Is the recruitment of Contract Marketing & Communications professionals the ‘New Norm’?

Lauren Willox 07.05.2020

As we currently embark on a very bizarre and tough time in the job market, not just in London but globally, many Heads of Marketing and Communications need to rethink their hiring approach for the next year.

It has become more important than ever to hire exceptional talent in order to get through, and still be able to deliver during this time. However, with the ongoing lack of certainty in the recruitment market, it is inevitable that some firms may be hesitant to invest in permanent members of staff.

The Solution?

Temporary/interim hiring can often be downplayed or overlooked by both jobseekers and clients. However, hiring staff at short notice, with the skills to settle in quickly and add value from day one is going to be the key resolution for organisations who are revising their hiring strategies.

What are the benefits of contracting for job seekers and employers?

Job Seekers

  • Quicker hiring process - can get you back into work quickly.
  • A path to permanent employment - temporary work is a great way to showcase your skills to a business, who may want to take on a permanent hire for that role going forward.
  • Opportunity to explore a new career direction - through project work, you can gain further skills and experience, to further enhance your career and CV.
  • Covering CV gaps - for those victims to redundancies, restructures, and merging businesses, often contract work can be a way of keeping yourself in the market, whilst you determine your future aspirations. It also takes the pressure off you whilst you look for something long term. 
  • Allows for flexibility - more control over the type of work you do, often your hours and if you want time off between work, you can make that happen. Furthermore, being able to negotiate your rates means you are in full control of your livelihood.
  • Opportunity to network - within your industry, get to know as many senior stakeholders as possible and build on your experience in different environments.
  • Get your foot into the door of a great firm - and then you never know where the role might take you.

Hiring organisations

  • Lower cost to the employer - a lot of costs linked to hiring contractors are covered by third parties, meaning you might have the budget to stretch further when hiring contractors.
  • Overcome the obstacle of headcount restrictions - it may be hard to get permanent headcount signed off as firms are ‘taking stock’, but if you have a project that needs attention, a temporary solution is definitely your answer.
  • Allows for flexibility - for both parties.
  • Will often lead to meaningful hires - a lot of our clients have mentioned that some of their best staff started as contractors, with clear determination and drive to succeed in their projects from the outset, they can quickly imprint a strong impression on their line managers. 
  • Coverage of maternity, paternity and sickness leave - Marketing Departments are always going to need longer term cover at very short notice.
  • Can boost morale in the team - bringing in someone with fresh ideas can be a great way of getting your team working well together.
  • More efficient hires for a specific skill set or project - often the most successful Marketing or Communications contractors are those who have a niche skillset to offer a business, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on that!
  • Hiring, administration and payroll is the responsibility of the agency - you may be managing large teams, and therefore temporary workers can take the pressure off, as they are managed by an external party. All you need to do is click the ‘approve’ button on timesheets each week and the rest is not for you to worry about.
  • Quicker hiring processes - often career contractors will have notice periods between one and four weeks so can quickly hit the ground running and as they're more used to freelancing, or even working remotely, they are likely to be able to adapt easily to working from home.

The bottom line

There are countless benefits to hiring temporary staff and particularly in Marketing, Communications and Digital, bringing in specialists to ‘plug-in-and-play’ quickly, can only be a good thing. Recently, we’ve seen more hiring for CX (Client Experience) Managers, Graphic Designers and Presentations Specialists, Events Specialists, Digital Marketers and Client Communications Specialists. There’s no doubt that Marketing teams are quickly having to change tact in their 2020 marketing strategy, maximise on digital communications and need expertise quickly to turn their hand to hosting ‘virtual’ events and ensure employees and customers are staying connected. 

As a recruiter on the front line of the job market, there is no doubt that interim hiring is the new norm and a shift in hiring mindsets will only open a world of new opportunities.

Lauren Willox's picture
Senior Consultant | Marketing Recruitment


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