Research Shows Stable Hiring Environment for Creative Professionals

The employment outlook for creative talent is expected to remain relatively steady in the second half of 2017, according to a survey of advertising and marketing executives by The Creative Group staffing firm.

Just 9 percent of the executives surveyed said they plan to expand their teams. The majority (64 percent) anticipate maintaining staff levels and hiring primarily to fill vacated roles.  About 4 percent of executives said they planned to reduce positions and 21 percent said they would be freezing employment (not filling vacated positions or creating new positions).

The executives who said they plan to add staff will be adding employees in one or more positions, including:

  • Account services: 24 percent
  • Mobile design/development: 21 percent
  • Marketing research: 21 percent
  • Public relations: 20 percent
  • Social media: 19 percent
  • Customer experience: 18 percent
  • Web design/production: 18 percent
  • Digital marketing: 18 percent
  • Print design/production: 18 percent
  • Brand/product management: 17 percent
  • Interactive media: 17 percent
  • Copywriting: 16 percent
  • Media services: 16 percent
  • Content marketing: 15 percent
  • Creative/art direction: 14 percent

Recruiting Challenges Persist

Forty-five percent of advertising and marketing executives said it’s challenging to find creative professionals today. Hiring managers at large advertising agencies (100 or more employees) expect the greatest difficulty, with 67 percent reporting it’s somewhat or very challenging to identify the talent they seek. According to survey, the hardest roles to fill are those in media services, customer experience, and account services.

To overcome recruiting challenges, companies may expand their search geographically. Forty-five percent of executives said they are now more willing to look outside their city or state to find the right person for a creative position than they were three years ago.

“Demand for digital content and services continues to grow, and companies struggle to find professionals well-versed in the latest platforms and strategies used to create unique and positive customer experiences,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Given strong competition for these highly skilled individuals, employees need to take a proactive and streamlined hiring approach to secure top talent.”

The Creative Group Blog offers tips on hiring creative professionals in a competitive market and advice for job-seekers.

About the Research

The national study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 400 telephone interviews — with approximately 200 marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees, and 200 advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

The Creative Group specializes in connecting interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire, and full-time basis. Visit roberthalf.com/creative group.

The Creative Group Hiring Climate Infographic

 

 

2017 Salary Guide Lists Ranges for 120 Creative and Marketing Jobs

According to The Creative Group 2017 Salary Guide, starting compensation for creative professionals is expected to increase 3.6 percent in 2017. In-demand positions such as user experience and mobile designers are likely to see even bigger gains.

The 9 creative and marketing professionals listed below will be in the greatest demand and shortest supply in 2017. Compared to 2016 salary ranges, their starting compensation is expected to be higher than the 3.6 percent average received by all 120 positions covered in the Salary Guide.

  • Front-End Web Developer (1-3 years’ experience): 7.2%
  • Mobile Designer: 6.8%
  • User Experience (UX) Designer (3-5 years’ experience): 6.1%
  • Content Strategist: 5.4%
  • Visual Designer: 5.3%
  • Project Manager: 4.6%
  • Digital Strategist: 4.5%
  • Interactive/Web Copywriter (1-5 years’ experience): 4.4%
  • Marcom Manager (5+ years’ experience): 4.2%

Setting the Right Salary Matters

“Hiring creative talent is getting increasingly harder as demand remains strong and unemployment rates in the industry continue to trend below the average,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Since it’s a candidate’s market, employers must step up their recruitment efforts to secure the talent they seek.”

When The Creative Group surveyed 400 marketing and advertising executives about their biggest recruiting challenges, compensation ranked high on the list. When the executives were asked to name the most common reason candidates turn down job offers, 27 percent said it’s because the compensation and benefits were lower than the candidate expected.

“Salary may not be the only consideration for job seekers, but companies that aren’t paying competitively stand little chance of attracting and landing highly skilled candidates,” said Domeyer.

Top 4 Hiring Trends

The Creative Group 2017 Salary Guide highlighted four key trends that hiring managers should consider.

Timing is everything. Because top candidates often receive multiple offers, organizations should move quickly. When faced with a lengthy hiring process, 39% of candidates lose interest or pursue other opportunities.

Skilled talent is in short supply. The unemployment rates for specialized positions are typically lower than the national rate.

Education is essential. More than 95 percent of jobs created during the recovery have gone to individuals with some college education.

Temporary is becoming permanent. Firms are bringing in freelancers instead of letting jobs sit vacant. This gives employers more time to recruit or determine if the temporary project professional is the right fit for a full-time role.

“Creatives with skills outside their specialty are highly marketable. In addition, digital proficiency is becoming a prerequisite for many traditional roles. For example, graphic designers need to be familiar with web layouts or social media and copywriters must have knowledge of search engine optimization.”

About the Guide

Whether you are a job-seeker or employer, The Creative Group 2017 Salary Guide can be a useful tool. It features starting salary ranges for more than 120 positions in the creative field. Positions are grouped in five categories.

Design and Production positions include creative director, creative services manager, art director, production manager, studio manager, traffic manager, illustrator, graphic designer, package designer, 3D animator, multimedia designers, presentation specialist, and production artist.
Interactive Design and Production jobs include interactive creative director, interaction designer, visual designer, user experience director, user experience specialist, user experience researcher, web designer, email designer, HTML developer, front-end web developer, interactive producer, web production artist, motion designer, video producer, video editor, mobile designer, and mobile developer.

Content Development and Management jobs include copywriter, proposal writer, curriculum developer/writer, instructional systems designer, interactive/web copywriter, blogger, copy editor, proofreader, content manager, content marketing manager, and content strategist.

Advertising and Marketing positions include chief marketing officer, marketing director, marketing communications manager, business development manager, creative director, account director, account executive, account coordinator, account planner/strategist, digital strategist, event/trade-show coordinator, social media manager, SEO specialist, email marketing specialist, marketing analytics specialist, and market researchers.

Public Relations jobs include account manager/supervisor, senior account executive, account coordinator, public relations director, and public relations specialist.

The salary data included in the guide comes primarily from The Creative Group’s North American staffing and recruiting professionals. They make thousands of full-time, temporary, and project placements each year.

The ranges published in the guide represent national averages but can be adjusted for local markets by using local variance numbers included in the guide. For example, a starting salary in Los Angeles might be 130 percent of the national average whereas a starting salary in Sioux City, Iowa might be 85 percent of the national average.

The Creative Group is a division of Robert Half, the world’s largest specialized staffing firm. The Creative Group connects companies with highly skilled interactive design, marketing, advertising, and public relations talent. The Creative Group provides flexible staffing solutions by placing candidates on a project, contract-to-hire, or full-time basis.

tcg_0916_graph_hiring_process

Survey on Creative Work Environments Shows Differing Opinions

According to research by The Creative Group staffing firm, managers and employees don’t see eye to eye about the type of office setting that provides the most creative work environment. Creative workers gravitated toward private offices, while managers preferred open-concept offices and cubicles.

In a recent survey, more than 400 advertising and marketing executives responded to this question: “Which of the following workspace arrangements do you think is most conducive to encouraging creativity?”

The executives’ responses were as follows:

  • Open-concept office (unenclosed spaces for multiple people): 36%
  • Cubicle (semi-enclosed workspace for one person): 21%
  • Shared office (enclosed workspace for 2-3 people): 19%
  • Private office (enclosed workspace for 1 person): 18%
  • Remote office (home, coffee shop, etc.): 4%
  • Don’t know: 1%

When 1,000 U.S. workers were asked the same question, their views were different. Many creative workers favored private offices. Here are the responses from the workers:

  • Private office: 36%
  • Open-concept office: 26%
  • Cubicle: 19%
  • Shared office: 14%
  • Remote office: 4%
  • Don’t know: 2%

Creating a Better Space

The Creative Group offers four ideas for creating a more stimulating work environment.

Construct creativity zones. Designate a few areas on the office for brainstorming and impromptu meetings. Stock each space with industry publications and an easel pad to jot down ideas.

Offer private sanctuaries. Provide stations where individuals can work in solitude without distraction. While open floor plans can increase collaboration among employees, some projects require greater focus and concentration.

Build a mood board. Encourage team members to post content they find intriguing to a common wall where others can draw inspiration. Also invite staff to take photos of anything they might want to reference for future projects.

Think outside the office. Hold team meetings in a nearby park, courtyard, or cafe. A change of scenery is sometimes all it takes to spark the imagination.

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in connecting interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations talent with companies on a project, contract-to-hire, and full-time basis.

The Creative Group blog features career and management advice such as:

Switching from Graphic Design to UX Design

How Organizational Culture Can Impact Your Career Growth

 

Research from The Creative Group shows executives and workers differ on ideal work environment for creativity (PRNewsFoto/The Creative Group)
Research from The Creative Group shows executives and workers differ on ideal work environment for creativity (PRNewsFoto/The Creative Group)

 

 

Creative Group Survey Reveals Hiring Trends through End of 2016

In a recent hiring trends survey by The Creative Group staffing firm, 13 percent of advertising and marketing executives said they plan to expand their teams in the second half of 2016. This is up from 11 percent in the first half of the year.

The majority (59 percent) of respondents said they expect to maintain staffing levels and hire primarily to fill  vacated positions in the next six months.

In addition, 20 percent of the advertising executives and 10 percent of the marketing executives anticipate increasing the number of freelance staff during the remainder of the year.

“Many companies are adding to their bench of marketing talent, particularly within the digital space,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Employers seek professionals who can help build their businesses’ online presence, support year-end campaigns, and strategize for the future.”

Creative Specialties in Demand

When executives were asked in which areas they plan to add staff in the second half of 2016, they reported a variety of specialties. Topping the list (at 18 percent each) were content marketing, brand/product management, digital marketing, and web design/production.

When advertising and marketing executives were asked, “In which of the following areas do you expect to hire in the second half of 2016?” Their responses were:

  • Content marketing: 18%
  • Brand/product management: 18%
  • Digital marketing: 18%
  • Web design/production: 18%
  • Marketing research: 17%
  • Creative/art direction: 17%
  • Print design/production: 17%
  • Customer experience: 17%
  • Social media: 16%
  • Media services: 15%
  • Public relations: 14%
  • Copywriting: 14%
  • Account services: 13%
  • Interactive media: 10%
  • Mobile design/development: 10%

(Multiple responses were permitted; Top responses shown.)

Recruiting Challenges

Forty-one percent of advertising and marketing executives said it is difficult to find skilled creative professionals today. Hiring managers at small advertising agencies (20-49 employees) and large advertising agencies (100+ employees) expect the greatest difficulty, with 50 percent of respondents in each group reporting that it is somewhat or very challenging to find the talent they seek.

When asked which types of roles were most difficult to fill, the top responses were web design/production, customer experience, and brand/product management.

About the Research

The national study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on 400 telephone interviews — with 200 marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 100 advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in connecting interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire, and full-time basis.

TCG Infographic

 

Improving Collaboration with In-House Creative Teams

Each year, The Creative Group staffing agency teams up with AIGA, the professional association for design, to find out what trends will impact creative teams in the coming years. This year, they surveyed more than 800 in-house design professionals and creative veterans from leading organizations to uncover some of the challenges that affect in-house creative teams. One area of questioning focused on the challenges of collaborating with colleagues from other departments.

Issues Affecting Collaboration

When in-house creative professionals were asked to share the biggest challenge when collaborating with colleagues in other departments, here are some their responses: “Lack of understanding of what we do and our processes.”

“Getting others to think of us as strategic partners versus pixel pushers who merely make things look good.”

“Communicating with teams composed of technical and nontechnical people.”

“Identifying the right decision makers for projects.”

“Delays in feedback and approvals.”

“Finding time to discuss plans and come up with meaningful solutions at the outset of an initiative.”

“Managing deadline and budget expectations.”

Fostering a Collaborative Corporate Culture

“Most work today requires cross-departmental collaboration, and creative teams need to take an active role in working through challenges like bridging communication gaps and juggling competing priorities,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Managers should set the stage for successful group interactions, but employees at all levels can take steps to break down organizational silos.”

While many barriers to effective teamwork exist, companies are making strides in developing more collaborative cultures.

  • Twenty-eight percent of in-house creative professionals surveyed said they are tapped for input at the initial stages of a project all the time.
  • In the next two years, 31 percent of respondents expect they will always be involved in kickoffs and interact more frequently with cross-departmental peers.
  • During the next 12 months, 48 percent of in-house professionals anticipate collaborating more frequently with public relations/corporate communications departments. Another 36 percent foresee closer partnering with information technology groups.

To help organizations foster greater teamwork, The Creative Group and AIGA have published a new report, “Collaboration in the Workplace: How to Overcome 7 Common Challenges.”

CollaborationintheWorkplace

The report, available at creativegroup.com/ctf, provides tips from creative leaders on building stronger and more efficient cross-departmental relationships.

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project, contract-to-hire and full-time basis.

About AIGA

Founded in 1914, AIGA remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design. AIGA defines global standards and ethical practices, guides design education, inspires designers and the public, enhances professional development, and makes powerful tools and resources accessible to all.

TCG GRAPH Collaboration Infographic

 

The Creative Group Reports Hiring Trends for First Half of 2016

According to new research on 2016 hiring trends by The Creative Group, 11 percent of advertising and marketing executives surveyed planned to expand their teams in the first half of 2016. The majority of respondents (76 percent) said they expect to maintain staff levels and hire primarily to fill vacated roles in the next six months.

hiring trends 2016Fifty-eight percent of executives said it is challenging to find creative professionals today. “Companies have specific staffing needs, particularly in digital marketing, and seek professionals with precise skills and experience to support these initiatives. Low unemployment coupled with high demand is creating a competitive hiring environment,” said Diane Domemeyer, executive director of The Creative Group.

“Employers are also placing greater emphasis on finding job candidates who will fit well with their workplace culture, which is making the recruiting process even more challenging.”

Hiring Trends for Marketing and Advertising Specialties

Executives reported a range of specialties when asked in which areas they planned to add staff in the first half of 2016. Content marketing and creative/art direction topped the list (27 percent each), followed by brand/product management and print design/production (26 percent each).

Advertising and marketing executives were asked: “In which of the following areas do you expect to hire in the first half of 2016?” Their responses

27% – Content marketing
27% – Creative/art direction
26% – Brand/product management
26% – Print design/production
25% – Interactive media
23% – Account services
22% – Media services
20% – Web design/production
17% – Market research
16% – Digital marketing
15% – Public relations
15% – Customer experience
15% – Copywriting
15% – Social media
10% – Mobile design/development

Challenges Recruiting Creative Professionals

Hiring is getting harder for companies: Fifty-eight percent of advertising and marketing executives said it is challenging to find skilled creative professionals today. This figure is up 16 percent from six months ago, and the highest it has been since The Creative Group started tracking the figure in 2010.

Hiring managers at small marketing departments (100-249 employees) expect the greatest difficulty, with 62 percent of respondents reporting it is somewhat or very challenging to find the talent they seek.

When asked which areas are most difficult to fill, the top responses were brand/product management and customer experience.

The Creative Group Hiring Trends Report

About the Research

The national study on hiring trends was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 400 telephone interviews with approximately 200 marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 200 advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project, contract-to-hire, and full-time basis.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

The Creative Group

The Creative Group Blog

Starting Salaries Will Be Up Significantly for Eight Technology and Creative Jobs

As companies increase their focus on digital strategy, starting salaries are rising for professionals with expertise in this area. The 2016 Salary Guides from staffing specialists Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group show that base salaries in the technology and creative fields are expected to increase 5.3 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, in the coming year. But some roles are projected to see even bigger pay bumps.

“Companies continue to struggle to find professionals who can help create seamless digital experiences – from collecting and analyzing customer data to building secure e-commerce environments to providing intuitive, easy-to-navigate websites,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group. “Strong demand and a limited supply of professionals with digital competencies have put job seekers in the driver’s seat. Businesses risk losing good people to prospective employers who promise more money or new challenges.”

The following eight high-paying jobs are expected to see substantial increases in average starting salary in 2016, according to the Robert Half Salary Guides*: Compared to 2015 starting salaries, the eight positions below will see starting salaries from 5.9% to 9.7% higher than in 2015.

  • Wireless Network Engineer: Up 9.7% over 2015
  • Big Data Engineer: Up 8.9% over 2015
  • Data Scientist: Up 8.9% over 2015
  • Mobile Applications Developer: Up 8.2% over 2015
  • Content Strategist: Up 8.1% over 2015
  • Multimedia Designer: Up 6.3% over 2015
  • User Experience (UX) Specialist: Up 5.9% over 2015
  • User Interface (UI) Developer: Up 5.9% over 2015

RHT-TCG-Top+8+Roles_11_4_2015

More information about these and other potentially high-paying career opportunities, including job descriptions, can be found in the Robert Half Technology 2016 Salary Guide, which includes a wide range of information technology positions, and The Creative Group 2016 Salary Guide, which focuses on interactive, design and marketing jobs.

Both Robert Half Technology (rht.com) and The Creative Group (creativegroup.com) are divisions of Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm.