- Sixty percent of advertising and marketing hiring decision-makers plan to expand their creative teams during the first half of 2019, and 56% plan to increase the number of freelancers they use, according to a press release from The Creative Group. Thirty-seven percent of employers will maintain staff levels and focus on filling vacant roles.
- Recruiting will center on web and mobile development and web production, which the research shows are the hardest roles to fill. Marketers also expressed a need for professionals with expertise in user experience, creative development and visual design. Among employers, 92% said it’s “challenging” to find creative professionals.
- A slow hiring process was listed as a top barrier to hiring top talent for 19% while 17% said failing to offer competitive pay is a barrier. Retention of creative talent was a top concern for 78%. The top criteria for evaluating applicants were previous experience (31%) and a portfolio (21%), and 74% of hiring managers are more willing to hire creatives with a relevant certification over a college degree.
With unemployment at its lowest rate in decades, The Creative Group research underscores marketers’ struggle to find the right creative professionals with digital skills to meet their needs as they invest more in digital transformation. The report emphasizes that an efficient hiring process, competitive compensation and an organizational culture are key to recruiting top talent. As they struggle to find the right full-time staff, more marketers are seeking out freelancers to fill in skills gaps, provide specialized skills or help out during busy times.
Major companies, like Procter & Gamble, have also been bringing more marketing functions in-house to save money, retain control over creative and better adapt to evolving consumer needs and emerging technology. But, as The Creative Group research reveals, access to internal talent with adequate digital expertise may be one challenge these efforts face. Hiring skilled creatives could be particularly challenging in NYC, the historical center of the advertising industry, following the news that Amazon — whose advertising business is quickly growing — will be opening a new headquarters there.
According to the Association of National Advertisers, 78% of marketers are working with some kind of in-house agency this year. Among those, 90% have increased their shops’ workload over the past year, and in-house agencies are also handling major marketing duties, including strategy, creative across digital and traditional channels, and media planning and buying.
The report that marketers plan to grow their teams next year comes as 64% of marketers plan to increase their digital marketing budgets “marginally” in 2019, and 24% plan to increase budgets significantly, according to an Ascend2 study. Next year, marketers are also prioritizing making digital ads more engaging to meet their brand goals, as more than two-thirds think the growth of digital advertising has harmed the quality of creative, per Sizmek research.