As far as entry level candidates go, we admire someone who takes the time to research the industry, especially in our areas of specialization. If a candidate has a pretty good overview of how the industry works and our place in it, then that candidate is going to understand some of the talents they should bring on board. The ideal candidate also has really strong communication skills. We’re not as particular about a candidate’s degree as we are that they have demonstrated these important skills. Candidates with business, communications and English degrees are all common.
Also, this business is all about analytics, so the stronger a candidate is in that area, the better. We actually like getting people with accounting or even math degrees if they’re going to work in media or in Web analytics. So, we’re not too picky about that. Degrees matter less to us than the overall package. If somebody is smart, aggressive and communicates really well then he or she will make a nice fit and progress quickly.
The ideal candidate also has a combination of brand and direct experience. It’s hard to find people with television experience, but we like it when we do find someone. What we’re really looking for now, across all segments, is somebody with Web experience. No matter what department a candidate is coming in to, Web experience is definitely a big plus. We tend to bucket our people into areas of specialization, so you get people with television experience, Web experience and direct marketing experience. It’s seldom that you find somebody that’s well-qualified in all of them, but we are very impressed when we do.