Demand growing in the digital and marketing sector

Monday 17 November 2014

Now is the ideal time to be a contractor in the digital and marketing sector, as demand for workers increases and companies struggle to recruit permanent staff.

Figures from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) showed that marketing vacancies have increased by 20 per cent, while placements have fallen by six per cent. This suggests that there is a shortage of available talent.

Simultaneously, temporary marketing positions have increased 15 per cent year-on-year, showing that businesses are relying on contractors to maintain existing service levels.

However, despite rising demand, salaries are falling. According to APSCo, permanent salaries have dropped by three per cent.

Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo, said: "It is crystal clear that some organisations are simply failing to offer attractive enough remuneration packages to secure highly skilled marketing talent. With an already present skills shortage in the digital arena which is set to exacerbate in the coming years, businesses risk stalling their own growth if they don’t reassess their attraction packages urgently."

Interestingly this comes at a time when economic confidence is high. Figures from the Treasury have put the UK's economic growth forecast at 3.1 per cent. This is higher than the 1.8 per cent expected at the beginning of the year.

For marketing and digital contractors, conditions bode well. The lack of permanent candidates means work is plentiful and rates remain reasonably favourable.

Demand doesn't look likely to diminish either, as work continues to flood back onto the books. Indeed, marketing budgets are only increasing as the UK economy stabilises.

With growth taking place across all sectors and organisations looking to grow their workforce, marketing and digital professionals will notice contracts coming from multiple industries.

However, there is still caution among businesses, which is likely influencing salary growth. John Nurthern, executive director of global research for Staffing Industry Analysts, which compiles the report from APSCo, said: "There is reason to exercise some caution in planning the year ahead."

"UK economic growth is expected to be rather softer in 2015 and the country is not immune from any deterioration in global economic trends," he continued.

This makes contractors even more valuable, however, giving organisations the ability to scale up or scale down their workforce as demand fluctuates over the coming years.


By Victoria McDonnell

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