well as being successful within MEC?
“It’s not enough to just get the front page by doing a ‘Live Hire’ – there’s got to be a whole programme behind it. Once you’ve found this raw talent, what are you going to do with it? We can’t as an industry continue to manage talent in the same way we did 20 years ago,” he says.
“If you look to the next five years, that changing mix of skill and character and experience will change exponentially”
Millennials, agrees Courtier, “start from a different place” when it comes to making career decisions, and are looking for a “different kind of experience” from employers. Organisations like MEC, he insists, must respond to that desire for change.
Furthermore, as a result of new types of individuals and personalities arriving in the building, Courtier says he expects MEC to be a significantly different business within even a five-year window.
“The industry I attracting a much more diverse set of people and characters. That fundamentally changes not just the skill-set, and how you function, but also the look and feel and experience that you have, either as a client or an employee.
“There’s a steady culture through your backbone which hopefully evolves with the changing times, but doesn’t fundamentally change. But if you look to the next five years, that changing mix of skill and character and experience will change exponentially,” he adds.