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3 Ways to Win Financial Talent Across the Media Industry

May 30, 2023
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Economic uncertainty paired with a talent shortage puts media agencies in a tough position in 2023. Though AdAge reports U.S. ad spending will reach an all-time high this year, anecdotal evidence shows many businesses are cutting budgets and preparing for a recession.  

According to our Media Agency and Supplier Trends report for 2023, only 15% of media agencies said hiring is “not an issue.” With a U.S. unemployment rate of 3.6%, it’s essential for media companies to retain and engage their most talented employees. In uncertain times, an engaged workforce is critical, increasing profitability, productivity and customer loyalty, according to Gallup. 

To hold on to their best and brightest, especially within the finance department, media agencies and suppliers must understand the challenges employees face, learn about their career goals and invest in the tools they need to succeed and grow professionally.  

Digital tools streamline financial operations for media agencies, helping teams work more efficiently. They free staff of manual tasks to work on more strategic initiatives, improving employee engagement. And digital tools solidify supplier relationships, ensuring bills and invoices are quickly processed and paid, which is vital for media buyers. 

In this blog, we’ll look at three key insights from the AvidXchange, IOFM 2023 AP Professional Career Satisfaction survey that can help you drive employee engagement within your media company.

1. Finance Employees Want to Know They’re Doing Meaningful Work

10% don’t feel at all connected to the mission or purpose of their organization. Educating finance employees on the impact of their insights and how they drive business results can lead to higher career satisfaction.  

“Those companies that are automated, they have people who are doing less manual tasks and who love the fact that their company has invested in this.”

2. Investing in Technology is an Investment in Your Employees’ Careers

85% of AP pros “agree” or “strongly agree” access to tools and technology helps with professional development. Giving your staff the tools and technology they need to be successful can improve their work experience, keep them around longer and allow them to grow. 

“AP automation provides a powerful advantage in the media space. Brands want to work with agencies who are innovative and can build efficiencies into all aspects of the partnership, including how they process payments.”

3. Growth Opportunities Lead to More Engaged Employees

84% of AP pros said learning or skills development opportunities are important when considering a job opportunity. Freeing finance staff from redundant, manual tasks can give them more time to work on higher-level, strategic initiatives. 

“There is a huge correlation in the data to show employee satisfaction is tied to automation. You would almost think that it’s inverse, that it’s like, ‘It’s taking my job, I’m afraid.’ And what you actually find is, ‘It’s taking all of the manual tasks I don’t want to do and it’s giving me the value-add activities that are left over, plus the additional stuff I never got to do.’”

Are You Ready to Help Your Media Company Win the Talent Battle?

FastPay’s recent Media Agency and Supplier Trends report found that 85% of the agencies surveyed rated employee retention and hiring as challenging. Along with business continuity (44%), they ranked employee retention (46%) as a top spending priority for 2023. One of the best ways to boost employee satisfaction and improve organizational efficiency is by investing in tech solutions to streamline media finance operations.   

In fact, nearly half of the survey respondents said they would be “extremely unlikely” or “unlikely” to consider a job opportunity at an organization that didn’t have tools or technology in place to automate parts or all of their work. Ninety-three percent described their AP department as at least partially automated.   

If your media business is challenged with hiring, employee retention and doing more with fewer resources, now is the time to invest in AP automation. Your financial team will be freed from menial tasks, improving engagement by allowing employees to focus on more strategic work. More engaged and strategic teams bring a competitive advantage to your business. 

In today’s uncertain economic climate, the smartest media agencies are staying flexible by automating processes to support employee engagement and simplify complex manual systems. 

Download our guide, “9 Stats That Define the Modern AP Professional” for an in-depth look at how to attract and retain talent in a competitive market.

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