Marketers’ quest for the perfect job – combining top salary, career progression, work-life balance and the now all-important brand purpose – saw almost half (47%) move jobs last year and nearly three-fifths (58%) planning to do so this year as recruitment goes into overdrive.
So says a Spring update to Hays UK’s Salary Survey, which reveals that nearly three-quarters (73%) of all UK businesses are currently recruiting, up from 63% in May 2021 and 56% in February 2021.
This figure is even higher for marketing employers, with over four-fifths (81%) planning to recruit over the coming 12 months in comparison to 67% last year.
The overwhelming majority of marketing businesses have a positive outlook regarding activity levels, with 96% expecting activity to increase or stay the same in the coming 12 months in comparison to 90% last year.
Furthermore, 73% expect activity levels to increase, which is a considerable rise on last year’s figure (56%).
Long-term sentiment has also improved among employers, with almost two-thirds (64%) saying they are optimistic about the wider economic climate and the opportunities it might create within the next two to five years, up considerably on last year’s figure of a third (33%).
For marketers themselves, concern about the economic landscape has decreased significantly from 81% to 53%. This is despite the cost of living crisis and the fallout from the war in Ukraine.
However, skills shortages remain extensive in marketing. Four-fifths (80%) of marketing employers say they have experienced skills shortages in the past 12 months, with productivity cited by 40% as the area most severely impacted by these shortages, a considerably higher proportion than last year (31%). Other areas affected include employee morale (36%) and creativity and innovation (35%).
In tandem with rising skills shortages, recruitment plans have accelerated, but access to talent remains a challenge. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of firms expect to encounter a shortage of suitable applicants, a great deal higher than last year’s figure (48%).
Employers have responded to skills shortages with higher pay rises than expected. Some 42% of marketing employers expected to increase their salaries last year, but 53% ended up doing so. Marketing salaries rose by 2.1%, but even that figure disguises the large number of higher than average salary increases that were seen in insight, online and digital roles.
Salary satisfaction among marketing professionals has improved, with 65% saying they are ’happy with their pay in comparison to 57% last year.
Remote hiring is also prevalent, with 43% of employers saying they are currently hiring or plan to hire remotely, considerably higher than the UK average (28%). Some 90% of those marketing employers planning to hire remotely say the salaries for fully remote employees will be the same as those who are in the workplace some or all the time.
When it comes to reasons for leaving a job, main reason was a too low salary (29%), but a lack of career progression (26%) also emerged as a strong motivator, higher than the UK average (16%). Moreover, 34% of employees say that their current organisation lacks scope for career progression, and 58% plan to leave their job in the coming year, also higher than the UK average (52%).
Nearly all marketing employees (92%) say an organisation’s purpose is important when moving job, and almost a fifth (19%) plan to find a role with greater purpose in the coming year.
Work-life balance has also improved for many marketers, with 61% of professionals rating theirs positively compared to 52% last year. It remains of critical importance to jobseekers – 38% say it is the most important factor when considering a new role excluding salary, above the UK average (32%).
Most marketing employers are now focusing more on flexible working (84%), which is also the top priority for employees.
However, while 40% of professionals want more support for training, only 28% of organisations prioritise this. Similarly, although almost half (42%) of employees want more wellbeing support, such as additional days off, only around a quarter (28%) of employers offer this.
Marketing young guns ‘want to challenge status quo’
Young hungry for digital jobs – once they get the facts
£23m fund to boost diversity in data science and AI jobs
UK firms facing talent crisis as millions plan to quit job
Big issues still to tackle in 2022: The talent contest
Four in ten have ditched adland for a change of career