Experts tip in-house operations and retail media as the most fertile landscape for new job market entrants

The privacy bill, along with broader macroeconomic headwinds, has swept through the headline(s) of the digital media economy in recent weeks, with even “Big Tech” players like Facebook and Google issuing notes of caution to the markets has.

The alarming rate of layoffs has resulted in an employment landscape where tens of thousands of workers now find themselves looking for gainful employment, about 25,000 coming from Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, Snap and Twitter alone.

While further economic hardships lie ahead, there are some emblems of hope for those looking to gain a foothold on the career ladder, even if expectations will need to be managed. Sources tell Digiday that a new generation of start-ups could emerge from the current wave of hardship, with the growing ambitions of new entrants to the advertising market also a potential source of jobs.

However, those expecting to walk into a company and earn a salary comparable to the levels they pocketed at Facebook or Google will need to adjust their expectations with several sources noting how such candidates can come with luggage.

“Those companies have made a lot of hires over the pandemic, and there’s a perception that a lot of those people have gone there to hide,” says Jay Stevens, a veteran executive of the startup landscape, “I mean we’ve everyone heard of “quiet stop.”

Separate sources noted how Big Tech entities enforce a system that does not produce a working culture that encourages ingenuity. “I wouldn’t hire a Facebook or Google sales person,” said one startup executive who declined to be named.

“Anyone who’s had a number of years in a system that’s not flexible will have to readjust, especially in a role where people don’t come to you, and you have to push just to get a meeting.”

Dan Goldsmith, managing director at 3 Pillars Recruiting, also noted “a perception out there that sales people at Big Tech Media don’t really do sales,” but he later added, “there are people out there who have tremendous amounts of sophistication. and control of platforms that will not exist elsewhere.”

Although, Stevens notes how not everyone who has spent time in the Big Tech sphere has the skills needed to start fresh from the ground floor, especially those who got there through acquisition. “There’s a lot of people I know who’ve left places like that because they just don’t like the bureaucracy,” he added, “I’ve hired people from Google in the past, and while there’s a readjustment period, and they was expensive, they were good and helped us build to and go out.”

Meanwhile, sources also noted how those entering the job market following the recent rounds of Big Tech layoffs could also turn to similar scale players with burgeoning advertising ambitions with Amazon and Apple identified as two potential prospects.

Although, separately, sources noted how candidates get on the job market may have most opportunity in the rapidly emerging retail media sector, or possibly even joining an ‘in-house operation’, even more so than the highly sought-after CTV landscape.

Goldsmith of 3 Pillars Recruiting added, “I think the companies that can make substantive, or smart moves on the available talent, will be completely non-endemic companies that are in the housing, their digital media practice, it’s quite rare that companies like the get to hire someone who worked at Google or Facebook.”

He later added: “Then you have retailers who want to build their own media practices, and that’s great, but it’s my belief that it [any future job recovery] only media will come from outside.”

Meanwhile, Stevens, whose experience includes the social media, programmatic and automated TV landscape, noted how outfits looking to transition into the CTV landscape may seek candidates with a legacy background.

“CTV is difficult because really the talent that’s needed there are those with a traditional knowledge base around TV because those are the budgets they have to draw from,” he noted. “If you hear about people being laid off in the traditional TV industry, that’s where the CTV players will be looking to hire from.”

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