Working in an industry that thrives on change and uses the latest technology, you can often rely on the Internet to find great talent. As media recruiters, we can get caught up in searching LinkedIn and social media networks, looking for the best and brightest talent using the newest technology. We of often confuse interest in the medium (social networks and digital properties) with the most effective source of marketing and creative talent.
Of course you can find great talent on the web, but it is important not to overlook your local talent pool. There can be some great media professionals in your back yard that can help you achieve your recruiting goals. Here are some tips for finding great local candidates for media industries.
Organizations for Local Media Professionals
One of the first places to start when recruiting for media positions involves finding professional organizations for individuals in media industries like television and film production, video game design, advertising and even marketing. Talented media professionals who are dedicated to networking and furthering their careers will be a part of these organizations. You want candidates who care about their careers and like to mingle and network with other professionals, and the best place to find them is through professional organizations that will provide opportunities for networking and sharing expertise.
Digital Media Groups
Digital media is one of the hottest trends today, and there are many different groups for professionals working in web design and development, social media marketing, search engine optimization, internet marketing, software design and more. If you are looking to hire the best digital media talent that the industry has to offer, you need to look where these professionals congregate, and that is online. Even though many digital professionals work on computers all day, they need to get out and meet others face to face, and a digital media professional meeting can be a great place to find new talent and spread the word about your openings. Use Linkedin groups to find targeted clusters of media professionals, but then be sure to branch out from these general group and find specialized and local groups.
Local Art Institutes
Where are your media professionals acquiring their job skills? At local art institutes and colleges that specialize in media degrees, most likely. You can find fresh talent at the art institutes, universities and colleges in your area. Although it may seem like colleges will provide an untried group of kids, many graduates will have some experience through internships and summer jobs, so you won’t be getting completely green job seekers. It is important not to forget the growing number of adult students that are back in class and looking for career changes. If you are recruiting for highly specialized positions, doing general drum-up-the-talent type work might seem like a futile exercise – however, treat it as a networking assignment. You need to build strong roots in your industry and your locale – there is no better way than to start positioning yourself as not just a headhunter, but as a resource.
Your Local Craigslist Community
It may seem counterintuitive to look online for local talent, but Craigslist is where many media professionals go to connect with other professionals and find career opportunities and short-term contract work. Once on the Craigslist site for your local area, check out the community and services sections to find local artists and professionals offering their services. You can also post in the jobs sections but make sure you are very specific about your requirements, as you will likely get many under qualified applicants due to the lack of screening options available.
Awards and Conferences
The field of media and marketing have no shortage of accolades for creative, artistic, or advertising accomplishments. Be sure to pay attention to the awards shows, conferences, and other spots for industry recognition. You may not be there for the winners, but for the dinner conversation. If you develop a strong network within the primary nexus of success in the media/marketing industry, you can be sure that it will pay off in the future.
When we recruit for marketing and media professionals, there is a tendency to get lost in the products of their work (portfolios, websites, presentations, and campaign metrics.) It’s important to treat each requirement with the personal attention that it deserves – media recruiting is still as much about the person (not their product or craft) as any other type of position. If we remember to keep developing relationships and building strong local roots, we increase our chances of finding exceptional talent.