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UK – Staffing firms struggle to meet demand in media, marketing sector

26 March 2013

The marketing and media sector is suffering from huge talent shortages, according to joint research by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) and the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).

This found that permanent placements in the sector have fallen by almost a fifth in the last three months, but job openings grew by +1% pointing to an on-going scarcity of available candidates. The temporary staffing market fared better with both job openings and placements rising by +4% and +8% respectively.

John Nurthen, executive director at SIA, said: “It’s notable that marketing and media jobs have continued to grow while other professional sectors decline but it is a concern that staffing companies are finding it difficult to match this buoyant demand.“

He said there was a skills mismatch “due to the increasing importance of new delivery channels and the need for marketing professionals to command new skills to supplement traditional marketing disciplines. As companies are seeking to ramp up their profiles and capabilities in new online channels there is no short term fix to this talent crisis.”

The research also shows that permanent jobs continue to be replaced with contractors. Last month, temporary placements rose by just over +4.2% year-on-year while permanent placements dropped by -5.8% as employer confidence remained low. But finance & accounting vacancies were down a sharp - 9% for both temporary and permanent roles.

“What’s becoming clear from these monthly trends is that we are entering into a new era of corporate agility where temporary workers will no longer be seen as ‘atypical’ but as the new way of working,” said Ann Swain, CEO at APSCo.

“ Although permanent staff may be paid less than contractors, there are significant additional costs for the employer when they take on full-time employees, although the recent budget announcement on national insurance relief will alleviate a little of this. So while an increase in temporary placements may not appear good news as permanent hires fall, the use of contract workers is continuing to offer a great deal of flexibility to both employers and employees.”

Subscribers to SIA’s research can soon download the full details of the latest job report from our website.

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