Marketing and Ad Execs See Modest Increase in Hiring in Q4

The hiring of full-time creative and marketing professionals is expected to increase slightly in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the most recent The Creative Group Hiring Index for Marketing and Advertising Professionals.

Twenty-five percent of executives interviewed said they plan to add full-time staff in the next three months, and 5 percent forecast reductions in personnel. The resulting net 20 percent of executives anticipating hiring is up one point from the third-quarter forecast.

The national study was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing interactive, design and marketing professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm.

Key Findings

The findings are based on more than 500 telephone interviews—approximately 375 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

  • The net 20 percent of executives planning to hire is up one point from third-quarter projections.
  • 57 percent of executives said it’s challenging to find skilled creative professionals today, up 15 points from the previous quarter.
  • 8 to 9 percent of marketing and advertising executives are confident in their companies’ growth prospects for the fourth quarter, a two-point increase from the third-quarter projection.
  • Web design/production, account services, and social media are the specialties in greatest demand among the survey respondents.

“As more business is conducted online and via mobile devices, companies are moving quickly to promote their products and services using a variety of channels,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. “Experienced web designers and developers, and marketing professionals with proven success executing innovative social media campaigns, are sought by organizations of all types and sizes.”

Marketing and Advertising Specialties in Demand

When executives were asked in which areas they plan to add staff, web design/production ranked first, with 25 percent of the response, followed by account services (23 percent) and social media (22 percent). The 57 percent of executives who said it’s challenging for their firms to find skilled creative professionals, is up 15 points from the previous quarter’s survey.

Marketing and advertising executives were asked, “In which of the following areas do you expect to hire in the fourth quarter of 2011?” The top responses are shown in the chart below:

Perspectives on Business Growth

Marketing and advertising executives’ confidence in their ability to attract new business increased slightly from last quarter: Eighty-nine percent of those interviewed said they were somewhat or very confident in their firms’ prospects for growth in the fourth quarter, up two points from the third-quarter survey.


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