Demand rises for media, marketing and PR skills

Readers of the Guardian’s weekly Media supplement must have been a tad deflated on Monday to read its non-editorial pages featuring the latest jobs for “Creative, Media and Sales” personnel.

Not because the posts advertised are sometimes confusingly labelled – for example, the word ‘courses’ is normally used to head a section overwhelmingly showing vacancies, some of which are in ‘Marketing’ – distinct to ‘Creative, Media and Sales.’

The readers’ disappointment more likely owed to the regular splattering of new jobs by the broadsheet, once a recruiter of sorts for the public sector, being confined to two pages – down from the traditional three, as in the previous week.

If size matters, and in the jobs market it surely does, the mere appearance of fewer employers demanding new talent across the creative labour markets – whether it is Media, Marketing or PR, will not be welcomed by its practitioners.

But whether they are freelance or full-time, the UK jobs market that runs online for professional candidates facing any one of the three sectors actually grew in April - for the fourth month in a row.

This is according to Monster’s UK employment index, which shows that demand for media, marketing and PR workers, as measured by the number of confirmed placements, is also higher than it was this time a year ago.

Freelance hires are among the total placements counted over the period, during which the South East emerged as the strongest recruiter by region, continuing the pattern seen since January.

Then, marketers looking for managerial posts were added to an unenviable shortlist – ‘Top 5 in-house jobs becoming extinct in small businesses,’ compiled by PeopleperHour, another jobs site.

“Marketing is moving online faster than we know it,” it said, indicating the industry’s practitioners were following suit by setting up remotely. “The blogosphere is growing at a phenomenal pace creating content faster than traditional media and changing the editorial landscape.”

Pointing to its own marketing activity as a case in point, the site said its marketing team was “transforming into a network of web-savvy youngsters,” adept at link-building and skilled in SEO.

It said that these activities - blogging, link-building, and optimising search rankings– all key elements of an e-marketing strategy – were functions that could all be carried out remotely.

The latest jobs market report by the CBI, the employers’ organisation, and Harvey Nash, the recruitment group, confirms that such flexible working is gaining ground.

According to the report’s survey of 335 employers, there has been a marked increase in flexible working offerings, including remotely working during a full-time role, while job-sharing or for part-time work.

In terms of just ‘tele-working’- where employees work partly at home or on the move, 59 per cent of employers offered it to their workforce in 2011, compared with 46 per cent in 2008 and only 14 per cent in 2006.

The report reflected: “With almost all of firms now offering at least one form of flexible working and 70% offering three or more, it is clear that flexible working is deeply ingrained in the modern workplace.”

Elsewhere, the findings give hope to sales people yet to mark any of the adverts in the Guardian’s narrowing Media Jobs section.

The CBI report says: “Sales and customer service staff are also in demand, with more than a quarter of organisations recruiting in this function in the past six months, and more than one in five planning to do so in the next six months.”


22nd June 2011

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