Marketing and digital: Combatting the skills gaps in a candidate-led market

The talent shortage in the UK has affected almost every sector in terms of recruitment. The marketing sector, in particular, is evolving in such a way that has meant skill sets are overlapping with those required in the digital space. However, the lack of top talent in the market also means that a skills gap has developed across the sectors.
At PageGroup, we have conducted thorough research through surveys and roundtable discussions to create two informative white papers. These reports offer the solutions to closing the skills gaps in your organisation and building a team fit to overcome the challenges of tomorrow. 

What skills are missing in the digital and marketing professionals of today?

In areas including analytics, content marketing, SEO, programmatic, and display, the market is in high demand for professionals and in short supply of talent. These skills gaps are preventing teams from innovating at the rate they could be, making them ill-equipped to reach their full potential. With junior team members missing vital marketing knowledge, and as senior leaders are often lacking experience with the digital aspects of the evolving marketing roles, businesses are falling short when it comes to building a well-rounded, talented team.
In order to bridge the skills gaps, there needs to be a combined effort across organisations, the Government, and education providers, to identify where these gaps are forming. Once the cause is identified, there needs to be a proactive and unified approach to close these gaps. We want to help you begin to identify the key issues and learn how to combat them.
  • Identify which skills are really needed.
  • Determine an optimal organisational structure.
  • Create ongoing training and development plans.
  • Develop your team’s soft skills.
  • Fill the gaps through an effective recruitment strategy.
It is important to know that there is no easy solution to dealing with a skills gap in an organisation. While developing your team and their skills over time will ensure that you are remaining at the forefront of digital and marketing innovations, it is crucial to remember that retention is as important as recruitment, so make sure that your staff have a clear progression plan and goals. Maintain happy and motivated employees so that they continue to progress within their role.

Looking to the future: building a team for tomorrow

It is important to identify the specific skill sets that are missing within your marketing team. This will help you to recognise the skills you need when recruiting new digital and marketing professionals to join your business. Knowing these skills and the value that they will add to your organisation, to create business success, will allow you to develop better strategies to impress your audience and stimulate your team.
There are a number of key challenges that businesses are facing when hiring. Firstly, the candidate-led market of today means that top talent is being recruited quickly. Secondly, businesses are finding it harder to retain their top professionals. 
In addition to these, there are a number of external factors and shifts in expectations contributing to the challenge of attracting top talent.
  • Flexible and dynamic working.
  • The perceptions of marketing.
  • The role of marketers vs digital teams.
  • Upcoming challenges in the market.
You should be utilising your knowledge of why people are leaving your organisation. Learning how to make the most out of exit interviews, and speaking to your employees about why they are looking elsewhere, can help you to learn what new professionals are looking for in a workplace. It is important to keep a happy and motivated workforce in your business, as this will improve retention rates and productivity.

Ways to improve your attraction and retention

Pinpointing the exact reasons why employees leave is difficult, but there are improvements that organisations can make to ensure that they are doing the most for their staff. Evolving your team is paramount to ensuring that you are moving alongside the ever-changing industry, and not being left behind. Encourage your team to think strategically and put forward new ideas for your marketing strategies and business direction. It is important to understand that there is no quick-fix to bridging a skills gap in your business. However, there are some key steps that all marketing and digital leaders can take to strengthen their team.
  • Unify your digital and marketing functions. 
  • Consider the culture, attitude, and structure of your business.
  • Bring back core marketing skills.
  • Meet the expectations of the evolving workforce.
  • Cut through the noise.
If you would like more information on the skills gaps within the digital and marketing sectors, please download our white papers ‘Bridging the Digital Marketing Skills Gap: How to Win the War for Top Talent’ and ‘Future Proof Marketing: How to Build a Team Ready for Tomorrow.’ These white papers offer in-depth insight from our specialist recruitment consultants in partnership with the CIM and Target Internet to provide solutions on how to improve your marketing teams, and bridge any skills gaps you have within your business.
Alternatively, if you are looking for help with your recruitment process, please get in touch with your local Michael Page office today.
Huw Jones
Operational Director, Michael Page Marketing
T: 01932 264 227