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


Could You Qualify for a Job as a Techcreative?

Semper International, LLC supplies skilled staff members to businesses involved in printing, pre-media, graphic communications, and interactive media. With an eye on the workplace of the future, Semper is encouraging employers to recruit and hire a new type of employee: the techcreative.

Semper defines techcreatives as “the intermediaries between the two worlds of creativity and technology — those with the technical expertise to make your ideas a reality.”

Semper Internationl TechCreative LogoIn a recent Printing Industries of America magazine white paper, “How 3D Printing Will Change Everything,” Semper analysts envision how 3D printing will transform manufacturing, localize businesses, and change the way we all live and work.

As 3D printing evolves from a novelty to a business necessity, the transformation will intensify the need for techcreatives.

According to Semper International, the creative workforce of the future will be “one that marries analytical, tech-driven mindsets with those who can leverage tools for new heights in creativity.”

Meet the Techcreative

To prepare companies to seek and hire techcreatives, Semper has published an e-book entitled “Meet the TechCreative.”

Semper International Techcreative

The e-book describes key attributes and suggests tactics for hiring them: “These valuable workers look to enhance their talents and are always seeking new ways to utilize their skills, rather than handing them to different departments. This balance of hyper-detailed process and creative, long-term vision falls perfectly in line with disruptive tech, such as the advent of 3D printing for multiple applications.”

Although the term “Techcreative,” may be new, the role has been emerging as traditional businesses have been disrupted by digital technologies over the past 20 years.

As printing, publishing, and marketing communications firms have evolved from reliance on printed communications to an integrated mix of digital printing and online platforms, creative professionals have played key roles is easing the transition.

For example, some of the first techcreatives were involved in adjusting Quark or InDesign files to allow for predictable and consistent output on everything from traditional offset printing presses to large-format digital printers.  In marketing, techcreatives are currently involved with cross-channel customer engagement strategies, analytics, graphic design, and video production.

When interviewing applicants for techcreative assignments, Semper International advises employers to look for loyal, detail-oriented professionals with problem-solving skills and a strong work ethic.

To successfully translate a concept from a client into a finished product or process, the techcreative should have a clear passion for at least one technology sector and the processes involved. Some technology expertise is essential, as well an understanding of the potential to scale technology-related processes and services.

The e-book emphasizes that, “Techcreative teams must maintain a thirst for knowledge, as technology is always rapidly advancing around us.”

To learn more about what employers seek in a Techcreative, visit . The Semper International website lists jobs currently available for techcreatives.


Designers Prepare for New Career Paths in Surface Imaging

DESIGNERS. Although the number of printed publications has declined, exciting new opportunities are emerging for designers who want to specialize in print.

Advances in industrial inkjet printers have made it possible to print images and designs on dozens of surfaces including fabrics, wallcoverings, wood, ceramic tiles, cork, metal, plastic, vinyl, glass, and folding cartons.

Although these printing systems were first used for signs and advertising graphics, they are quickly being adapted for use in architecture and interior design. For example, industrial inkjet printers are generating decorative patterns and images on murals, tabletops, and wallcoverings.


That’s why experienced textile design instructor Ujiie Hitoshi has created a new Master of Science degree in Surface Imaging at Philadelphia University.  According to Hitoshi, the MS in Surface Imaging will prepare students for career paths as imaging specialists in design, product development, and management in the fast-growing movement toward make-to-demand manufacturing and greater customization in experiential and interior design, residential and commercial architecture, apparel production, and home products.

Surface Imaging at PhilaU from Philadelphia University on Vimeo.

Students will use a variety of printing technologies in the new Center of Excellence in Surface Imaging and develop imagery for various physical forms.  Students will explore direct surface imaging on diverse porous and non-porous substrates. Students will also explore fabrication printing, including material subtraction (laser) and deposition technologies that can be used to create embossed effects. The Center of Excellence in Surface Imaging is part of Philadelphia University’s Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce.

The Surface Imaging program focuses on the integration of (1) design and creativity; (2) printing technology and applied engineering; and (3) innovative business systems to inform future leaders..

According the Ujiie, “The new MS program is for anyone who is interested in getting cutting-edge training in this rapidly expanding field. Ideal candidates are designers, artists, or craft practitioners who have a bachelor’s degree in art, craft, or design. However, we can provide prerequisite courses for those who do not have creative visual backgrounds.”


Philadelphia University: Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce: MS. in Surface Imaging