Brands’ hiring intentions drop to lowest level since early 2021

More than a quarter of brands intend to increase their workforce over the next three months, while 18% anticipate job cuts, exclusive data reveals.

job descriptionWith costs spiralling and a possible recession on the horizon, there has been a “material deterioration” in the hiring plans of brands, according to IPA Bellwether data gathered exclusively for Marketing Week.

Overall staffing levels are still predicted to rise over the next three months, with a net balance of 10.1% of marketers expecting employment at their own companies to be higher in three months’ time.

However, this is the lowest net balance since the first quarter of 2021, the first quarter in which brands expressed intentions to recruit after a year of staff cuts brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is also a “notable softening” from the net balance of 26.8% recorded in the second quarter of this year.

Broken down, more than a quarter (28%) of surveyed firms intend to increase their workforce over the next three months, while 18% anticipate job cuts. A little over half (54%) expect no change.

“The cost of living crisis has increased the urgency for some workers to seek new roles in search of higher pay. With unemployment levels low, the availability of staff remains stretched, adding to the challenge in replacing voluntary leavers,” the report says.

Meanwhile, some companies will have “less of a need” for additional employees during a time of weakening economic conditions.

Higher Same Lower Net +/-
Q2 2021 42.6% 47.5% 9.8% +32.8%
Q3 2021 46.6% 45.5% 7.9% +38.7%
Q4 2021 37.7% 52.5% 9.8% +27.9%
Q1 2021 38.8% 54.1% 7.1% +31.6%
Q2 2022 38.4% 50.0% 11.6% +26.8%
Q3 2022 28.0% 54.0% 18.0% +10.1%

In August, research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) indicated three fifths (60%) of young people would consider marketing as a potential career choice, citing pay (37%), career progression (33%), creativity (28%) and transferrable skills (25%) as the key attractions.

The survey of 500 16- to 21-year-olds found 36% view marketing as a safer profession for financial stability than other career choices. Just 16% feel marketing is a less safe option in the current economic climate.

Elsewhere, data from LinkedIn revealed that an understanding of digital marketing is perceived by marketers to be the most in-demand skill for employers.

Globally, digital marketing expertise is the number one skill listed by marketers on their LinkedIn profiles, followed by social media marketing and search engine optimisation. Marketing strategy comes in at fourth, followed by knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, email marketing and content.

Ranked eighth in the list of skillsets is advertising, followed by an understanding of Google Analytics and corporate communications.