Survey Shows Ad Agencies and Marketers Easing Up on Hiring Freezes

TCG-LogoAccording to new research by The Creative Group, 12 percent of advertising and marketing executives interviewed said they will expand their creative teams in the second half of 2014. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) said their organizations plan to maintain current staff levels (up 16 points from six months ago). And 12 percent said they project hiring freezes (down 10 points from the first half of 2014). Only 3 percent of executives expect to reduce the size of their staff.

The national survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals, and conducted by an independent research firm.

Key Findings

  • The fact that companies are lifting hiring freezes could be a sign of their growing confidence in in business prospects and an improving economy.
  • Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of marketing and advertising executives said it’s challenging to find skilled creative professionals today.
  • Midsize agencies (50-99 employees) are expected to see the most hiring activity, with 26 percent of advertising executives reporting they plan to add staff. However, they also report the greatest difficulty finding the talent they seek, with 40 percent of respondents saying it is somewhat or very challenging.
  • Account services, brand/product management and media services are the top areas executives plan to hire for during the second half of 2014.

“Companies are investing more in marketing and advertising initiatives and are often turning to outside vendors for help. As a result, agencies are hiring full-time and project staff to keep up with expanding client needs,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “While professionals with digital expertise continue to be in demand, agencies also are actively looking to fill traditional roles, like account directors and account managers.”

Marketing and Advertising Specialties in Demand

When executives were asked in which areas they plan to add staff in the second half of 2014, account services topped the list (24 percent), followed by brand/product management (21 percent) and media services (19 percent).

Marketing and advertising executives were asked, “In which of the following areas do you expect to hire in the second half of 2014?” Their responses:

  • Account services 24%
  • Brand/product management 21%
  • Media services 19%
  • Social media 17%
  • Mobile development 16%
  • Creative/art direction 13%
  • Web design/production 13%
  • Public relations 12%
  • Interactive media 12%
  • Copywriting 11%
  • Print design/production 10%
  • Marketing research 10%
  • Content marketing 9%

About the Survey

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 — approximately 200 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 200 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis. More resources, including online job- hunting services, candidate portfolios and TCG’s blog, can be found at


The Creative Group

Hiring and Salary Trends in the Creative and Marketing Fields