Attracting and retaining marketing and creative talent

By Robert Half on 20th July 2017

On Friday 14 July, Robert Half Creative hosted a business breakfast  at the Hoxton Hotel on the art of attracting and retaining talent. The morning was opened by Tom Sherwood, Head of Marketing Recruitment at Robert Half who gave an overview of the current recruitment climate and key trends for hiring managers to be aware of. This was followed by a panel discussion lead by Fraser Brown, Head of Creative Recruitment. On the panel to share their thoughts and industry experiences were:

  • Andre Le Masurier, Group Creative Director of Google brand Studio
  • Jeremy Hill, Global Marketing Director in the beverage industry
  • Leila D’Angelo, Creative Director for Deliveroo

Here are the key takeaways from the discussion:

What are the key trends for attracting talent?

1. We’re in a competitive recruitment market

Right now there are over 4,600 vacancies for a Head of Marketing role and over 4,300 vacancies for a Head of Creative role*. All of these companies are competing for the best talent. With a limited pool of available talent on the market, skilled candidates are in the driving seat. More than ever the hiring and interview process has become a truly two-way process where employers need to highlight what makes them an attractive option for their desired marketing or creative candidate to build their career. This level of employer branding comes right down to the offer process, so managers need to have a plan-to-placement approach when hiring.

2. Marketing and creative professionals are the happiest

The report, It’s Time We All Work Happy®: The Secrets of the Happiest Companies and Employees highlighted that among the 2,000 working professionals researched, marketing and creative professionals are the happiest and most satisfied employees. What’s driving their happiness and job satisfaction? The common factors ranked in order of importance:

  1. Feeling appreciated for the work they do
  2. Being treated with fairness and respect
  3. Pride in their organisation

Only 76% of marketing and creative professionals surveyed said they have frequent opportunities and time to be creative on the job. While 73% feel they are satisfied with their current work—life balance. When it comes to pay, only 63% feel they are paid appropriately for their efforts and achievements at work. It comes as no surprise then that 42% of these professionals are open to exploring new job opportunities and are open to leaving their current job within the next six months.

3. The hiring and interview process is like dating

Skilled marketing and creative professionals are receiving multiple offers and counter-offers are on the rise. Today, businesses can’t afford to have a lengthy recruitment process, or delay getting back to their desired candidates after an interview.

4. Build your employer brand

The two things essential to any business and their profitability is their brand and their people. As marketing and creative professionals we know that any touch point with our businesses is an opportunity to promote our brand and change the perceptions of our audience. So why not extend these principles to support our hiring efforts?

One tactic shared by Andre Le Masurier, Group Creative Director at Google Brand Studio outlined was sharing the great work of the team and using that work to attract more people to the business. Other suggestions included getting yourself out into the world to build your profile – attend or present at conferences, enter awards, and network.

5. Find a way to dig deeper because you can't afford a bad hire

When you ask your team members how an interview went, you don’t want them to just say the candidate was 'nice' -- you need them to dig deeper. For marketing and creative hires businesses are wanting to find a person to bring the right ideas, insights and spark with the ability to turn those into tangible successes.

What are the secrets to retaining skilled talent?

6. Give them purpose

Marketing and creative professionals want to inherently work on projects that align with their personal values. By trusting in your teams and aligning a campaign aim with its potential impact and having a purpose that reflects an employees’ interests or passions, you can create truly vibrant marketing ideas for your market.

7. Reward staff for the right reasons

When rewarding employees, managers don't always need to only reward the big, standout successes. Consider the smaller wins as well, these can be on a monthly or even weekly basis. For example, if someone failed at something, but they failed fast and learnt from their mistake and this is the type of behaviour you're wanting from your team -- reward it. It doesn't have to be a big deal, but a simple acknowledgement that the behaviour was correct can make a big difference.

8. Keep your staff challenged

As Leila D’Angelo noted, there is a difference between pushing staff to improve and harming their well-being. Her example, you want to push them hard enough so that they skin their knee but you don't want to push them so much that they break their leg. In the creative industry, some of the best ideas can come from outside of the comfort zone, so it's important to keep employees challenged to strive for those ideas, while providing them the guard-rails and a safety blanket to stay in control. 

9. Find their passions and work with them on their goals

The best way to keep employees engaged is to find out what drives them, and the direction they want to take their careers. Managers should strive to partner with their employees to work towards these goals – whether it be through training, new projects or assignments – these are all ways to encourage employees to work smarter.

10. Provide a comfortable workplace

It's important that employees want to be excited to come back to work and want to spend time in the office. Simple ways do to this in the physical office is to ensure there is natural light, plants, different spaces for the variety of tasks, i.e. meetings, lounging areas, the desk set-up, can all make a difference.

Related: 7 ways to create a highly creative work environment

If you're looking to hire marketing and creative professionals, get in touch with our Robert Half Digital, Marketing and Creative team today.

*Based on current vacancies listed on Indeed at the time of the event

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