NEW STUDY: 14% of execs plan to hire PR pros in 4th quarter

Survey From The Creative Group Shows Most Demand for Web Design/Production Skills

The hiring of full-time creative and marketing professionals is expected to increase slightly in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the most recent survey by The Creative Group (Hiring Index for Marketing and Advertising Professionals). Twenty-five percent of executives interviewed said they plan to add full-time staff in the next three months, and 5 percent forecast reductions in personnel. The resulting net 20 percent of executives anticipating hiring is up one point from the third-quarter forecast.

The national study was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing interactive, design and marketing professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 500 telephone interviews — approximately 375 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

Key Findings

  • The net 20 percent of executives planning to hire is up one point from third-quarter projections.
  • Fifty-seven percent of executives said it’s challenging to find skilled creative professionals today, up 15 points from the previous quarter.
  • Eight-nine percent of marketing and advertising executives are confident in their companies’ growth prospects for the fourth quarter, a two-point increase from the third-quarter projection.
  • Web design/production, account services and social media are the specialties in greatest demand, according to survey respondents.

“As more business is conducted online and via mobile devices, companies are moving quickly to promote their products and services using a variety of channels,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. “Experienced web designers and developers, and marketing professionals with proven success executing innovative social media campaigns, are sought by organizations of all types and sizes.”

Marketing & Advertising Specialties in Demand

When executives were asked in which areas they plan to add staff, web design/production ranked first, with 25 percent of the response, followed by account services (23 percent) and social media (22 percent). Fifty-seven percent of executives surveyed said it’s challenging for their firms to find skilled creative professionals, up 15 points from the previous quarter’s survey.

Marketing and advertising executives were asked, “In which of the following areas do you expect to hire in the fourth quarter of 2011?”

Their responses:

        
        Web design/production           25%
        ------------------------------- ---
        Account services                23%
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        Social media                    22%
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        Print design/production         20%
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        Brand/product management        19%
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        Interactive media               16%
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        Mobile applications development 16%
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        Marketing research              14%
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        Public relations                14%
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        Creative/art direction          14%
        ------------------------------- ---
        Media services                  13%
        ------------------------------- ---
        Copywriting                     8%
        ------------------------------- ---

Note: Multiple responses permitted. Top responses shown.

Perspectives on Business Growth

Marketing and advertising executives’ confidence in their ability to attract new business increased slightly from last quarter: Eighty-nine percent of those interviewed said they were somewhat or very confident in their firms’ prospects for growth in the fourth quarter, up two points from the third-quarter survey.

About the Hiring Index

The Creative Group Hiring Index for Marketing and Advertising Professionals is based on more than 500 telephone interviews — approximately 375 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees within the United States.

The interviews were conducted by an independent research firm. Information from the study is featured in the Robert Half Professional Employment Report, launched last year and the first study of its kind to monitor the hiring environment for professional-level positions exclusively. Based on more than 4,000 telephone interviews with executives throughout the United States, it provides insight on employment trends to help businesses and job seekers prepare for the upcoming quarter. To see how hiring within the creative profession has changed since last quarter and how it compares to other sectors, please visit roberthalf.us/per.