Hays UK blog


Get ahead of the competition to attract the best marketing staff

By Clare Kemsley, Managing Director of Hays Marketing, Retail and Sales, UK&I

Nothing stands still for long in marketing, and it looks like the year ahead will be no exception. According to the latest Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2019 report, nearly seven in ten (69%) of marketing employers expect their business activity to increase over the coming 12 months.

And with increased work comes an increased need for staff: nearly three-quarters of employers (73%) are looking to recruit over the coming year. For 32% of organisations, the focus will be on recruiting temporary and contract staff, to fulfil the requirements of one-off projects.

Salaries in the sector have seen a modest growth of 1.3% over the last year – although some areas have seen higher increases, with staff working in data insight seeing a rise of 3%. 70% of employers say they have increased salaries, and 19% of employees have received a pay rise following a request.

Skills shortages and competition threaten hiring plans

A huge 93% of marketing employers have experienced skills shortages over the last year, with 22% citing a need for data and analytics skills shortages as the main challenge in their organisation. Nearly half (49%) of all organisations have seen productivity hit by skills shortages, and 40% have seen a negative impact on their innovation and creativity. In fact, 37% of employers say they don’t currently have the talent in their organisation to meet their business objectives.

Yet with 60% of marketing professionals planning a move over the next year, there is a large talent pool available for marketing employers to benefit from. It is therefore essential for organisations to make sure they’re offering candidates what they want in order to recruit the right people.

So how do marketing professionals stay ahead of the competition and make sure they are attract and retain the very best staff in their field?

  • Prioritise flexible working, as marketers have a higher preference for this than other professions. Over three-quarters (77%) see remote working as important, and 60% say flexi-time is a priority when considering a new role. Make it clear right from the start that these options are available. Don’t expect candidates to know about them unless they are included in recruitment advertising.
  • Don’t treat all potential future employees the same way. Instead, take time to understand what potential employees want from their career. A junior marketing employee will be looking for something very different to a candidate for a senior role. Employers should tailor their attraction strategy for each level of seniority they hope to hire. Businesses need to sell the organisation to candidates, just as candidates sell their skills to prospective employers.
  • Ensure a positive work-life balance is highlighted to marketing candidates throughout the application process. Marketing employees rate their work-life balance highly, with it being a key factor when considering a new role for 62% of these professionals. With so many marketers looking to change jobs in the coming year, making sure employees get the work-life balance they are looking for can help to recruit and retain the best staff.

To discover more insights about marketing, and the prospects for the next year for marketing as a whole, request your copy of the Hays salary guide at

For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Over her last ten years at Hays, Clare has developed a detailed understanding of creative and customer focussed industries and the talent they need to succeed. She is a believer that great behaviour drives the culture of the business and allows the customer experience to be one of the highest quality.


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