Hays UK blog


How can you attract the marketing skills of tomorrow?

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

The Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 guide shows that 69% of marketing employers expect to hire in the next year, a positive figure in otherwise uncertain times. However, we have seen the skills gap continue to widen in the marketing profession. Nearly two-thirds of employers say they have experienced moderate skills shortages in the last year, 10% higher than the UK overall. In addition, a further 10% say they have experienced extreme skills shortages.

So, looking to the year ahead, what are the skills most in demand and how can your organisation ensure it has the skills it needs to succeed?

Data driving demand

Our guide shows that 42% of marketing employers are seeking professionals with data and analytics skills, which is double the need of other professions.

This follows an ongoing trend we have seen where data and analytics continue to be a core element of the marketing role. Today, most marketing activities gather a plethora of information which can be analysed to provide insights into consumer trends, demonstrate ROI and identify business opportunities. Having the ability to interpret this data is therefore a vital skill for any marketing department to have access to.

As a result of this demand, salaries have increased across a number of related roles, including digital directors and customer insight managers, as organisations strive to attract and retain these skills. Professionals in insight roles saw an average salary increase of 1.8%, and online and digital professionals received an average increase of 1.5%.

Calling all leaders

Professionals with experience in leadership and management are also highly sought after by 42% of employers. In our experience, competition has been fierce for managers who are able to display strong leadership and people development skills, as well as strategic thinking. Professionals with these attributes can help develop marketing teams, as well as meet key strategic deliverables.

We have therefore seen salaries rise in the last year for the most talented middle and senior managers, particularly in London, where marketing managers have seen notable salary increases.

Make your organisation an employer of choice

The effects of skills gaps in your organisation can be widespread, including impacting on productivity, employee morale and innovation, which means it is even more important you are able to attract and retain the talent you need. So how can you go about this?

1. Workforce planning must be a strategic priority

Planning ahead can help avoid widening skills gaps in the future. Take the time to fully understand the range of workforce solutions that are available and consider the best options for your organisation. Look beyond immediate people needs to factor in risk mitigation and cost management to be well equipped to put in place the most effective short and long-term strategies.

2. Stay competitive by investing in your employer brand

Marketers no doubt know the value of a great brand, but have you considered your own employee value proposition? Building a strong employer brand has never been more important when it comes to competing for candidates given the skills-short market. Clearly communicate to prospective employees why they should work for your organisation. Make sure you include any flexible working or training opportunities you may have available, as these have been highlighted as important considerations for marketing professionals.

3. Make use of contingent workers to help alleviate the pressure

Temporary workers need not just be used where a certain skillset is required on a project or to meet peaks in demand. Consider their use in helping to take off some of the pressure that an increased workload puts on your existing employees. This can help to ensure targets can be met and growth plans realised, while improving the job satisfaction of permanent employees.

To find out more insights and advice about marketing recruiting trends into the year ahead, request your copy of the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 guide.

To find out more, 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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