Programmatic needs people: The 3 kinds of talent a $22 billion industry needs now
With programmatic spending expected to top $22 billion this year, ad tech is hungry for top talent. Despite early fears of a man versus machine job market apocalypse, it’s clear the human element of tech is not going away any time soon. In fact, tech needs more human talent to continue that growth.
This month, LinkedIn offered 2,700 open positions in ad tech alone. While the “start-up culture” is an appealing draw, ad tech companies are far from the only tech vertical on the prowl for new hires. Finance, healthcare and consumer technology companies–not to mention the guys with the Google hoodies– are all vying to attract top-tier engineers, as well as designers, marketers, salespeople and more.
So, who are the people of programmatic?
The ones who want to move fast and build things.
Peter Amos, a Wharton grad, left behind a career in finance to join fast-growing, global ad tech platform, The Trade Desk. “I realized there was a big opportunity to be a big part of an industry that hasn’t fully developed yet,” he said. “Advertising has been around for a long time, and finance has been around for a long time. At this point, everything is pretty much automated, and there’s probably not that much that’s going to be changing in those industries. Programmatic is pretty much the opposite of all those things. You have a chance to make your mark.”
Talent attracted to advertising technology want to make that mark—quickly and daily, said Matt Needleman, a recruiter who specializes in finding talent for programmatic startups.
“They have the opportunity to iterate quickly and the ability to test new features and build new things that they couldn’t in a slower industry.” He sees these challenges attracting talent to ad tech and away from more traditional industries or the well-worn Silicon Valley scene.
The ones who want to feel at home at work.
Shaping the future of a growing industry and facing down unexpected new challenges are the big things that move people to choose a career in programmatic, but the day-to-day stuff counts too. Jeff Kronisch, recruiting director at Harris Allied, has seen a growing number of applicants put lifestyle and workplace culture at the top of their list of priorities.
“I can’t remember the last time I sent someone on a job where they’d be wearing a suit and tie every single day,” said Kronisch, who sources talent for financial and tech companies. His recruits see a closer tie between their work and their personal identity and lifestyle.
“They say, ‘I’m working in online advertising. I’m working in digital media. I’m working in ad tech.’ The mental leap to go even to a financial tech company is huge. They just won’t do it. That’s part of the culture. It has nothing to do with the ping pong and Thursday night beer. It’s how they view themselves.”
That culture is structural as well. Shana Hale, creative director at The Trade Desk, said traditional silos at her previous employer, a native print pub, couldn’t offer her …read more