Friday, May 23, 2008

A Seat At the Table With the Expert - Jackie Bassett

Jackie Bassett joins us today to discuss the media industry, and demand for new media professionals.

Jackie is a published author and the CEO of BT Industrials, a Washington DC based consulting firm, focusing on “turning problems into profits” for clients. Advertising and Media firms are one BT Industrials major business verticals.

Thanks for joining us today Jackie. What do you see as the 2 greatest issues in Advertising and Media today?

Jackie Bassett:
That’s easy, the two biggest issues are 1) Identifying what customers want, and 2) Finding Digital Talent. Today companies are great are managing collaboratively. For instance, the President of one client chose to move their offices closer to their talent, even though it doubled his commute.

If your clients are having challenges finding digital talent, what skills do you see most in demand today?

Jackie Bassett:
Flash, Actionscript steaming, content creation (video, audio, written). My clients need people who can get messages across to an ADD world. They need marketing specialists who can make effective byte sized content. Also, employees with experience in creating YouTube video is in high demand.

reCareered: Why do you think your clients are having problems finding this talent. Are there shortages?
Jackie Bassett:
Maybe, but companies are looking in the wrong places for talent. It’s out there, even if it’s not the primary job of the candidate. Often my clients are looking for talents that haven’t been demonstrated in the workplace yet, but demonstrated in worker’s hobbies. Since worker hobbies rarely show up on a resume, the system overlooks some great talent. That’s how they look in the wrong places.

If traditional search methods are the wrong places for this type of media worker, then what are the right places?

Jackie Bassett:
You’re more likely to find these workers in the places they normally hang out. For instance, if you want a great YouTube video creator, why not go to YouTube and look for people who are creating innovative material?

reCareered: What kinds of people are on YouTube creating great videos? What would their resumes look like?
Jackie Bassett: They might be Network Admins, traditional advertising people, even accountants. These skills are probably not on their resume.

So how can a digital media hobbyist get their work noticed and possibly make a career of these skills.

Jackie Bassett: Create a portfolio. MySpace is a great place to build a digital portfolio, or Facebook, or your own website. Create a blog if you are a writer to display your written content. Today there’s so much junk in the content world, and it takes so much time to find “diamonds in the rough”. Make it easy on the hiring company, and put together an organized professional digital portfolio.

reCareered: Why would media companies hire hobbyists without real world experience?
Jackie Bassett:
It’s like the early days of Web Development. There were so few people who could build web sites and program HTML, companies would hire hobbyists. In today’s digital media world, some of the best talent out there is amateur talent, because it’s still emerging and few people have these work experiences.

reCareered: Isn’t it pretty risky for someone with a stable Network Admin career to jump in to the new world of new media?
Jackie Bassett:
Sure it’s a risk, but it’s a good risk. If a hobbyist has good skills, and is passionate about their content, their pay will likely be comparable or close, and they’ll be doing what they love! There will be increasing needs for content, and long term career success, plus the benefit of doing what they like to do.

Can you give an unusual example of how companies are hiring media hobbyists?
Jackie Bassett: Sure…Best Buy is an interesting example. They hire unemployed tech workers, and repurpose them to be media experts. Best Buy has vendor trainers train the floor sales force to use camera, video products, editing software, digital instruments. That way the sales staff develops expertise, and can demonstrate cool things products can do…for the buying public. They can also be resident experts in the store, not just to sell merchandise. Best Buy wants their sales staff to give you advice to better use products they’ve already sold, so you’ll come into the store to ask questions. When was the last time you left a Best Buy without buying something – at least a CD or DVD?

Jackie, thanks for your insights into the fast growing market for digital media talent. Jackie Bassett is the founder & CEO of BT Industrials, Inc. BT Industrials’ focus is on turning problems into profits. As a strategic management and technology consulting firm, they provide collaborative management consulting services to create value innovation. Jackie is also the author of two books “So You Built It and They Didn't Come. Now What?” and “A Seat at the Table for CEOs and CSOs: Driving Profits, Corporate Performance & Business Agility

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

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