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Comms And Marketing Recruitment

8th February 2022

There has been a big bounce-back in demand for communications and marketing professionals as companies prioritise internal employee engagement, re-branding, customer communications, and business development. It has become a candidate's market as skills shortages begin to emerge. Specialist recruiter, Emma Rutherford, shares advice for employers and job seekers.

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Video Transcript

What's happening in this area of the job market at the moment?

It has been incredibly, incredibly busy. So probably since the summer months last year, we've noticed a real upturn in activity within this area. This has been across a range of sectors, from the third sector to education to the energy sector. And a lot of the activity has been focused around the mid-level market professionals. So anything from your coordinators to advisers, that kind of level. And we're seeing a lot of activity specifically with contract roles, with varying durations from six to twelve months on average.

How appealing is that to job seekers?

This is where things do get a little bit trickier, to be honest. So because a lot of those are on a contract basis, naturally they're maybe not as appealing to somebody who's in a permanent position because they're really concerned about security or the different kind of implications that can mean to be in a contract position. It's difficult if you've got responsibilities, you've got a mortgage and things like that. But if you're maybe in a position where you're feeling a little bit frustrated in your role, things are a little bit stale and something comes up as a contract opportunity it can be a really good chance to diversify your skill set in a different way, take on a project, almost really expand in different ways that you may not be able to get in your current position, but after you've finished that twelve months, whatever it may be, could then lead on to other opportunities which currently aren't on the market. And if you just had waited, you might not be eligible for it because you've not got the skill set that they're looking for.

I'd say don't rule it out. Everyone's personal situation is different, but I do think there's a lot of real positives that you can gain from just putting yourself out there and doing something a little bit different.

You've explained about the challenges of trying to fill contract roles Emma, but what other challenges are employers facing when they're trying to fill their vacancies?

There is really a lack of applicants, I would say at the moment. So a lot of this does come down to the contract piece that we've discussed. But a lot of this is also to do with the fact that there is a lack of skilled professionals who are having an active job search at the moment, which is making things a little bit more difficult when clients often have quite a specific skill set that they are looking to try and fill in a position. So probably my advice would be to try and be as transparent as you possibly can as the employer. So this really includes giving information about the role, about the salary, about any benefits that are on offer, areas that you can maybe be a little bit more negotiable with depending on the specific skills that you're looking for. Think, okay, we can offer training because this person is ticking every box on personality and is going to be a really good fit for the team then that could be something to consider as well.

What advice would you like to share with job seekers, Emma?

So it might seem like a really obvious point but I would say to make sure that you're keeping your CV up to date with all your skills and experience and also your LinkedIn page as well just so you can really showcase all the great things that you've done, it sounds like an obvious point that can be really beneficial. I would also say if you can try and quantify examples on your CV. A diverse skill set is something that can be really appealing to employers. And think about maybe how you can expand on your skill set and diversify into different areas within your day-to-day role at the moment or through different training programmes that you could enroll in. Something specific we are getting asked for quite a lot at the moment as an expansion within the digital sense so digital skill sets are being really asked for along with video and content production as well. So that's something maybe to consider as well. Clients will come to me and they'll say, look, we've got this person we're really enjoying having the first interview with them we want to move on to a second interview but we want to see a portfolio of their work and we want to see a bit more of what they can do.

Just so you're as prepared as you can be, it's quite handy to have that ready. If you're applying for a role, that you're thinking, this is a really good job, this is competitive, there's going to be some good people going for this position, pop your portfolio in with your CV because it's going to make you stand out and you're almost getting ahead in the game at that point as well. So I'm not saying it's going to work every time but it's just the tips that you can do to try and enhance yourselves and make you stand out above the competition.

Brilliant. Thank you very much.

Thank you so much.

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