‘Brands are facing a talent shortage’

Brands are facing a talent shortage with few of them able to find marketers with the right level of skills for their business, according to a new report.

The report, by the recruitment company Robert Walters, found that 84% of businesses recruiting for marketing roles say they are affected by talent shortages, with 81% saying that there is a lack of candidates with the right skills.

Surveyed businesses say that the struggle to fill marketing roles is affecting their ability to meet the needs of the business. The deficit in qualified marketers has led 74% of businesses to use counter-offers to retain marketing professionals.

While 56% of UK employers have struggled to recruit for roles, only a third of those say that there is actually a lack of candidates in market. This suggests the problem may lie in the need to get available candidates who are qualified and equipped with the right skills, according to the report.

Chris Hickey, CEO of Robert Walters UK, says: “It is evident that there is not an acute candidate shortage, but more a lack of people with the right skills and qualifications to serve businesses. After several years of under-investment in training and entry-level recruitment, businesses are now playing catch-up.”

The dilemma is not reserved to marketers as 72% of employers are affected by talent shortages nationwide. Sixty-five per cent are using counter-offers to retain staff and 24% say candidate shortages have hit staff morale.

The report is based on the results of a recent survey of over 200 employers.

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  • Simon Buckingham 3 Mar 2015 at 11:15 am

    I can tell you now that one of the main reasons of ‘lack of talent’ is because the wrong things are being taught at Universities. Too much time is spent on learning 60-80 year old theories and not enough on the modern Marketing worlds needs. This is why I have been invited on many occasions the past few years since graduating in 2011 by my old Uni, Portsmouth, to come and lecture and give advice to students who study there currently. I am trying to change the system, but I cannot do it alone. A major shift is needed, and an analysis of what is being taught v’s what should be taught! Too many students come out with old knowledge, and nothing to help them with how it works in a real time situation. The heads of education in government or wherever are way out of touch!

  • Elphège Kolingba 3 Mar 2015 at 11:24 am

    I do not see motivated / keen people failing to master a new job or gain skills in no time, really 🙂 – Hiring / Line managers should start to give more chances to candidates. Tasks and jobs can be learned on a daily basis. Especially that candidates can bring new skills in-house.

    Everyone started somewhere without the relevant / precises skills in its job. Indeed, transferable skills and a REAL motivation are key to learn fast and hit the ground running.
    Likewise, if it’s a job a candidate like foremost and its first time he will more 200% more motivated than someone doing the same job somewhere else (it’s my personal thought here).

    I do think we are lacking of Managers with an accurate vision (of what they want) and a strong leadership to coach people and take the most of anyone’s skills in the team to achieve global goals.

  • Erstwhile Marketer 3 Mar 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I find the conclusions in this article somewhat surprising. A quick scan of the job pages is enough to prove that Marketing vacancies have all but vanished, while salaries have plummeted.

  • J. 6 Mar 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I am absolutely appalled by the ‘findings’ of the report and the uncertain ‘conclusions’ they have come to.

    “Surveyed businesses say that the struggle to fill marketing roles is affecting their ability to meet the needs of the business. The deficit in qualified marketers has led 74% of businesses to use counter-offers to retain marketing professionals. ”

    This statement in itself is a joke! I am not a marketing professional but have been studying hard for the last 9 months after my degree to learn the ins and outs. The first thing you will read anywhere for marketing is to make a profit and use cost-effective methods.

    How can business say they have to use counter-offers to retain marketing professionals because they are not getting the right talent! What is the simple COST-EFFECTIVE solution to this PROBLEM? TRAIN CANDIDATES.

    So many businesses expect so much from candidates/recent graduates, expecting them to know everything from day one. However, the reality is showing that university is hard enough itself and therefore graduates have spent their time during their degree trying to get the highest grade they can, not spending hours writing cover letters about how your company is the best and it is the only one they want to work for.

    Businesses and companies need to be REALISTIC about their hiring methods and come to terms that university does not teach them everything and that is why there are work training programs and courses.

    Businesses need to stop complaining at the fact there is not enough ‘talent’ but instead mould and nurture candidates to create ‘talent’.

  • JV_at_lAttitude_in_Cairns 8 Mar 2015 at 12:12 am

    As an Associate Fellow of the Australian Marketing Association and a Certified Practicing Marketer, may I offer my viewpoint

    J. makes some very valid points – particularly that employers themselves are failing themselves by neglecting to train and nurture young marketers and I take this issue further to propose that part of the problem is exacerbated by (sometimes the same) employers opting to engage “enthusiastic amateurs” whose disappointing performance generates a lack of respect for true marketing professionals and a reluctance to pay for the necessary skills.

    At the core of the problem is the belief that marketing is not a true profession and can be done by anyone. I credit academia and the various marketing organisations such as the AMA in the USA and the AIM here in OZ with failing this task.

    The accounting profession has been successful in this regard, to the extent that employers specify that candidates must have professional accreditation, and an “enthusiastic amateur” with a calculator may not call themselves an accountant.

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