- The Great Resignation and the streaming boom have churned up a hot job market in Hollywood.
- Data analytics and data science workers are in highest demand, experts tell Insider.
- “We have more open job positions now — far more than we had in 2018 and ’19,” said one media company HR exec.
The entertainment job market is lighting up as pretty much every major media company in Hollywood beefs up a
The ongoing pandemic and the boom in direct-to-consumer entertainment services have created a heady hiring environment, with the boom in streaming content demanding more workers in production as well as on the back end while the Great Resignation has emboldened many workers to quit in search of better work-life balance.
Continued M&A in the industry has also resulted in layoffs and restructurings.
“The market is really shifting in a way no one has ever seen before,” said JLS Media owner Joanna Sucherman, who works closely with media companies to place high-level executives. “We’re also seeing a complete change in work and how work is done.”
Experts who spoke with Insider identified data and analytics as the hottest sector in entertainment, though there are plenty of listings to go around.
“We have more open job positions now — far more than we had in 2018 and ’19,” one senior HR exec at a major media company said. “And that’s driven by those two things: the general reshuffling going on, as well as our growth in these areas [of streaming and digital]. We’re posting jobs we’ve never posted before, brand new jobs. And I know we’re not alone in that.”
Those new positions fueled by the streaming boom include roles in digital content creation, digital marketing, data science, and business intelligence, this person said. Other experts noted that amid its technological disruption, Hollywood still needs to feed the content beast with seasoned leadership that understands both audiences and artists, as it has since the dawn of the industry.
While legacy Hollywood companies like NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery are quickly ramping up their digital products and distribution, they’re competing for talent with deep-pocketed tech giants like Amazon and Apple.
has traditionally been a “budget without borders” kind of company when it comes to salary, said the media company HR exec did note that. But those jaw-dropping figures may be dipping back to reality along with the company’s stock price after its recent Q1 earnings call revealed slowing growth.
“We can’t outbid Netflix,” said this exec. “I will say in the last few months, we have seen the Netflix offers — when we’re competing against them — being slightly less than they used to be. They’re not quite as insane.”
Amid a hot Hollywood job market, here are the areas that are seeing a spike in demand for workers.
Data science, data analytics, and business intelligence
“As we continue to enter our data into everything, that’s what people are going to become obsessed with,” said Sucherman. “Which is: What are you watching? How are you watching it? When you are starting to watch it? When you are stopping [watching] it?
“Data has become more and more valuable to streamers, to networks,” she continued. “This is how we’re going to live and understand our consumer.”
That could mean data analysts, data scientists, and the engineers who work in those departments, as well as strategists in business intelligence.
Bill Simon — Korn Ferry’s managing director of the media, entertainment, and convergence sector — said that he sees this ramped-up hiring activity continuing for at least the next several years, not just in data analytics but in the businesses and services that support their growth. Hollywood also faces heavy competition for data analytics workers from Silicon Valley, ad agencies, and market research companies.
The pandemic and multiple mergers in the entertainment landscape have put a spotlight on HR divisions.
“So many people, I think, didn’t understand the importance of HR, and then when COVID hit, they were like, ‘Wow,’ so companies are just beefing up their HR departments,” said the media exec.
“The necessity for having a good HR partner during COVID is huge,” said Sucherman. It was HR pros who were responsible for helping employees shift to a remote work environment at the start of the pandemic, and it was those same workers who helped corporations navigate a safe return to offices.
“People realize that this is a department that you need a lot from,” Sucherman added. “Two, because of all the mergers, having a really strong HR partner who can help with the merger, set the culture, bring people together, is vital now.”
As streamers refine their ad strategies, multi-platform ad sales teams are urgently in need of experienced staff. That applies to those involved with revenue creation in addition to partnerships and sponsorships, said Simon, calling it a “high-demand area.”
Noting Netflix’s fresh interest in introducing advertising, the senior HR exec said that there has been “a little uptick in our attrition on our ad sales team, a little bit more of a competitive market.”
Expect an even more competitive ad-sales hiring market as Netflix may look to create a new division from scratch and other media companies fight to retain poachable talent.
TV and film production
After all of Hollywood’s live-action production shut down for much of 2020, the TV and film business has shot into overdrive — chalk it up to both production surging after an early-COVID bottleneck and platforms streaming’ appetite for content. Production contracts are being signed “hand over fist,” as Insider has previously reported, resulting in even more grueling days for already burnt out TV and film crews.
“That’s a supply and demand issue,” said the media HR exec. “There is so much more content to make. And there’s only a handful of people who know how to make it.”
The exec also noted that as Amazon and Apple enter the sports programming arena, there has been an uptick in demand for sports production talent.
Seasoned creative leadership
“There’s always going to be a desire for great creative talent, because especially in the streaming wars, original programming is key,” said Sucherman. “So having great original programming is what keeps people around, and you’ve got to have people there who are creating great original programming.”
Simon noted a particular demand for senior executives who can “get the job done,” ie create and execute strong programming pipelines.
“There’s just not a lot of people who’ve done it,” Simon said of managing large-scale streaming businesses. “And so you have a very, very limited supply and demand.”