Hiring in marketing and communications is showing no sign of relenting as organisations continue to place an emphasis on their external and internal communications.
The uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues to be on job seekers’ minds. However, despite the future of visas and EU citizens’ rights to work in the UK remaining unclear, we’ve not seen it hugely impact businesses. It seems to be ‘business as usual’, with some roles continuing in London and others placed in local geographies to be closer to their target market.
Some companies are going global, striving to future proof against Brexit by enhancing their international offering to customers. This has namely been seen through merging with or acquiring international businesses to broaden their options.
Due to the new GDPR regulations, marketing teams have had to think carefully about infrastructures and systems in place. The primary focus in this sense is email marketing, where companies have to really consider how to ‘go to market’ and who to target in their communications.
Contract hiring was strong in July and then picked up again at the end of September, with firms getting ahead of the game to ensure they have suitable Christmas cover. On the fixed term contract side it has been quieter, mainly due to the fact that professionals are taking a preference for permanent or day rate contracts and hiring managers are looking to fill maternity and sickness cover by promoting team members rather than hiring additional resources.
Permanent recruitment was steady in Q3 despite hiring taking longer due to particular demand for niche skills including customer engagement within technology and more technical marketers. Within banking, hiring for communications roles was consistently busy, with 80% of the roles across this space being focused on internal communications.
Internal Communications - There were more senior level business partner roles as companies continually seek to improve efficiencies. Whilst team sizes have decreased, role responsibilities have increased, giving individuals more accountability. Previous experience with change and transformation projects is highly desirable.
Marketing Managers - Q3 is repeatedly the most common time of the year for senior marketers to move role. This year the main demand has been for marketing managers with experience managing strategy as well as execution, and those offering either a product or channel specialism.
Social Media Managers - Digital marketing teams have split into specialist areas and there has been an increasing number of social media roles. Recruitment for senior level social media roles has not been as easy as organisations would like, with a disparity between expectations and reality when interviewing candidates.
RFP and Sales Support - Planning for business attraction in 2019, strategy, RFP and sales support recruitment increased to ensure next year is started strongly.
Investment Writers - The most sought-after applicants have traditional investment writing experience as well as experience generating other types of content such as social media posts and blogs, and have worked in-house for a competitor, as it ensures that they can hit the ground running.
More junior roles came through in August and September, coinciding with internal promotions which means employers are on the lookout for recent graduates to be trained and developed. Carrying on from the first half of this year, there is an ongoing appetite for foreign language speakers who are keen to stay in the UK despite the upcoming Brexit deadline.
A number of applications came through from professionals looking to change the direction of their career, seeking employers that would be open to investing in training them to compensate for their lack of industry knowledge. There was a considerable quantity of FinTech marketing professionals from startups who were forced to look for new roles due to a lack of funding in their current company - these could be golden candidates and should not be overlooked purely because they have moved around.
Job seekers continue to have the upper hand in a job heavy market. They have often been interviewing for multiple roles at once, typically going for the role that offers the strongest progression prospects, further sponsorship for qualifications, quick turnaround in processes and a strong base salary.
As we move into the final quarter of 2018, the biggest question on marketing professionals’ minds is around their bonuses. Therefore, a number of firms, particularly those looking to hire senior talent, need to be prepared to wait for any applicants to receive their annual bonuses, or consider bonus buyouts - this is becoming common at large international investment managers.
From a temporary perspective, there could be more contract roles to cover over the Christmas period as well as managing the busy ‘client entertainment’ events season, both externally and internally.
Now that the summer holiday is firmly over, there is more urgency to hire to fulfil headcount allocation before the end of the year. Furthermore, as we move closer to December, more roles are expected to be signed off as HR teams start to approve headcount for 2019.
Contributors to the Q3 Marketing recruitment update: