Growth through Talent

Quarterly Recruitment Update: Q2 2024

 3rd May 2024

In our Quarterly Recruitment Update we bring you expert recruitment insights across In-house marketing, Agency, AdTech, Product, and contract. Whether you're a hiring manager looking to be informed on market trends, or a professional eager to stay one foot ahead of competition in the job market, keep reading to learn insights to inform your strategic decisions for Q2.


In-house marketing update

It's a complicated market

The current job market can be complex, with two distinct types of candidates currently at the forefront:

Available Talent / Out of Work:

Many candidates currently seeking new opportunities are open to horizontal moves, prioritising employment over immediate salary progression.

Candidates in Secure Roles:

Professionals in secure roles are often demanding significant pay raises (15-20%) to consider moving. This cautious approach stems from risk aversion and the impact of the rising cost-of-living.

These factors are playing out against a backdrop where clients are wary of risks and seeking the perfect hire, whilst carefully managing costs and rising expenses, as a result, we often see there's a mismatch between candidate expectations and what clients can offer. However, this situation provides clients with a chance to stand out by focussing on candidate experience through the process, and highlighting competitive benefits packages when presenting job opportunities to candidates.

In-house marketing Q2 hiring trends

With many businesses running lean teams after recent cuts, existing teams face increased workloads and pressure. In a positive sign, the focus for businesses is now shifting from survival to growth, but companies remain cost-conscious. As a result, hiring decisions are under heightened scrutiny to avoid the cost impact of a wrong fit.

As a result, recruitment processes have become more rigorous, often involving multiple stages and extended timelines. Unfortunately, this can lead to a poor candidate experience, and create problems during the offer management process if left unaddressed.


Agency update

Over the past few months, several notable trends have emerged. We've observed a significant uptick in demand for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) specialists, Audiovisual (AV) managers, and an increase in creative/organic roles, whilst there has also been a decrease in demand for programmatic advertising and paid social media roles.

Interestingly, several agencies have recently re-evaluated their entry-level salary structures, signalling a potential shift in the market. There has also been a noticeable disconnection between budget allocations and salary expectations, following three years of salary inflation. Request our free salary guide to properly benchmark your salaries in line with market rates.

Agency Q2 predictions

The requirement for in-office presence, particularly with limited flexibility (4 days a week), will continue to pose hiring challenges for agencies seeking the very best talent. Meanwhile, agencies that are prioritising exceptional candidate experiences, characterised by multiple touchpoints, streamlined processes, and constructive feedback, are emerging as the frontrunners for top candidates.


AdTech update

Recently, one notable trend is the surge in demand for Sales Managers across various AdTech companies, which has resulted in a niche candidate shortage at this level. Meanwhile, there is a surplus of available senior talent. Interestingly, there's been a decrease in hiring for roles in account management and customer success, with companies predominantly focusing on revenue-generating positions.

AdTech Q2 predictions

Looking ahead, the demand for mid-level candidates is expected to continue, presenting challenges for companies seeking to fill these crucial roles. In addition, companies can't just post a job expecting instant quality applicants, they will need to proactively and strategically sell their company to potential talent. Moreover, companies operating in the AI and contextual targeting space are poised to thrive in the light of evolving consumer data privacy regulations, as the ‘cookie (slowly) continues to crumble’.

For companies that want to secure the very best talent, the best practice remains unchanged - speed, efficiency, and communication are key. In short, a well-defined hiring process can make all the difference.


Contract update

Over the past month, we’ve experienced a surge in the demand for fixed-term contracts among our clients. Freelancers are also showing increasing flexibility in their requirements, with many now open to non-day rate arrangements. In other job market news, we've observed a notable increase in the availability of Paid Social freelancers.

Q2 predictions

Looking ahead to the next quarter, we expect the strong demand for contractors to continue. This is spurred by agencies actively pitching for and securing new business, creating openings for skilled freelance talent. We’ve also noticed clients increasingly keen for freelancers to work in-office and collaborate with their teams. As such, there's a growing appetite for in-person communication. Finally, the contractor talent pool is expanding rapidly, with an influx of candidates making the transition from permanent roles, which bodes well for employers hiring freelancers.


Product update

Finally, let's turn our attention to Product in 2024.

Companies often believe that there is a constant stream of available Product talent on the job market. However, the reality isn’t quite as cut and dry, and a search for the following job titles in the UK - Product Manager, Senior Product Manager, Lead Product Manager, Principal Product Manager - reveals interesting highlights.
Data from LinkedIn Talent Insights tells us:

  • There are 38,199 product professionals in the UK
  • 5,520 have changed companies in the last 12 months
  • Giving a 14.45% attrition rate
  • Currently 1,126 live job postings

So, in theory, there are 37 candidates per role (number of individuals divided by job posts), but only 5 are potentially willing to move (average attrition rate).

Now, factoring preferences for salary, team size, company size, and product-first culture, combined with work-life balance, culture, location, domain, the SLT - will likely result in your adverts receiving one application (or less) progressing to the offer stage. Even then, you’re still often competing against other processes and counter-offers.

Therefore, if your hiring processes are longer than three or four stages, and take four to six weeks to completion, you risk losing out on top talent capable of driving product innovation and organisational growth.

If you’re currently hiring or looking for a role in any of the above areas, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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