Marketing Britain “Spread Thin”

Written by: Simon Lewis
Published on: 3 Oct 2011

Nearly a quarter of marketers and creatives in employment would take the first alternative job they were offered, according to new research

I quitLeading marketing recruitment company, Major Players – a subsidiary of Randstad, the world’s second largest recruitment firm – found that the UK’s marketing and creative talent has reached boiling point, with 23% of those employed ready to take the first available job if the salary and benefits equalled their current position.

Randstad’s annual World of Work research surveyed over 200 organisations and 1,400 employees covering all areas of the UK’s workforce. It identified three key talent dynamics which could affect Britain’s economic recovery if unchecked:

The spread thin effect:

Lower headcount budgets mean 23% of organisations acknowledge their people are working at full stretch – and have no spare capacity to achieve more. Yet organisations admit the need to make people work harder to increase productivity is a top three priority on the HR agenda.

Boiling point talent:

A tenth of those people surveyed by Major Players are actively looking for a new job to escape the grind of working in their current organisation, with 4% saying they would take the first job offered regardless of the remuneration package (compared with a 7% UK average). Those earning over £52,000, regularly working over 40 hours a week, emerged as the most disengaged and most likely to move on.

The top two reasons for Major Players’ candidates wanting to leave their employer were a lack of current career opportunities and uncompetitive remuneration – which employers do recognise as push factors. However, only 16% of marketing/creatives surveyed said they received a pay review in the last year, compared with a wider UK workforce average of 26%.

Stagnant talent pools:

A desire to move does not necessarily translate into an ability to move. Lack of demand and an uncertain economy mean many people feel compelled to stay with an employer they would rather leave. Fourteen per cent of total UK respondents admit to feeling dissatisfied with their current employer.

Jack Gratton, CEO of Major Players said: “This report highlights that employees are creaking under the strain of having to work exceptionally hard over the last few years, to keep their organisations going through what remains a very uncertain economic climate.

“For some, the test is simply too exhausting; they are starting to give up, with stagnant talent pools emerging in organisations – the people may be present but they are contributing little. Others are tired of working so hard for such a long time with little additional award – especially when compared to other professional disciplines. They are reaching boiling point in their desire to be recognised – driving them to consider options elsewhere. Whilst marketers and creatives are still keeping the faith more than other parts of the UK workforce – there is a limit to how long this resolve will be tested.”


The World of Work Research Preview Report

The report was compiled using data from the following proprietary research:

The Workmonitor Mobility Index

  • The index tracks worker confidence and captures expectations surrounding the likelihood of changing employers within a six month time frame, providing a comprehensive understanding of job market sentiments and employee trends. In addition to measuring mobility, the survey also tracks employee satisfaction and personal motivation, and includes a rotating set of themed questions. The quarterly research is conducted in 29 countries around the world
  • The quantitative study is conducted via an online questionnaire among a population aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The sample size was 405 interviews in the UK conducted by Survey Sampling International. Research for the third wave of 2011 was conducted between July 18th and August 8th.

Randstad Client and Candidate surveys

  • These client and candidate surveys were completed by 1,237 respondents across both the public and private sector between 23rd July and 16th September 2011. The marketing/creative population surveyed came to 287. The surveys were conducted on-line.

The full report will be issued on the 17th October.

About Major Players

A subsidiary of multi-sector recruitment group, Randstad, Major Players is a leading UK creative and communications industry recruiter, supplying high-calibre professionals to some of the country’s top agencies, across all levels within both the freelance and permanent markets.

For further details please contact Laura Marcus | Major Players | 0207 845 7296 |