Horizon, Canvas Discuss Their Talent Growing Pains

It is a nice problem to have to need to fill up desks, but good talent is hard to find. Horizon Media has hired more than 350 people this year. Canvas Worldwide has hired 240 people since the agency launched last year as part of a joint venture with Innocean and Horizon Media.

Canvas Worldwide's Paul Woolmington and Horizon's Bill Koenigsberg joined moderator Betty Liu of Bloomberg during Advertising Week 2016 to discuss the challenges in building today's workforce.

"It's a long journey building culture," says Koenigsberg. Horizon wants to be a workplace where you "want to run to rather than away from." The agency offers more than 75 different programs, including health, wellness, sports, and charity, for its employees to enjoy outside of their core responsibilities. Horizon also hosts digital detox days where employees must shut down and step away from their devices.

Each employee at Horizon also has their own talent manager responsible for individual growth. This service is designed to harness the notion that they are all in this together.



"You have to hire right and fast," says Koenigsberg. "Right comes before fast. You are as strong as your weakest link so you have to have patience." Eventually, he hopes to hire "ahead of the curve" which means globally since Horizon is "not as strong globally as it would like."

Canvas provides a different opportunity to encourage people to join its staff. The agency appeals to talent by asking whether they want to "add building a company to your career," says Woolmington. "People want to be part of a mission. To have a purpose first. They would rather create a company than to make money."

Even with these mission-builders, Canvas is seeking specific talent. They want "problem solvers. If you just want to do what you always done before, don't come to Canvas."

Canvas has borrowed some of the corporate ethos of its partner Horizon where culture drives productivity. "You can have all the money in the world but it won't work if they aren't on the same team."

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