Skills crisis forces marketers to be hard at it all night

angry laptopMarketers are being forced to work longer hours due to a major skills shortage in the industry, according to a new study which claims 66% of organisations within the sector are currently feeling the strain from a lack of skilled workers.

The “Mind the Skills Gap” report, published by multi-discipline recruitment specialist Search Consultancy, quizzed more than 1,000 senior managers across 20 sectors.

It reveals that on average, businesses in the marketing industry are 20% understaffed, with the average lead time to hire a suitable candidate standing at just above four months.

While marketing is not as badly as affected as some – over 80% of firms in engineering and manufacturing; financial services; healthcare; and construction have reported shortages, and 75% of call centres – the problem is still acute.

When it comes to the causes of the skills shortage in the marketing industry, and the impact it is having on businesses, nearly a third (31%) of firms say a lack of qualified candidates and an inability to retain staff are the main contributing factors.

As a result of the skills shortage in their industry, 37% of managers admit to not fulfilling work a third (31%) saying staff are having to work longer hours. A further 29% have also had to invest additional spend in recruitment.

Search Consultancy managing director of marketing Ed O’Connell said: ” The implications of Brexit and legislative and regulatory change offset by the global pandemic has seen an increasing demand for niche skills in key industries.

“Businesses, now more than ever, have an increasing range of challenges which combined with a short supply of key talent means there is strong competition for the market’s key skills. In order for the skills gap to be plugged in the industry, we will need to encourage fresh talent to consider a career alongside continued training and investment in existing teams.”

Last month, a report from the Chartered Institute of Marketing claimed older marketers are seemingly being left on the scrapheap – and in some cases willingly jumping on it – when it comes to gaining new skills.

The study “Digital Vision, living on the cutting edge” study exposed a huge age divide when it comes to professional training. It revealed that the over 55s had received no training at all in the two years prior to the pandemic, sparking concern that senior marketers may not be keeping up with the rapid pace of change in the sector.

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