Is previous sector experience important for finance professionals within the media & creative sector?
“It depends on the level of candidate and which client you’re speaking to. With senior FDs, if they have sold a business into one of the big media operating companies before or have been in negotiations or pitching, somebody who has come from a different sector would not have that knowledge from day one, so would have a competitive advantage. That isn’t to say somebody from another sector would be quite as good, but they wouldn’t be able to provide that immediate value.
But sector-specific experience is less important at a junior level. Our clients often ask for candidates with systems experience, such as Paprika, but they’d rather have a good candidate who can pick a system up quicker than an average one who knows a system.”
“There are a few factors to consider here. If the position is revenue focused (i.e. dealing with the actual projects), it is very important. If you’re not from the industry, but do have project experience, it would be a very different type of accounting and most importantly it is difficult to assimilate with how they operate. If you’re from a corporate background, it can be a huge change. For example, in the last month, I went into 5 agencies and more often than not there is pushback from creatives on timesheets.It’s not your standard accounting and standard accountants won't cut it!”
“Very. Accountancy within production companies is completely unique and more project-based. If you’re commercially involved at a higher level it is important as your position is (generally) very strategic and understanding the nuances of the sector gives you an edge.
But sector experience is less relevant at the junior level. With junior candidates, the software experience is important, for example, Paprika is only really used in the media and creative sector.”
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