Marketers are becoming more cautious when it comes to hiring new staff, the latest quarterly IPA Bellwether report has claimed.
Given the uncertain economic impact of Britain leaving the European single market, the latest data suggests an impact on new hires. The net balance of marketers looking to hire new staff in the fourth quarter was 12.7%, down from a score of 16.4% in the third quarter.
And when asked whether they expected overall employment to be higher, the same or lower at their company in three months’ time, just under 28% of those surveyed signalled positive expectations for employment, compared to 15% who predicted a fall.
“Marketing executives are acutely aware of the impact that a weak pound may have on their businesses,” says the report’s author Paul Smith, who claims companies are holding back on new hires while they assess the economic fallout from Brexit during the first quarter of 2017.
The Bellwether report also shows marketers are feeling positive about their own financial prospects. More than a quarter (26.2%) of senior marketers indicated an increase in marketing budgets in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to 13.4% who signalled a fall,.
This means the net balance of marketers saying they would increase their marketing spend was 12.9%, marking the 17th successive quarter of growth. It is only fractionally lower than Q3’s net balance of 13.4%. Meanwhile, ad spend for the full year rose 2.1%.
However, the same cannot be said for marketers’ confidence in the wider industry. Over 28% of the marketers surveyed signalled a deterioration in their confidence regarding wider industry financial prospects over the past three months, compared to just 14% that have indicated an improvement. The resulting net balance of -14.6% was down on the previous quarter’s -12.1% and the lowest level recorded for four years.