Future talent: Securing the talent - part two

In the second of our two part series, we continue to take a look at how agencies, brands and organisations locate and recruit future stars.

The British Fashion Council wants people with passion, enthusiasm and a knack for spreadsheets
The British Fashion Council wants people with passion, enthusiasm and a knack for spreadsheets

British Fashion Council (BFC)

The not-for-profit organisation is behind London Fashion Week and London Fashion Weekend - renowned fashion events that can attract students and recent graduates in their droves.

Personality and life experience

Josef Jammerbund, head of events at the BFC, seeks individuals with passion, motivation and energy who demonstrate a knack for spreadsheets.

"I look for people who are creative and can talk about their interests outside of work, whether that involves going to festivals or digging for ancient pottery in Wales. In the event industry it is essential to be creative and to be inspired by your surroundings and the experiences you make," he explains.

"I also want people who have an opinion. Whether we agree on something or not, it's important to have a point of view."

Degree versus on-the-job experience

Jammerbund doesn't see events management or other degrees as the be-all and end-all when it comes to securing a job within the industry.

"An events management degree can be a good foundation and can demonstrate that a prospective candidate will have good theoretical knowledge of the industry. However, I would not rate this as highly important.

"If someone has retail or hospitality experience, it demonstrates that they know how to deal with people and that is a very large part of what we do on a day-to-day basis. I need my team to be able to relate to people, whether they be clients, sponsors, designers or agencies," he adds.

Jammerbund similarly highlights the value of industry experience: "Internships or days spent as a runner will give a candidate an understanding of the pressures others are under, and the importance of every detail."

Internal schemes for students and graduates

The BFC has a job section on its website, which includes internships as well as new graduate opportunities. "(It) gets updated all the time so it's a great idea for candidates who want to work for us to look out for new job specifications," says Jammerbund.

Seed Marketing

Seed Marketing specialises in the delivery of student-focused experiences for brands including Budweiser, Spotify and Nike.

Personality and life experience

Given its niche, the agency has a specific set of criteria when it comes to entry-level recruitment.

"Organisation and conscientiousness are the number one things that we look for. We want to find hungry and ambitious people who are going to go the extra mile for the client and the agency," says Celia Forshew, founder and chief executive of Seed Marketing.

It's also important that individuals are highly knowledgeable when it comes to popular culture. "Our younger recruits are a really important source of insight so it's essential that they're active in the scene.

We look for nice people who also have something special about them," she adds.

Degree versus on-the-job experience

Although the agency is open to employing individuals without a degree, Forshew recognises the value of university courses in events. "We would never discount a candidate for not having a degree, but I am always amazed at how much events management students can handle at an entry level," she says.

"The members of Bournemouth University's events management department generate some amazing candidates and are absolutely excellent at getting their students into the industry."

Prior industry experience is also a plus. "For us it is important because it shows hunger and ambition. It also means that the candidate is likely to have the professional basics," adds Forshew.

Internal schemes for students and graduates

Seed offers three internal positions for students each year, and the agency liaises with its clients to place individuals into roles.

"Seed works with thousands of students a year for influencer, student brand manager and activator campaigns. In the past two years, ten of the best student brand managers have made it into Spotify, Just Eat and Cancer Research UK," says Forshew.

Read the first part of the feature here. 

Comment below to let us know what you think.

For more in-depth and print-only features, showcases and interviews with world-leading brands, don't miss the next issue of Event magazine by subscribing here.

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