Building a diverse talent pool
After having a right size structure, Mediabrands Malaysia is actively scouting for talents, including those with disabilities, to have a holistic and diverse talent pool.
Besides looking for new talents as replacements, the agency’s CEO Bala Pomaleh (pic) said another crucial aspect is for talents to step into newly created roles to meet the expanding and future needs of the business.
Digital and data savvy talents are of high priority to us, he said, noting that the agency is intensifying its search for analysts, e-commerce specialists, CRM (customer relationship management), performance marketers, automation experts, content, and consulting roles.
He said these specialist remits are always aligned to meet Mediabrands client needs.
“To ensure we deliver on these needs we have brought in a new human resource (HR) leader who acts as a talent business partner, working closely with the leadership team to ensure the right people with the right capabilities are brought in to support the business.
“The experience brought to the table not only includes sourcing for talents, but also guiding us on HR best practices as well as DE&I (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) which is an area we place great importance on.
“When we looked at what DE&I meant to us, we realised that whilst many companies were talking about opportunities for women in senior leadership positions, this was already something we had nurtured over the years. We recognised and identified key areas to focus on for the immediate future, and prioritised an untapped gap not only in our industry, but in Malaysia and globally, ” Bala said.
Towards this end, he said the agency is also providing job opportunities for PWD (people with disabilities).
The World Bank states that 15% of the world’s population experience some form of disability, and this is higher in developing countries.
Statistics in Malaysia claim PWD at about 1.53%, though it is important to note that these are registered disabilities, with a high number going unregistered, according to the Department of Social Welfare.
To address the issue of unemployment among the disabled, the government has introduced a policy requiring 1% PWD employment in the public sector, though the reality is that most PWD struggle to be gainfully employed.
Bala added: “Our aim is to beat that target. We believe that PWD can perform just as well as anyone else if we focus our efforts on hiring them for their abilities and working within the confines of their disabilities via the support of our organisational framework.
“We are currently exploring collaborations with government stakeholders and local universities to ensure an inclusive ecosystem to encourage PWD to look upon us as an employer of choice.”
“At the end of the day, a more holistic and diverse talent pool brings about numerous benefits that will allow us to capitalise on different nuances of experiences and culture to translate into the way we work.”
Mediabrands is the media and marketing solutions division of US-based Interpublic Group and manages about US$40bil (RM164bil) in marketing investment globally on behalf of its clients.
One of its strategies to deepen its presence in the local ad and media space amid competition is to really improve on the art of listening, Bala said.
“It is only once we truly understand our clients’ challenges that we can make the right steps to address their needs. By making the client’s KPIs our own KPIs, we can then move towards the same goal post.
“Our role is not just one of planning and implementing media. Our role is to act as business consultants to our clients, to help solve their pressing needs.
“Grooming this on a consistent basis across all agency brands is something we work on actively. The mindset we cultivate is that every senior client-facing talent understands the umbrella of services and solutions we offer and wears the consultant hat, ” he noted.
Bala said the agency’s focus is on outcomes, and not output. Whether our efforts are in media, content or performance marketing, he said ultimately it must all lead to an agreed upon business outcome.
“Having measures of output such as GRP (Gross Rating Point) or CPM (Cost per thousand impressions) are the guidance systems that help us get there, ” he said.
“As a group we are broadening our services into areas of growth such as e-commerce, data consulting, CRM (Customer relationship management) and CDP (Customer Data Platforms), all of which help brands resonate better with audiences in this new climate, given changes in how data is governed, ” he said.