33 Talent work with Infectious Media in their London and Singapore offices. We interviewed Attila Jakab, IM's Managing Director, about his talent strategy.
KEY STATS: ATTILA JAKAB
Title: Managing Director
Company name: Infectious Media
How long has your company operated: 9 years in London, we opened our Singapore and Chicago offices in 2016
Number of staff: 110 people across 3 offices - London has around 85, the rest are split across Singapore and Chicago
Key clients: Expedia Group, Adidas, Reebok, Dyson, John Lewis, Clarks, M&S, Experian, Uber
IN LAYMAN'S TERMS, WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY DO?
We work with major brands to plan, buy and optimise their online advertising. Our automated systems allow us to buy video, mobile, display, and rich media advertising for them, around the world.
WHAT SETS INFECTIOUS MEDIA APART FROM THE CROWD?
Most agencies license tech on behalf of advertisers, but we also build the tech ourselves, so we can drive our roadmap for exactly what our clients need. Technical literacy means we can really evaluate their needs, which effectively delivers a much more customised technology stack.
Another key USP is our experience. We’ve been in the programmatic space for 9 years and we really know the space and how to make it work for large advertisers.
And lastly is the fact we can manage clients globally, which means we can create localised campaigns across regions, while still providing the benefits of working with a smaller centralized team, such as the standardization of processes/quality/strategy.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS SOME KEY EMERGING TRENDS IN THE INDUSTRY IN 2017 AND BEYOND?
We expect programmatic to grow rapidly in APAC and clients to demand more transparency, sophistication and technical expertise from agencies. As programmatic media buying becomes the standard of how you buy all media in the next 5-10 years, we expect to be a driver of this change, always pushing the boundaries of the industry and delivering great work for our clients.
HOW EASY DO YOU FIND IT TO HIRE (AND RETAIN) GREAT TALENT, AND DOES THIS DIFFER IN YOUR 3 LOCATIONS?
Finding programmatic talent is a challenge, and has always been! This hasn’t changed because as the company has grown, so has the market, so there’s always been tough competition for talent.
The UK and US are leading the way in terms of the number of people who have strong experience in programmatic buying, because that’s where the industry started. This also means the talent in these markets becomes very expensive. We’ve found it’s often more efficient to hire talent straight out of uni, and then train them up. This relies on giving them a great environment where they want to stay, and grow with the company.
In APAC we do see good talent in a couple of places - namely, Australia and Singapore, however these markets are still naturally behind the UK/US, because they are younger markets.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING GREAT TALENT TO JOIN YOUR TEAM?
We always look for the same type of person in all 3 markets - based on their core skills/attitudes - but the way we get access to those people is different in each market.
For example in the US there are hundreds of agencies, so we have to be much more active to get in front of the right people, whereas in Singapore talent who knows of our work in the UK/Europe sees working for us as great opportunity to tap into our experience and knowledge.
It’s interesting how the hiring process and culture differs in each market as well. For example, in the USA, the standard interview style is very confident and optimistic about their ability to do the job, whereas in APAC candidates tend to be more humble, and very driven to learn new things. Brits are typically more reserved in their interview style, and then in London we have lots of European candidates too, which brings in a great mix of cultures and communication styles, which makes our office here a great place to work. Teamwork is an important part of our business, which has come very naturally to our APAC team, whereas in the US the focus is traditionally more on individual merit, so it has taken a bit more time to get the right team there.
ANY PARTICULAR TALENT-RELATED ISSUES YOU FACE AS A COMPANY?
One of our biggest challenges is that the best talent is often working for big tech companies or big agencies. Tech companies are generally very generous with salaries, which locks talent in as they can’t really get that salary anywhere else. When we hire from agencies, it usually takes 6 months to onboard a new starter on how we work, as our process is a bit more technical than most.