Brexit could hit digital marketing hardest in skills shortage, says survey

Employers expect a marketing skills shortage in the second half of the year and the Brexit vote has added to their concerns about being able to find good marketing professionals, a new survey shows.

Brexit could hit digital marketing hardest in skills shortage, says survey

Professional recruitment consultancy Robert Walters polled 425 hiring managers UK-wide before the June 23 referendum and found that 48% of employers already expected to face skills shortages in the second half.

But 20% were expecting these shortages to be exacerbated if the UK voted to leave the EU.

The survey results came on the same day that the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) released its own survey saying 70% of employers across sectors have been approached by staff with concerns about job security and the right to work in the UK, following Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

Meanwhile, the Robert Walters survey showed hiring managers are concerned that the pool of outstanding talent will start to dry up, especially in the digital space.

Robert Walters’ associate director of marketing recruitment, Ed Glover, said: "Despite economic uncertainty, a significant number of employers are still planning to recruit marketing professionals in the second half. However, these efforts may be hampered due to a widespread perception that top calibre candidates will be difficult to source.

"In particular, demand is high for digital marketing specialists at senior levels across the technology, fintech and agency sectors, with growing pressure on relatively small talent pools."

This could be a factor in the decision of 41% of employers to increase salaries in the next six months.

The survey also revealed that 73% of employers intend to primarily hire staff into mid-level marketing roles in the second half of the year, with 25% looking to recruit at director level, 49% at senior executive/management level and 59% at junior level. There were no comparable figures for the year-ago period.

Glover also said employers are placing an increasing focus on data driven marketing and that mid-level professionals who have the experience necessary to implement data driven marketing strategies "are likely to be in high demand."

He added that professionals with skills and experience in social media and online marketing "can expect to be able to command high salaries as across a range of industries look to overhaul their digital marketing strategies."

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