Just 5% of marketers plan to expand their teams in the first half of 2018, study finds
- Seventy-eight of surveyed marketing and advertising executives will maintain staff levels and hire primarily to fill vacated roles, according to a study by The Creative Group whose findings were made available in a press release. Only 5% reported plans to expand their teams in the first half of next year, and 17% stated they are freezing hiring altogether.
- Fifty-three percent of executives said it is challenging to find creative professionals, while 45% reported the same just six months ago.
- The top five marketing specialties in demand include content marketing (25%), brand/product management (23%), digital marketing (22%) and marketing research and copywriting (both 20%). Social media marketing narrowly missed the top five at 19%.
The Creative Group's study reinforces the strain many marketers are feeling to round out creative and technologically-savvy talent. Content marketing and digital marketing landing in the top areas of demand speaks to consumer's shifting preferences in terms of what they want to see from brands, but brands are struggling to build out teams with finesse in these areas. This pinch will likely be more sharply felt as the demand for greater personalization in marketing continues to ramp up.
"A priority for many companies is using data to deliver personalized experiences throughout the customer journey," Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group, said in a statement. "Finding people with experience in this area is a challenge, as they're in high demand and short supply."
Recent research from the freelancing website Upwork echoes The Creative Group's findings, stating that hiring is more difficult now because of a growing talent gap that stems from marketers' need for more highly-specialized skills. Upwork found 3x as many marketing managers reported hiring has become tougher in the past year.
One response will be an increased reliance on freelancers, Upwork said, and the group forecast 50% of traditional agency dollars will be redirected toward freelancers over the next 10 years. Technology is one driver of this shift as companies become more comfortable with remote workers.