Twenty-two percent of marketers and advertisers plan to add staff in the third quarter of this year, an increase of 10 percentage points compared with the second quarter, according to The Creative Group Hiring Index for Marketing and Advertising Professionals.
“These results show there’s a very optimistic feeling about hiring in marketing and advertising,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group, a Los Angeles-based staffing firm. “Over the past few years, companies dramatically cut back. A lot of people say they cut back to the bone. I say they cut into the bone.”
Farrugia said the May US Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report, which indicated more unemployment and less hiring in the private sector during the month, is not indicative of the marketing and advertising industry because “advertising, creative and marketing specialists are professional level.”
“The unemployment rate for [workers with college degrees] is half the national average,” she said.
The most sought after marketing and advertising professionals, according to the study, specialize in Web design and production, brand and product management, and print design and production. Sixteen percent of respondents said they will hire Web design and production professionals in Q3, while 14% said they will bring on both brand and product management and print design and production employees, respectively.
“Web skills have been in demand for a long, long time,” said Farrugia. “Anybody who is already on the Web is trying to be more competitive on the Web. If you’re not already on the Web, you want to be.”
Farrugia added that the need for brand and product management specialists signifies that companies are “ready to launch new products and services again after putting them on hold for awhile.”
The high percentage of marketers seeking print design and production specialists is an indication that the industry might increase “print materials and catalogs,” she said.
“Companies cut back on this stuff in the past two years. This is very encouraging,” added Farrugia.
Despite improved optimism about hiring, 42% of marketers and advertisers say they find it increasingly difficult to find skilled professionals, an increase of three points from the previous quarter.
Three percent of respondents said they are planning to cut staff in the third quarter, the same amount that reported potential job cuts in Q2.
The Creative Group bases its Hiring Index for Marketing and Advertising Professionals on more than 500 telephone interviews conducted in April. Most executives surveyed are from companies with 100 or more employees.