No Hiring Boom Ahead for Ad Biz

- Mark Dolliver
If you've been waiting for a resurgence in hiring of advertising and marketing professionals, a new survey by The Creative Group suggests your wait is not over.

Ten percent of marketing/advertising executives polled by the staffing service said they expect their company to increase "the number of full-time marketing/advertising personnel on your staff during the fourth quarter of 2010." That barely exceeds the 7 percent expecting the headcount of such staffers to decrease during the fourth quarter. The rest think such staffing will remain at its current level.

While advertisers and agencies appear in no rush to staff up, job seekers can take some solace in the possibility that an increase in business could push some to do so anyway.

When respondents in the survey were asked whether they're confident about their company's prospects for growth in the fourth quarter, 43 percent professed to be "very confident," with another 50 percent "somewhat" so. Just 7 percent said they're "not at all confident" on that score.

With so many advertising and marketing jobs having vanished in the past few years, you'd think it'd be easy for companies that are hiring to find people who'd suit their needs. But a majority of the poll's respondents didn't see it that way. Asked to say how hard it is "to find skilled marketing/advertising professionals today," 54 percent said it's "challenging," vs. 39 percent saying it's "not challenging." (The rest said the question didn't apply to them.)

To the extent that ad agencies and other companies are looking to hire these days, what areas of specialty are they seeking? "Public relations" and "marketing research" were each cited by 12 percent of respondents, while "social media" and "account services" were each mentioned by 11 percent.

Slightly fewer pointed to "print design/production" or "Web design/production" (10 percent each). "Creative/art direction" and "brand/product management" were next in the standings (9 percent apiece), followed by "media services" (8 percent) and "interactive" (7 percent). Dead last (cited by 5 percent) was "copywriting."

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