You have been at Endemol for a number of years. How has your role of Talent Manager evolved in that time?
I started in HR at Endemol in 1999 and one of my first jobs was typing response letters to people who had sent in CVs! Technology has moved on drastically since then, and we now have an online database, so that’s been a big improvement. I would say that the role has become more challenging over time, because the talent pool seems to have shrunk and it seems harder to find available people that fit the bill.
How did you become a Talent Manager? Was it a chosen career path?
I started as HR assistant and my role evolved into a Talent Manager role. Having studied psychology at University, working with people was hugely important for me, so I feel very lucky to have this role.
We understand that have a new addition to the Samwell-Smith household – congrats! Your time management skills must come to the fore?
Yes, indeed. As a mum of three, you are constantly juggling and good time management skills are essential! Some days can be challenging, but with a good support network anything is possible. I do think mums and dads make great employees, as they are usually very focussed at work and used to getting things done quickly. Parents are constantly problem solving, and those skills are particularly useful in TV.
What changes, if any, have you witnessed in the industry of the past 15 years?
The internet has had a huge impact on the industry. The way I recruit has changed (largely using online tools, social networking sites etc) and I think it’s changed the way we make and watch TV.
How does your role interact with other areas of the company?
I have the benefit of interacting with most departments here at Endemol – and because we cover most genres, I get to meet a great mix of personalities and hear some fascinating tales from productions.
What do you like best about what you do?
I love meeting new people and hearing about their experiences. I enjoy seeing freelancers progress and move up the ladder and I love feeling proud of the company I work for.
What qualities do you look for in a freelancer when recruiting?
Adaptability, reliability, and a good sense of humour.
Do you see the role of Talent Manager changing in the future?
I hope not too much, but of course every role has to adapt as the industry changes.
What advice would you give to people wanting a career in Talent Management?
I would say that working in production first would be hugely beneficial. When execs and SPs are listing their needs, you need to have a good understanding of what’s needed. It’s seldom spelt out. It has helped me to have an HR background but these are skills that can be learnt.