The advertising industry is forever growing and developing, and the Ad Tech market is definitely a strong leader and pioneer for advertising in Asia. The Pandemic changed the ways in which we work, and when travel stopped for 2 years, hiring locally became default and very necessary for many companies across SEA in order to grow effectively. We have seen a huge increase in demand for Sales and Trading candidates in Singapore and there is very much a fight to get the best talent in the market.

Having said that, companies are also now eager to find talent in other local markets since travel has resumed, and are exploring hiring on the ground in emerging markets like Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, but this comes at a cost as some of these talent pools are even smaller than in Singapore.

What’s happening?

We saw a lot of movement at the start of 2022 in Singapore. Clients are either always expanding or finding replacements, as the job market normalizes and a lot of candidates want to be a part of this growth industry. What we are also finding is roles are remaining open for a longer period of time as the talent isn’t stretching far enough, and therefore clients keep looking until more boxes are ticked amongst the requirements.

The main companies that we are working with at the moment include DSPs, DMPs and SSPs, as well as marketing and media agencies. The roles vary from client servicing and sales, over to more technical and operational roles. Being client facing and able to understand programmatic is increasing as a criteria as well.

Where is the underlining challenge?

Despite an uprising amount of job opportunities, there is a talent shortage across the sector which has stopped some companies from growing to their full potential due to not being able to fill their roles. What are our clients looking for? Not just the skill set on paper, but candidates who can hit the ground running, and start making a difference from ‘Day 1’. Contacts in this market seem to be important and candidates need to demonstrate that they know the movers and shakers in the industry.

Ultimately there are not enough candidates to go around and counter offers are taking place left right and center – companies do not want to lose their people, and are therefore offering them the desired packages, so it makes it harder for them to leave eventually. Specialist marketing roles don’t only require a certain skill-set, they require advanced technologies. In comparison to content or sales marketing roles, programmatic is more specialized, so the lack of understanding of this sector can be a further barrier for new applicants.

Why is attracting local talent so important?

The government emphasizes the importance of sustaining a strong Singaporean workforce, and regulations mean only a certain number of foreign workers are permitted per company. Depending on how much local talent you employ (local talent should outweigh foreign). Developing local talent remains very important as well. As such, it’s much more competitive to find the right local talent.

So how can your vacancies in the Ad Tech world be more desirable?

Invest in showcasing a great place to work: To attract candidates to the sector, employers should work on their brand presence, showing what it’s like to work for them by sharing employee testimonials and photos that reflect the culture of their organization.

From job advert to interview, make the role more digestible: As a pretty technical career, marketing or trading is tougher to learn on the job. Whether it’s the technological terms, or using the technologies itself, it can be tricky to understand. Therefore, beginning with the job advert, you ought to de-mystify the language so it is more digestible. Candidates want to know how your role is different to their current role, and what you are offering that their current company can’t.

Connect with people in the industry: Organizing private events can also showcase your expertise in the media industry while providing opportunities to connect with potential applicants. You could also hold group hire days, webinars or workshops inviting candidates or clients to get a real feel for your company. By creating relationships, the opportunities are endless.

Offer an attractive package: This will always be important, and we don’t just mean the base salary, but also the annual leave, commission structure, bonus, and medical insurance you’re offering. The offer needs to make sense for candidates to make a move.

Invite non-experienced candidates: In a time where one candidate is likely to be interviewing at more than one role at a time, it’s an added battle to grab their attention. Ensure that training programmes, reward schemes and company benefits are attractive to encourage graduates or candidates that are passionate to get into the industry without much experience.

Last but not least, don’t underestimate the benefits of soft skills in candidates that are new to the industry. To help you identify transferrable skills that could make great candidates, have a read of this advice for candidates > Starting out in Ad Ops and Programmatic.

And if you’re looking to hire, or interested in hearing more about working in this sector, get in touch with our team