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This year's top hiring trends for marketers

This year's top hiring trends for marketers Diane Domeyer

What will salaries be like in the new year? What are ways to build the best creative team? And how can you make recruiting easier for yourself and your company? Whether you're a CMO or vice president of an advertising agency, you need to be aware of the latest hiring trends.

Here are eight you should know about:

Experienced pros are hard to find
With marketing departments and agencies stepping up their online efforts, skilled digital specialists are in short supply. Unemployment in the creative industries is low compared to the national average. This talent drought means executives must work harder to find those hot content strategists, video producers and UX designers.

Creativity in recruiting is a must
To fully staff your marketing team, it's not enough to simply write solid job descriptions, slap them up on your website and a job board, and then wait for top candidates to flood in. Executives will also need to use social media, recruit (tactfully) at industry events, and bring in freelancers as a way to see whether they'd be a good fit for full-time roles.

Cyclical demand requires cyclical hiring
Annual reports, holiday promotions, summer lulls, use-it-or-lose-it spending at the end of the fiscal year -- business demands ebb and flow with the seasons. One of the top hiring trends this decade is a growing reliance on project professionals, which helps your department or agency remain productive yet cost-effective. Interim workers give your organization the staffing flexibility and expertise it requires.

Greater need for hiring speed
Hiring trends favor employers who are fast and efficient. When recruiting for highly specialized marketing roles, good things don't come to those who wait. Chances are high that you're not the only manager impressed by a top candidate's stellar resume and portfolio. As soon as an application piques your interest, get the ball rolling. According to a survey by Robert Half, nearly seven in 10 (69 percent) workers lose interest in a firm if they don't hear back within two weeks after the initial interview.

Call the potential employee on the phone and invite him or her to come in for an interview. If that's not possible, such as for those candidates who aren't local, get them on a video call. And when you've settled on your top pick, make that tempting job offer right away.

Wages are on the rise
Lowballing a job offer won't net you the expertise and creativity you require. A continuing talent drought for skilled marketing pros means starting salaries are on the rise -- up an average of 3.8 percent in 2017, according to The Creative Group Salary Guide. If your offer is on the low side, candidates could walk away rather than negotiate higher pay. Use our Salary Calculator to find out salary ranges for marketing positions in your city.

Benefits are becoming more attractive
Want to make an offer they can't refuse? Entice candidates with top perks like a generous number of vacation days, workplace wellness programs, a casual dress code, free food, and time off for volunteering. Remote work options are also appealing to more and more professionals, especially those that belong to Gen Z.

Creative professionals want to grow
Talented digital specialists dread stagnating and becoming outdated. The hiring trends forecast predicts that the employers who challenge their staff and help them develop professionally are the ones who will recruit and retain the best talent. If you can't provide the skill development they need or help them along their career paths, they'll find someone else who will. In the current market, that won't be difficult.

Counteroffers aren't worth the risk
One of the looming hiring trends is actually a retention tactic: counteroffers to entice would-be departing employees to stay rather than accept a competing offer. On the surface, it seems natural for managers to use raises as a way to retain valuable professionals. In reality, though, counteroffers are rarely effective in the long-term. Whatever factors or conditions that led workers to seek another position in the first place would still be there. A more effective tactic is to promote a creative work environment that's simply too good to leave.

The good news is that the marketing pros you seek are out there. The bad news is that your competitors want them, too. The departments or agencies that will succeed are the ones who stay current with hiring trends -- so they can recruit smarter, land top talent faster and get back to doing award-winning work.

Diane Domeyer is executive director of The Creative Group (TCG), a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals. When she’s not managing operations for TCG’s...

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