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The Reality of Recruitment as we say goodbye to another year.

By Dan Jones on

As we near the end of 2021 and start looking forward to a new year – whether that means new job prospects, new business, or simply a fresh outlook – we want to answer two primary themes which are undercutting the marketing recruitment industry right now.

One is around the difficulty that recruiters are facing in matching candidates with the available jobs on the market, and the other is about Covid-19 and whether the pandemic is really to blame for the upheaval in the recruitment market.

But before we dive into the main content of this blog, a quick exploration of what’s being said about recruitment. Despite the hospitality industry making headlines for its lack of staff, and the shortage of HGV drivers becoming a hot topic of conversation in 2021, the reality in our industry is that recruitment for marketing professionals is at an all time low. Now, more than ever before, recruiters and companies themselves are having to change their outlook on hiring challenges – changing the recruitment model to meet new candidate demands, and altering the way that roles are presented and fulfilled in order to stay relevant. Even with these changes, roles are becoming harder to fill and the quality of candidates seems to be becoming wider and wider.

But why? And what can we do in 2022 to change this?

Why is Marketing Recruitment so difficult right now?

First thing’s first, as a result of the furlough scheme from 2020 and 2021, and the huge upheaval and uncertainty across endless industries including the clients of many of our own marketing and creative clients, workers do not feel comfortable with the prospect of changing jobs and moving around. What this does is instantly make filling vacant roles with competent and skilled candidates more difficult, because those candidates themselves are not looking to or willing to move jobs. Stability has become a huge part of the recruitment world in 2021, and candidates are not yet ready to take steps towards upheaval.

Another reason for the difficulty in recruitment for marketing professionals is the ever-changing beast that is the marketing and creative industry. From the rise of AI and technology, to the constantly shifting platforms that consumers of all ages use and look to as part of their customer journey, our industry needs candidates who are intuitive and driven by change – and that can make skills matching very difficult. For example, designers need to be able to capture full marketing messages in a simple visual which works across every social platform; meanwhile copywriters must use language and wording which appeals to a broad demographic of buyers who value different things. The world is changing its mindset and our professionals need to be able to keep up – or they will be left behind.

And then of course we have Covid-19 and the simple fact that workers and candidates are looking for more than just a job role and a salary. The candidate attitude to benefits and must-haves has changed exponentially over the last year, transforming the conversation for recruiters from one of salary to one of flexibility, home working, diversity, and inclusion.

The effect of Covid-19 on hiring – is it really to blame?

Would the recruitment market in the marketing and creative industry be facing the same challenges if it wasn’t for Covid-19? The reality is that Covid-19 not only changed workers’ attitudes to the work-life balance, but it also changed the way job roles are performed – transforming operations, driving much of the marketing world online, and forcing even the most creative professionals to communicate virtually rather than through presentations and meetings. For those companies who have been able to keep up with the trend, Covid-19 presented a chance to embrace hybrid working and offer employees a balance of benefits which tick the boxes of flexibility as well as a salary and standard professional benefits.

For those who are still struggling to fill positions, now is the time to change the way that you approach not just the recruitment process but also the way you market yourselves as an employer.

  • Employer branding has become a big part of the process in the last few years, encouraging companies to channel as much focus into the way they are perceived as an employer as into marketing each individual role. Some options include using existing employee testimonials on your recruitment page and checking out your reputation as an employer to understand what workers think of you.
  • Think about what matters to employees and candidates. Prioritise delivering the work-life balance and flexibility that has become so important as a result of Covid-19.
  • Use AI and automation to streamline certain processes, giving candidates a swift recruitment experience with you. Not only will this reflect well on you as an employer, but it will prevent competent candidates from being snapped up by competitors before you have chance to interview or offer them a job.
  • Upskill and focus on training and development as part of an effective retention scheme. Recruitment is not just about marrying candidates up with their perfect job role – it is also about highlighting the ability of companies to retain staff. After all, surely you don’t want to keep recruiting for the same roles over and over again, when you could place one candidate and do what you can to keep them!

Finally, work with a recruitment agency whose job it is to match your vacancies with viable and competent candidates. With so many agencies and companies out there looking for the very best talent, and with the marketing and creative industry constantly changing and looking for team members who will stand at the forefront of technology and consumer changes, being swift and delivering an efficient recruitment process has never been so important.

For more information on how we could help you secure the most sought after candidates in 2022, and to find out more about how to recruit marketing professionals, please get in touch with us.