Survey Asks About Difficulty of Finding Skilled Creative Pros

Nearly four in ten (39 percent) of the marketing and advertising executives interviewed in a national survey said they have difficulty finding skilled creative professionals. In addition, one-third (33 percent) of respondents said they are looking to fill design or marketing roles in the first quarter of 2013, with advertising executives (51 percent) more likely to hire than their marketing counterparts (33 percent).

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.



Other Key Findings

  • Hiring managers at midsize advertising agencies (50-99 employees) reported the greatest difficulty finding skilled creative pros, with 61 percent of respondents saying it was somewhat or very challenging.
  • One-third (33 percent) of those surveyed said they are looking to fill design or marketing roles, with more advertising executives (51 percent) than marketing professionals (33 percent) on the hunt for creative talent.
  • Midsize agencies, in particular, are expected to see the most hiring activity, with 62 percent of advertising executives reporting they plan to add staff.
  • Account services, social media, and media services are the specialties in greatest demand.
  • Survey respondents said they most value teamwork and collaboration skills when hiring creative professionals, over creativity and attention to detail.

“Companies seek professionals who can help improve their online presence and interactions with customers and clients,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. “In many cases, there is a shortage of creative people with the right technical expertise and soft skills, making it difficult for employers to fill open jobs.”

Marketing and Advertising Specialties in Demand

When executives were asked in which areas they plan to add staff in the first part of 2013, account services ranked first, with 13 percent of the response, followed by social media and media services (each with 9 percent).

Marketing and advertising executives were asked, “In which of the following areas do you expect to hire in the first part of 2013?” Their responses:

  • Account Services: 13 percent
  • Social Media: 9 percent
  • Media Services: 9 percent
  • Brand/Product Management: 8 percent
  • Public Relations: 7 percent
  • Print Design/Production: 7 percent
  • Web Design/Production: 7 percent
  • Copywriting: 6 percent
  • Creative/Art Direction: 5 percent
  • Marketing Research: 5 percent
  • Mobile Applications Development: 5 percent
  • Interactive Media: 5 percent

 (Note: Multiple responses were permitted.)

Skills Employers Seek

When considering applicants for creative roles, hiring managers seek more than just professionals with extensive technical skills. In fact, nearly four in 10 (39 percent) marketing and advertising executives said teamwork and collaboration skills are crucial.

Marketing and advertising executives were asked, “When hiring advertising/marketing professionals, which one of the following factors is most important to you?” Their responses:

  • Teamwork and collaboration skills: 39 percent
  • Creativity: 16 percent
  • Attention to Detail: 16 percent
  • Reliability: 14 percent
  • Drive: 10 percent
  • Don’t Know/No Answer: 5 percent

Farrugia noted, “More and more, design and marketing professionals are teaming up with colleagues across an organization to execute campaigns and brainstorm solutions for business problems. As such, the ability to relate to and work with people who have different backgrounds and experience levels is important for any creative professional.”

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 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.


About The Creative Group