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As a director at specialist recruitment agency Ad Talent, Stacey Bossenger has spent the last 12 years finding out what skills the communications and marketing industries need from those they hire. Driven by the need to make a difference in people’s lives, Bossenger spoke to media update about her business, those she recruits for, and what keeps her going every day.

In short, what are your responsibilities as a director at Ad Talent?
I am responsible for the smooth operation of the business and implementing the strategy in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. I also run my own portfolio where I am responsible for a small team.  I really have responsibilities in the overall management of the company and am at the coalface of my own portfolio, which is the communications portfolio including corporate communications, PR, social media, events, media sales and digital.

What drew you to a career in recruitment?
It was not so much recruitment that I was drawn to but more a desire to find a job where I could make a difference to people’s lives. Having had a background in design, media, events and public relations, joining Ad Talent 12 years ago was a natural fit.

In your line of work, what skills are the most sought after in the communications and advertising space at present?
BEE candidates have always been sought after in this industry and we focus on getting the best possible talent. There is an emphasis and shortage on digital across the board, which includes good writing skills, good copywriters, social media, digital creative, digital strategist, digital marketers and senior developers.

How challenging is it finding candidates to meet these requirements?
This can be a real problem where there is high demand and not enough candidates with the necessary skills and experience. Roles currently are not as clear-cut as in previous years. Many clients require their employees to be skilled in more than one area of their expertise.

When it comes to job openings for candidates with the necessary tertiary experience, do you find there is a scarcity of positions available?
As the roles become more integrated straddling traditional and digital, skills become scarcer and the roles become more challenging to fill. There are, however, positions that are oversubscribed with good candidates.

What advice would you give to a matriculant who wants to work within the communications or advertising space?
Tertiary is a necessity, especially with institutions that have a reputation for advertising and communications.

What is the most satisfying part of job, and why did you decide to go into recruitment? 
I change the life of an individual by placing them in their dream job. Where people work has a huge impact on what happens in their lives. Their happiness and financial freedom are determined by where they work. From a client perspective, placing the right candidate with them can have a significant effect on the performance of their company.

A single good hire can change the course of their fortune. Managing people’s careers and watching them grow gives me a tremendous amount of pleasure. I also get to meet many different and interesting people in the industry.

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