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In Conversation with: Colin Farmer, Vice President Business & Talent Development, IMPACT BBDO

25th July 2016

Laura Bowen-Ashwin, Senior Consultant for Kemistry had the pleasure of interviewing Colin Farmer, Vice President Business & Talent Development for IMPACT BBDO. 

In his interview, Colin gives insight into how he began a career within Talent Development, the challenges he faces within the position and some valuable advice for those who wish to pursue a career within Talent Management. 


How did you get into Talent Management and Development?

It is part of an overall management skill requirement and I gravitated towards a focus on this as a passion gratification.


How have you got to where you are today? 

Listening and hard work.


What’s the hardest part of your job and how do you overcome difficulties?

Managing expectations. Especially those who are not suited to our industry but can’t see it. Open and honest discussion works best.


Tell us about the industry you work in and how this fairs to previous industries you have worked in?

It is the most dynamic, most instantly rewarding industry there is. But without a passion for it, for the process, for the crafting of work and people, it can also be the industry that burns you the fastest. I think only boybands and movie stars can be a comparison – neither of which I have had the pleasure of being.


What’s your proudest career moment? 

Seeing someone you have hand-picked and mentored, shine. Beyond that, winning double gold Effies for Emirates and Agency of the Year 2016.


Why Dubai? 

I was lucky enough to live through the growth and positive optimism of a city and a culture built in 20 years. Where else has that happened?


What career advice would you offer someone looking to go into HR/in-house Recruitment/Talent Management?

Work in an industry first. Understand how it works, how it functions, what drives people and the difference between how people view a job and a career. Then you will be better placed to instinctively manage people.


If you were to ever leave Dubai, where would you see yourself going next and why?

Not really possible to answer this, as any move relates to family future. But it would need to be an international market with diverse cultures and forward thinking.

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