What is involved?
You will be responsible for providing a complete HR service across the business, often in a standalone role as the sole HR resource, since HR is a relatively new idea in many media companies.
What you need
Due to the dynamic nature of the industry itself, recruitment in media organisations can be personality-driven. This can open up opportunities for those with the drive and vision to make a success of a role, but who may not have the qualifications or track record that would be demanded by a similar role in a professional services firm. Above all, companies tend to look for confident individuals with vision and leadership qualities who are able to liaise with creative people, and able to gain credibility with managers who are not necessarily accustomed to policies and procedures. Employee relations skills are also important, along with experience of managing disciplinary and grievance procedures, and performance management.
How to get into it
Many candidates move into media from similar HR roles, or HR officer roles in the retail or leisure sectors. The working environments and cultures tend to be similar, and the roles’ requirements also tend to be more closely aligned. For organisations without an established HR department, prior experience in an autonomous or standalone role would be an advantage. Media companies may also look for previous experience in an HR leadership position in a fast-growing start-up company.
These are variable, and very much dependent on a company’s previous experience of HR, or its willingness to embrace the function. Often, once a company has employed someone able to demonstrate the worth of the function, it will embrace it wholeheartedly, and prospects become excellent.