The Star Media Group Builds Up Its Talent Pool To Stay Ahead

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31-07-2013

4 min read

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angie@thestar.com.my

To keep ahead of the rapidly changing and robust media business landscape, The Star media group is leveraging on its strong branding and versatile business platforms to become a global integrated media group that offers holistic media solutions to its customers.

Riding on its six operating divisions of Print, Radio, Digital, Events, Television and Training, it is adopting a two-pronged approach to widen its footprint: through new acquisitions, and deepening its forte by providing compelling content across 20 subject pillars within the group’s product offerings.

A convergence exercise has also been activated group-wide to synchronise the two approaches together.

Sharing the group’s initiative withmyStarjob.com, The Star media group operations director Roshan Thiran says: “Our vision is to be an innovative, integrated and world-class media group. The vision is centred on various touch points that connect with the people through inspiring content.”

In keeping with the changes underway in the organisation, efforts are in place to equip its more than 2,200-strong staff with the right skills, talents and competencies.

“We strive to be a growth organisation where every single employee is learning and growing personally daily,” Roshan discloses.

In order to achieve its aspiration, The Star media group spends more than RM2mil in talent and skill development programmes a year to enable employees to learn new skills. It is recruiting the best young talent who are able to add value to the group.

The programmes that include skills-based training, talent acceleration and management trainees are specifically tailored to meet the needs of The Star media group.

“Skills-based training is largely focused on enhancing skills to support the goal of converging across various business entities whereas talent acceleration programmes cover young, mid-level and senior individuals,” he explains.

Stressing that the “heart and soul” of any organisation are its people, Roshan says The Star media group will continue to invest heavily in talent development “as we truly understand that people are the big differentiator in this competitive new media world.”

“Leadership is an important part of success of any organisation. We are committed to grow and develop talented world-class media leaders to ensure a sustainable pipeline of hopefuls who are multi-functional and also have deep expertise in multiple media platforms that include print, radio, television and digital media space,” he adds.

He stresses that having a good understanding of the media business in its entirety is a critical aspect of the group’s talent development strategy.

One of the main training programmes in place is the Startrack 2.0, an award-winning management training programme that takes its participants on a two-year journey to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary for working in a media organisation.

The dynamic and structured programme is to develop high potential executives to be the pipeline of future leaders in the organisation and the media industry.

Candidates drafted into the programme, called Startrackers, will be placed on different job rotations across the various business platforms.

The King Maker

The main objective is to build a workforce that is well-versed in most (if not all) aspects of the media operations.

“We believe this is a key strategy that will equip the group to better face the challenges of the fast-paced business landscape. Startrack 2.0 is a manifestation of this strategy,” Roshan says.

According to The Star media group senior manager of group HR operations and administration Terence Raj, the recruitment drive will involve a call to the public to submit their applications through the various arms in The Star media group. Drives are also held in local and overseas universities, social websites and in conjunction with Malaysian student groups overseas.

The recruitment process will involve an assessment centre and also in the pipeline is a bootcamp pre-screening finale.

Successful candidates will undergo a comprehensive programme framework that involves robust job assignments, graded functional series, quarterly leadership sessions, group projects, field challenge pit stops, reading and case studies.

“The training involves both functional and leadership sessions. The performance of the candidates will be closely monitored and includes a performance evaluation on the job rotation, grading on the self-study modules, and assessment on projects,” Terence explains.

The well-calibrated programme provides candidates a holistic perspective and insights of the media business. The programme is also meant to help the young recruits build up their management skills and identify which field would best suit them based on their abilities.

Candidates should be degree holders with an excellent track record in extra-curricular activities, high leadership and community involvement, dynamic personality, high achievers and self-motivated, and with less than two years working experience.

The Apprentice

Terence says the Startrack 2.0 programme, designed in collaboration with Leaderonomics, has a solid structure that seeks to challenge and push the Startrackers beyond their perceived limitations through four robust job rotations in the group’s multiple media platforms.

“Based on fully customised self-study modules over two years, the programme will deepen the young executive’s knowledge in the media industry and develop a solid understanding of the various business models, management practices and product specialities within The Star media group,” he elaborates.

Leaderonomics finance and human resources lead Ang Hui Ming says the young Startrackers will undergo multiple projects from process improvements to strategic ones, and be mentored and challenged in “The Apprentice-like” situations every year.

The two-year job rotation will allow the executives to experience four different roles of the media business in just a short period, which would normally take five to eight years.

Meanwhile, the fully customised MBA-like modules are designed to be fun, engaging, self-initiated and deep.

“It sets the quality of the programme and makes it more professional and creates a structure that deepens the knowledge of a media industry leader. In subjects like accounting, finance and engineering, there are professional papers and continuous learning to deepen one’s area of expertise.

“These media-related modules have been designed to create versatile media leadership skills that would be important for these young participants to have a solid foundation as they progress in the industry,” Ang adds.

Given the well-rounded approach of the training programme, successful candidates will be well-equipped with the necessary media and business management knowledge and skills to become the future leaders of The Star media group and the media industry.

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