A Not-So-Jobless Recovery

This week I was reading a column in a competitive publication by James Hering, the SVP and director of interactive marketing at Temerlin McClain. The subject of his piece was the difficulty he's been having as of late in finding qualified media personnel.

There are a myriad of reasons why he's encountering a dearth of good quality media persons: after years of industry recession, people have gotten out of the industry; good media folk who stayed are employed elsewhere; people have made the switch from media to some other aspect of the ad business. Others have figured out a way to live as freelancers and realize that since there is so much uncertainty working in this industry, they'd rather have the freedom of not being tied down to any one particular client or shop and simply work as ronin.

What I liked about reading this, however, was not to learn the job qualifications of a hire at Temerlin McClain, but to encounter a formal articulation of something I've suspected for some time is true: the business is back.



Recent press has indicated that interactive ad spending is up. The regular stream of sales jobs in media, technology, and research has now become chummed with agency jobs, too. This is a sure sign that the economy as a whole might be on its way back.

The reason I say that is because I've always looked at the ad industry as the anti-Marines of the economy. When the market goes sour, advertising is always the first out; when the market recovers, it is always the last in. And agencies are notorious for stretching their existing resources to the absolute breaking point before putting money down to bring in new resources.

Now, agencies are going to have to work particularly hard to attract talent that actually trusts them enough to come on permanently. Or, agencies are going to have to rethink just how it is they actually staff. The old standard hierarchies may no longer work as they once did, and instead a structure based on a few permanent senior staffers managing a team of hired guns will be the way to go. Who knows?

Be that as it may, I am encouraged, then, to see that agencies are reaching out into the market to find talented personnel. I don't know about the rest of y'all, but we've seen a dramatic up-tick in requests for capabilities decks, meetings, and honest to goodness hard business. This may just be an end-of-the-year phenomenon, but I don't think so. I've been around long enough to encounter lots of years ending; this is different. This feels like a real recovery. And it looks like it might actually come with some jobs.

Next story loading loading..