Best HR Practices in the Media / Radio industry Talent Acquisition & Retention

By Harrish M Bhatia October 31, 2017

Media and Entertainment (M&E) is one of the faster growing sectors of the Indian economy, and its importance in democratic growth of our country is an open secret. Proving its resilience to the world, the Indian M&E industry is on the cusp of a strong phase of growth, backed by rising consumer demand and improving advertising revenues. According to the KPMG – FICCI Report 2016 and 2017, radio will likely grow at a CAGR of 16.1 per cent. In such a scenario, hiring and retaining the talent is of utmost importance to a firm to achieve market dominance. M&E being a service industry creating and implementing a suitable talent management strategy to achieve organizational goals is of utmost importance.  Some policies/strategies that would help in recruiting and retaining talent at M&E organisations are:

  • Talent Acquisition: It matters a lot how it starts.  Whether recruiting is taking place through a measurable, learned science, or a subtle, innate art of human judgement, cost of hiring wrong employee is bad for both organisations as well as the person. As hiring methods evolve and technology is paired with good-old fashioned human outreach, what we're likely to see is a combination of these two schools of thought.

What remains at the centre of the process though is that hiring managers and HR practitioners alike need to make informed decisions when dealing with the tricky job of picking the right talent to run businesses. The decision becomes even more critical when the businesses in question are extremely people-centric. It therefore becomes imperative to aid the decision-making process by a scientific tool.

Psychometric assessment tests and behavioural inventory tools come handy for hiring managers and HR professionals to make informed choice. Psychometric tests and behavioural inventory tools evaluate the suitability of a person through his/her behaviour i.e. attitude, relationships, engagement, decisions at work and corporate citizenship. There are plenty of tests available to choose from; however in my opinion, no single test is sufficient to judge all the aspects of someone's personality and thus predict the way they will behave in different situations at work. The best way out is to use a battery of tests and pick up the most relevant attributes from each of them to make the right choice.

Making the right combination of tests is important in order to cover all the aspects/attributes that need to be measured. While there can be many such combinations, I am mentioning here a combination that has been tested to be successful in many industries i.e. media, consumer durables, to name a few. For ease of reference, let us call this combination "The Winning Four".

  1. Belbin's Self Perception Inventory
  2. Social Styles
  3. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  4. Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation (FIRO-B)

Using battery of these tests makes it almost impossible for individuals to fake the responses on behavioural aspects thereby ensuring the right people are only selected for the organisation.

  • Constant Talent development: Excellence can only be achieved through constant improvement and change; hence, these elements should be a firm's key focus. Keeping the employees abreast with the latest developments in the industry and upgrading their knowledge to survive the fierce competition. An organization's talent strategy represents perhaps the single greatest factor in its success, and an opportunity to differentiate itself from competitors. The focus should always be on constant value addition and progression. People also need to be given an opportunity to choose what skills they would like to work on and enhance, and the firm can look at aiding their choices through, may be, sponsorship for relevant programs at best institutes with in the country and abroad.
    • Corporate breakthrough workshop: Extensive program for existing key programming talent of the organisation on leadership skills
    • Workshop by International Trainer on creative ideation and its implementation for the sales and programming workforce
  • Long-term retention through attractive schemes: With the objective of keeping critical employees from leaving, attractive long term retention schemes, (monetary and non-monetary), are a must have. ESOP scheme for the top 10% talent in the company comes handy to serve this objective. The average vintage of employees at MYFM is 3 Years which is more than any competitor in the industry

    Mentorship Program:  Gone are the days of tackling Gen Y, we are now dealing with Gen Z. It is tough to decide who can make an impact on their fresh minds. Selecting internal people carefully on the basis of their experience and people understanding is the way to go. Since these people have seen the system and know the details well, they are the best to mentor Gen Z.

  • Trainees program: Trained talent in the media/radio industry is always scarce and that makes it extremely critical for media/radio companies to have in-house programs to hire, train and deploy talent consistently without loss of time and with exceptional cost-efficiency. Trainee programs ensure that companies always have a bench of talent which they train and deploy as per their requirements. Since these programs ensure internal training of resources, they are most apt and cost-effective. International trainers like Paul Wayland, Paul Chantler, Steve Taylor have taken 2-4 day's workshop with MY FM employees in past and we strive to continue the trend.
  • Reward and Recognition programme: Radio being a round the clock broadcasting media is no less stressful and may cause burnout of employees. In such fast paced and demanding environment keeping moral and motivation is a necessity. An efficient reward and recognition policy can do wonders on this front. Employees at all levels get motivated through different rewards and recognition programme and it is not necessarily a monetary reward. Non cash rewards are equally effective such as Instant appreciation from CEO's office, monthly awards appreciating talent, Annual Awards, long service awards, short foreign vacations, have proven remarkably effective in talent retention as well as motivation. The key is policy should be fair and should not create heart burn to other rather it should motivate them to earn it.

In the nutshell, Talent acquisition and management is a business strategy that will enable organisations to attract good talent and retain their top talented employees.

 About the author: Harrish M Bhatia is the Chief Executive Officer of MY FM. This article is a Viewpoint column, and the opinions expressed are solely those of the author.


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