Marketers’ hiring plans on the up, but for how long?

More companies are planning to hire than cut staff over the next three months, but risks from Brexit could hit future job growth, according to the latest IPA Bellwether.


Marketers are planning to go on a hiring spree over the next three months, with twice as many saying they expect to increase staff numbers as expect to see a decline.

In the IPA’s quarterly Bellwether report, 33% said they expected growth, while 15% anticipated a fall. That means a net balance of 18.2% of companies are expecting to see employment rise, up from 14.4% in the preceding quarter and the highest figure since the data started being collected for Marketing Week a year ago.

The positive outlook reflects ongoing growth in workloads. However, IHS Markit’s senior economist and the report’s author Paul Smith warned that “it remains to be seen” if employment growth will continue given the political uncertainty around Brexit.

He believes the optimism around employment is not matched across the wider ad industry. Marketers are becoming less confident about their own company’s financial prospects, while their thoughts about the financial prospects of the wider industry are turning increasingly negative.

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“Much like a typical British summer, dark clouds never seem to be too far away and digging into the latest survey reveals a murky outlook,” he explains. “Perhaps not surprisingly Brexit and government paralysis were widely noted as key threats to future industry performance.

“Marketers are concerned that the terms of Brexit remain unclear, especially in areas such as regulation and trade, while political uncertainty is seen as adding to fears in the private sector to invest.”