In 2015, the key factor for most businesses in the marketing sector is to make sure they are taking as much market share as possible and maximising growth and profitability. This has lead to a very buoyant market and job growth, particularly within consumer facing businesses, with many key clients increasing their marketing headcount. While this is good news for potential candidates, one clear piece of news which has come to light is that the candidate population is not growing at anywhere near the same speed. This has meant that in 2015 there are more jobs available and effectively fewer candidates. 

Hot topic: restructuring for an ‘omni-channel’ approach

There has been a vast change in recent years in the way that consumers buy and research their products online. This has forced marketing teams to diversify the way they communicate with potential customers. Consumer facing businesses are a good example of this, where the online trend has led to more metrics and measurement of marketing activity, increasing the need for businesses to track and nurture consumers at every stage. Building better engagement and stronger brand loyalty is very important now.
A symptom of the online trend and a hot topic of conversation with clients is how to best use customer information gathered online. How can businesses use this data offline? This is often talked about as the ‘omni-channel’ approach to marketing. Although no-one has fully mastered this yet, lots of marketing teams have restructured to ensure that the same messages are being communicated across all platforms.

Talent attraction and retention

There truly is a shortage of candidates in the current climate. In this extremely competitive market place, many candidates have multiple opportunities and are being placed in positions extremely quickly. This candidate shortage is especially true of product marketers/managers, trade marketing/channel marketing and insights/analytics positions. Consequently, the best candidates’ salaries in these areas have increased and they are able to look at multiple opportunities before accepting the one that is best for them. 
The trend has been that employers have had less choice when making a decision. This has led to the most in demand candidates being able to look for 15-20% salary increases when moving jobs, when in FY13/14 it was 5-10%.
Top three tips for employers looking to attract quality candidates in a short-skilled market
1. Choose your recruitment partner well and run a good process: there may be a great opportunity for potential new employees but if you choose the wrong recruitment partner you could just be relying solely on your brand to sell the business. Choosing the right partner will mean that you:
  • Spend less time meeting the wrong candidates
  • Understand your candidates better, know their situation and get the result you want as often as possible
  • Show potential employees how serious you are about hiring the right people
  • Will ultimately attract the best talent to your business
2. Trust your recruitment partner: they know the candidate market place. Three years ago, you may have had a long list of candidates for a similar position but the market has changed. Now only the most suitable candidates will be presented.
3. Be open to transferable skills: marketing directors often remark that the best hires they have made were from outside of their industry. A candidate from within your industry may be the easiest to fit into your business, taking less time to train and get up and running. However, someone from outside of your industry could well bring fresh ideas and new initiatives that may be invaluable to you staying ahead of the competition.

Candidate behaviour

Counter offers are inevitable as the market is expanding. You may be looking for the best talent but the chances are the business they are currently with will not want to lose them. For a candidate, a counter offer will usually come with promise of more responsibility and an better package. Often though, the reality is that these promises don’t live up to expectations. Over 60% of candidates will look to move again within 6 months of accepting a counter offer.
For both clients and candidates, the key to dealing with this is accepting early on that the chances of a counter offer are high and openly communicating at each stage. As long as a candidate is not solely motivated by money, and not many marketers are, the reality of accepting a counter offer is not always as attractive as it may first sound.

Looking ahead

It’s difficult to see anything other than continuing growth in the market place throughout FY15.  Don’t expect there to be a huge increase in the candidate market, but as confidence grows, people will move more freely, creating more opportunities. Businesses will have to seriously consider retention of staff - a certain amount of churn will be important for growth but without a stable team businesses will struggle to grow to their full potential.
Are you looking to take the next step in your marketing career? Are you looking to hire marketers? Or are you simply looking for some further advice on marketing recruitment? Luke Moss, senior consultant at Michael Page Marketing specialises in recruiting marketing professionals within consumer space.
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