Spotlight on Music Recruitment

Last month we gave you an insight into ecommerce recruitment. Today we look at the music industry and recruitment into this ever changing sector.

Intro to Music

Everyone, from every corner of the world likes music.

I often like to think of the music I listen to as the soundtrack to life. It takes all sorts. No two people’s tastes will be the same and people hear the same song in different ways. This makes it a wonderfully personal and unique art.

There are new artists and genres as frequently as there are seconds in the day, meaning recruitment for people to work in the space is also ever changing.

Today, the music industry is multi-faceted and streaming its way to billions. Handle Recruitment are a specialist recruitment company who focus on the sector.

Music Decks

Music Recruitment

David Johnston has been working in recruitment with Handle for 13 years. In 2003 he decided to move to the industry leader.

Much like the music industry itself, the scope of recruitment is incredibly wide. Whether it’s working in Human Resources, Marketing, Artist and Repertoire or the many other functions. Evolution continues to drive music recruitment forward.

When David started at Handle 2003, there were more major labels that sculpted the landscape. This number has diminished in line with acquisitions and restructuring. Digital has become huge and the sector changes incredibly quickly. In terms of recruitment there are now jobs that weren’t in existence just 5 years ago.

For example, who would have thought in the early 2000’s that a Social Talent Manager would be a job – looking after the YouTube stars of the future. Or that holding your phone up to an ad on TV would direct you to a product website?

For success, the impetus needs to be on market knowledge for future insights. 

How are businesses evolving? What are they going to need to make them continually competitive? Digital marketing is getting bigger and bigger, but there aren’t a ready supply of candidates to fill available jobs.

So… how do you fill jobs in a market that’s so candidate driven? Cross pollinating the industry with great candidates from complementing industries is one way. Many of these candidates are great additions because of existing skill-sets.

The typical clients you can work with are diverse. They range from major record labels, independent labels, artist management companies, live venues, promoters, digital music services and many more.

Godin Guitar Close up

The State of Play

Brand partnership is a big area for recruitment currently. Major lifestyle brands want to be associated with iconic music and they want their music teams to be in-house.

The majority of placements tend to be permanent but there are contract roles and the ever changing sector will keep every Recruiter on their toes.

Large campaigns can be worked on a retained basis, however the majority of Handle’s work is contingency and often exclusive. The level and specialism of the role will determine the size of the candidate market, a wide reach is often needed to deliver the best talent.

A high level process is appreciated and poor practice will impact a Recruiter’s potential business quite quickly.

Candidate or Job Lead?

At a low level, the music recruitment industry is job lead. This weighting shifts with rising seniority.

At a higher level there often there isn’t enough supply for demand, however there can be a huge response to mid-level roles.

The good news for music Recruiters is: Everyone wants to work in music and candidates are engaged. 

The common thread is a passion for the industry. Whatever the role you’re working, if there’s not an interest in music you won’t last long. That goes for Recruiters too.

The ability to differentiate as a service and add value is also appreciated. Working in-house with companies adds a lot of value to the client. This means Handle’s consultants have had the opportunity to work on site with their client in partnership… Pssst, you could too.

Keyboardist Haze

Strike a Chord

There are a variety of characters in the music industry and as a result so too in music recruitment.

People who have the ability to build relationships and expertise in the market are treasured. If you want to work in music, you need to completely absorb the language and the market as much as possible.

Know what are the labels doing, what are the future directions? Successful consultants generally come in and build desks in the space they’re interested in.

It works well when your passion becomes your job. Candidates are as important as clients. If you already have a interest, then recruiting in that area is the way to go.

The perks can also be great. There are invites to gigs, events, promotions. Simply being around music will for some, be an incredible perk to their day job.

Music Rave Green Light

Full Stream Ahead

Digitalisation will continue to evolve the industry. Companies are redefining their attraction strategy to fit in line with industry progression. Where before there may have been a complacency of “who wouldn’t want to work for us” hiring managers are now looking at other industries, for people who can switch. Meaning the net for candidate attraction is wider than ever.

There’s also levelling of the financial playing field. Music used to pay less and has perhaps been known as an industry with smaller monetary reward.

Now there are internship schemes and entry into the industry is more accessible and diverse than ever before. The digital skill set is creating ever increasing opportunity and is there for Recruiters to both take advantage and provide real value to their network.

Click here to see where you might fit in to Handle’s current recruitment drive.