Talent Shortage Continues To Affect Marketing And Media Sector

Written by: Simon Lewis
Published on: 2 Jul 2013

Marketing and media jobs continue to grow while available candidates are in steep decline


Latest employment data from The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) reveals that the marketing and media sector continues to suffer from a mass talent shortage. Permanent placements have collapsed by 21% year on year, but actual job openings have risen by 2% which is indicative of an ongoing scarcity of available candidates.  While organisations are increasingly turning to temporary workers to help alleviate this, the ongoing decline in placements indicates a marked skills shortage.

This trend can be attributed to a mismanagement of expectations within companies seeking to develop digital marketing strategies.   This sentiment is echoed by founder of niche job board, OnlyMarketingJobs.com, Simon Lewis:

simon lewisThe latest APSCo monthly hiring trends report showing a decline in marketing and media placements is not a surprise.  Quite simply workers have been unable to meet the demands of our increasingly digital world, resulting in a mismanagement of expectations within hiring organisations looking to quickly develop their digital marketing strategy.

The skills shortage has increased the so-called ‘war for talent’, meaning the finite number of experienced digital professionals are snapped up quickly, whilst the rest are embroiled in an elongated beauty-pageant-style round of interviews, hoping to convince the judges that their skills are up to scratch.  Additionally, technology and associated analytics – formally the exclusive domain of IT – is muddying the waters as companies seek the ‘all-in-one’ marketing and technologically capable employee”.


Elsewhere APSCo’s data reveals that the permanent IT market is suffering badly.  Despite historically being one of the most resilient sectors, permanent placements have declined by 14% year on year and vacancies have collapsed even further (16%).  Yet there are encouraging signs in the temporary IT recruitment market with a 2.7% increase in placements year on year. This can be attributed to organisations’ on-going use of temporary and contract professionals in today’s new era of corporate agility; a sentiment echoed by Victoria Maloney, Global Operations Director at SThree:

“There has been less movement in the permanent market in recent months. But although vacancies are dropping off slightly, premium candidates at the senior end of the market are still in demand for enterprise change, business intelligence and change management roles.  We are continuing to experience growth in the contract market as employers take advantage of the benefits of a more mobile workforce without fixed headcount costs.”

Ann SwainAnn Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo comments: “Whilst the marketing and media sector is clearly booming as reflected in the increased number of job opportunities, it is concerning that staffing companies are struggling to source staff to meet the demand. Recruitment consultancies need to not only work with hiring organisations to help plug this gap now, but they also need to work closely to develop effective talent pipelining strategies to prevent further skills shortages in the long run.”

John Nurthen, Executive Director International Development for Staffing Industry Analysts which compiles the data on behalf of APSCo comments:

“Looking at the trends over a two-year period, the demand for marketing and media professionals has remained remarkably constant but we can see clearly that professional staffing companies are struggling to find the right candidates on behalf of their clients.”
Notes to Editors

The Monthly Trends Report

The Monthly Trends report provides a unique regular update on trends in the professional staffing market. It is produced by Staffing Industry Analysts on behalf of APSCo and the full report is made available to APSCo members as well as to Staffing Industry Analysts research subscribers. The Monthly Trends report includes information on vacancies and placements for both temporary and permanent recruitment, gross margin trends, staffing penetration rates, relevant economic data as well as a comprehensive analysis of online recruitment activity supplied by Innovantage.  The additional data on salaries is compiled by Broadbean.

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