A Golden Age in Media?

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Are we currently going through a Golden Age for the Media Industry? The landscape continues to evolve at lightning speed; the quality of content has never been better; Twitter, Facebook and Buzzfeed are influencing the way we consume news; new digital services not only provide anytime-anywhere access to content, but they have become high-quality content creators as well. If ‘Golden Age’ equates to the introduction of innovations that change consumer behaviour, then the answer is yes. Increasingly blurred lines between online, television and film ultimately benefit audiences, as new exciting ways to both consume and create content are born every day. And innovation doesn’t stop in its quest to expand the realm of what is possible (Oculus, anyone?). The trite phrase is true: ‘Media’ (whatever that means to you) is indeed ‘An Ever Changing World.’

How do businesses keep up with this rapid pace of change and continue to drive forward? NBCUniversal International understands that its ability to continue to innovate and grow is dependent on one key thing, its People. And that’s with a big ‘P.’ Maria Onyango, Talent Acquisition Manager, is passionate about the value that great employees can add to a company - and not just in terms of the bottom line. Onyango said, “I think it’s telling and important to note that our company values are centred on pioneering spirit, ownership, creativity and teamwork - NBCUniversal may be big, but we are not a machine, we are a family; and like a family, we encourage our people to reach their full potential. In 2014, we will add a new core value – enthusiasm. This is fitting because enthusiasm exudes when you’re working in this kind of environment – ambitious, growing, innovative…”


Ambitious, Growing, Innovative…

Ambitious, Growing and Innovative certainly describe NBCUniversal International and its Chairman, Kevin MacLellan. MacLellan was named Chairman in 2013 following his role as President of International Television. One of MacLellan’s key ambitions is to make NBCUniversal International competitive in attracting top talent vs its competitors. This ambition has guided the company’s recruitment strategy. NBCUniversal realised that it was not only competing with other media companies for talent, but with the technology sector as well. With Comcast Corporation as its parent company, NBCUniversal sits at the intersection of media and technology and its recruitment strategies needed to shift to stay competitive in the marketplace.

In late 2013, NBCUniversal International launched a new recruitment site - http://nbcuni-internationalcareers.com - specifically designed for candidates across 34 countries outside the US with social media and careers videos integrated throughout the site. Onyango commented: “We wanted to create something that shows who we are and what it’s like to work here, but also give an inside look into how we hire and serve as a platform for engagement. The site’s ‘Focus On…’ pages give candidates an insight into our current initiatives, as well as key topics and issues that impact our industry.”


NBCU International also embraced new technology to assess applicants, using Take the Interview. Instead of scheduling a phone interview, candidates can use this technology to complete a ‘video interview’ in their own homes, at a time of their choosing. This can be done via webcam or smartphone app, making the process more efficient and easier for applicants whilst reducing time-to-fill for recruiters.


A Universe of Opportunities

NBCU International recruits more than 500 people per year, which is no small change. What’s more, the success of their recruitment strategy is directly highlighted in compelling stats - in 2013, 85% of new employees were direct hires.
Onyango notes: “This is a complex business covering all aspects of content production, distribution and technology, so there are opportunities for people in areas you wouldn’t expect. Obvious paths such as production, broadcast, marketing, editorial or development sit alongside essential areas like real estate, distribution, technology innovation and audience research.”

But what does NBCUniversal International really do in technology – wouldn’t people be better off going to a traditional tech firm?

Onyango said: “Entertainment is increasingly digital, and we hired an SVP of Technology and Operations, Andrew Jordan, in 2012 to make sure our IT, Broadcast Operations and Broadcast Technology was world-class. Andrew launched a technology innovation team, Media Labs,  staffed with very bright people looking at ways we can leverage new technologies to build new businesses and commercialise opportunities.” Jordan added, “The technology piece is the next generation of how you – and I – will be accessing Downton Abbey, right? Whether it’s on Google Glass, a smart watch, wherever.”

What should people look out for from NBCUniversal International in the coming months? Content aside, 2014 will see more than thirty interns hired on paid 12-month placements in different areas across the company. In addition, they will be inviting four new Management Trainees to join the unique Future Leader’s Programme. Future Leaders was launched in 2012 with the aim to foster the next generation of commercial leadership talent. The programme is aimed at individuals who are passionate about developing their careers in television and propels them toward manager level roles. Onyango added: “Future Leaders is an initiative to identify talent, mentor them across the business and, ultimately, create leaders who will drive the next wave of innovation and growth at NBCUniversal International.”

Earlier this year, an unscripted development office for NBCUniversal’s International TV Production division – named Tellycopter – was launched to create the next generation of high impact, large scale, returnable formats for the international television market. NBCUniversal will be recruiting for a number of creative development executives to join Tellycopter this year.

“It’s a great time to be at NBCUniversal International, added Onyango. With Comcast behind us and great people at all levels of the business, we are driving the media and technology sectors into their next growth phase. We’re proud to be a team who innovate, who embody passion and curiosity, and who don’t believe in standing still.”

You can learn more about NBCUniversal via their website: www.nbcuni-internationalcareers.com or follow them on twitter @NBCUglobaljobs


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