Marketing Week Top 100 Employers Survey

A career in marketing has always been a popular choice, but in the current candidate-driven market employers are having to do more and more in order to recruit and retain high quality employees.

This is the second annual survey that Michael Page Marketing has conducted in association with Marketing Week and it is great to be involved again. The 2006 survey has been completed by more than 1,000 marketing professionals from throughout the UK. The findings highlight the most desired companies to work for, and illustrates the most important factors that attract candidates to a job – be it salary, career development or the brand.

From our experience the most attractive organisations are those with the most cohesive and integrated approach. Candidates take pleasure in working for a company that integrates the perceived message of the brand with the way it manages its employees. Companies such as Virgin and Innocent, which both score highly in this survey, are fun, dynamic and pioneering brands and these core values are reflected in and transferred to staff management.

However, even the most ‘en vogue’ companies should be warned against becoming stagnant in their approach to recruitment – this is a dynamic industry and reputation alone does not guarantee success. A proactive and innovative approach to managing human resources provides increased ability to recruit and retain the top candidates.

The full effects of the new age discrimination legislation are not yet fully realised, however it should make the market place more integrated and open. The new legislation ensures a wider pool of candidates are considered, guaranteeing positions are filled solely on the basis of talent. This represents a new window of opportunity for employers to capitalise on, as they look to create a competitive advantage by implementing a strategy that appeals to candidates from a more diverse age-range.

The current ‘war for talent’ continues to dramatically affect recruitment within this sector. While companies are undertaking new methods and measures to attract candidates into its fold, ‘in-demand’ candidates have realised their value and are becoming increasingly more selective when contemplating offers. We have also noted that candidates are increasingly motivated by the prospect of working abroad and companies that operate within a network of international offices are immediately more appealing.

Another emerging trend shows London based professionals looking to move elsewhere in the UK. Many of the UK’s leading cities are continuing to enjoy a sustained economic upturn, which has led to an increased demand for candidates from established regional offices. However as professionals have started to see life outside London as an opportunity to secure an improved work-life balance, this in turn has created a shortage of suitably qualified candidates within the capital.

The marketing industry in the UK continues to boom which is reflected in the highly buoyant recruitment market within the sector. As these companies continue to witness growth, the need for talented professionals is likely to be sustained and it will become increasingly important for companies to maintain a strong focus on the factors that attract, retain and develop the top candidates.

Finally, congratulations to the companies which have been included in the Marketing Week Top 100 Employers Survey 2006. Their appearance is testament to the hard work and effort they invest in human resources – they set the benchmark for all firms within this industry.

Richard Vickers
Michael Page Marketing
November 2006

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