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Digital Marketing Recruitment Insights - 2018

The new financial year is now only a few weeks away, and for many this is a time for reflection; a time to understand and, where possible, predict the forthcoming needs of the business. Part of this will inevitably include understanding if the staffing levels are right, and if the existing skill sets are adequate to deliver the predicted results.

Let’s not beat around the bush...… Digital Marketing and Media (which can mean a whole host of things) isn’t going anywhere; for most, its firmly cemented as part of a detailed marketing strategy. Whether you’re a B2C E-commerce business who sees most of their traffic through Paid Channels, or a B2B tech company who has seen great results through Inbound, Content and Email – Digital is here to stay.

Industry Insights

The Digital landscape doesn’t wait for anyone, and the last year has been no different from previous years.  Just when you think you have your Digital strategy nailed, algorithm changes and new trends can throw everything into question.

From a recruitment point of view though, this really helps to sort the wheat from the chaff. I have found that sourcing great candidates who are clued up on the latest changes and have genuine ways of staying on top of the latest trends, tend to be the ones that go on to thrive.

Some of the more noticeable changes that are affecting marketing and hiring decisions include (but are by no means limited to):

  • Social Media algorithm changes; understanding how to monetize and commercialise content across social platforms
  • More of a focus on Inbound and Content Marketing
  • GDPR and the overall effects on email and CRM
  • A continued growth in Influencer Marketing
  • Increasing PPC/Paid Channel spend

Finding Specialist Talent and Resource

The speed at which the Digital landscape changes and evolves can make it tricky, at times, to feel that you’re fully staffed with the skill sets that you need; without doubt, the skills most highly in demand remain SEO and PPC.

I speak regularly with clients both in-house and agency side looking to grow and develop their SEO and PPC teams, and this is often the area that most clients struggle to recruit within. There are a few good reasons for that:

  • Both SEO and PPC, even at an advanced level, are still in their ‘infancy’. The internet and Digital Marketing in its current form are still relatively young and, unlike more traditional marketing and advertising methods, this means that ‘senior’ level candidates are less readily available (they are still learning!)
  • Very good SEO and PPC candidates know their value. Everything is so measurable now and candidates can see the revenue that their activity is generating.  As such they are commanding higher salaries and/or re-locating to find the right opportunities
  • It’s competitive – in what’s currently a small market for great talent - it is getting competitive and larger organisations can price out the smaller ones by offering higher salaries and ‘glossier’ packages

Do not fear though - that’s why I’m here! I can do the digging around and the searching high and low to find the hidden gems and top talent.  What’s more, from building great relationships with you as a client, coming in and soaking up the culture and environment, it enables me to be in the best possible position to ‘sell the dream’.

Salaries and Budgeting

I wrote a piece of content last year, around the same time, that focused on salary expectations within Digital and I am pleased to report that for the most part, salary expectations have remained the same since then, with the exception of some of the more senior level roles.  Below is a rough guide that shows typical salary expectations in the Midlands as of Feb 2018. 

  • Digital Marketing Assistant/Digital Account Exec (1-2 years’ experience) £18-22k
  • Digital Marketing Executive/Digital Account Manager (2-4 years’ experience) £24-28k
  • Senior Digital Marketing Executive (3-5 years’ experience) £28-32k
  • Digital Marketing Manager (5-7 years’ experience) £32-40k
  • Digital Director (7+ years’) £50k+
  • PPC Exec (2+ years’) £24-26k
  • PPC Manager (3-5 years’) £30-42k
  • SEO Exec (2+ years’) £24-26k
  • SEO Manager (3-5 years’) £30-42k
  • Content Exec (2+ years’) £24-27k
  • Content Manager/Strategist (3-5 years’) £32-40k
  • Insights & Analytics Manager (3-5 years’) £32-40k

Clearly this is just a snippet of the roles that I cover, so please call me for a chat about salary expectations for any roles you’re looking to recruit.

Staff Loyalty

It has been noticeable that some Digital candidates move around more than perhaps other sectors, mainly due to the wanting to stay abreast of a rapidly developing industry. We always seek to understand any candidate’s motivations for the long term and will provide an honest introduction as to whether a candidate is better placed on a fixed term or permanent contract. It’s all about predicting the future of your business and, for some, it can work well to consider a 12-month fixed term. For others, you may want to retain someone for as long as possible and, in that instance, we work hard to ensure you are introduced to a candidate who has the same aspirations. It doesn’t stop there though; any business is well advised to embed retention strategies to ensure everyone is happy for the long term:

  • Market research - maintain an awareness of the local job market, are other similar agencies/companies looking for similar talent. What salaries and packages are on offer?
  • PDP – candidates are big on personal development, for many working in Digital; they want to feel valued and they also want to feel reassured that their skills are still fresh. Whilst they can do some learning and research in their own time, it’s worth looking at what opportunities are available to keep their knowledge fresh - send them to Brighton SEO, get them booked on to webinars, etc. This is great for them and you!
  • Benefits packages – in a competitive market, perhaps the beginning of this new financial year is a time to have a look at your benefits package and how it compares to others. 22+ days holiday with opportunities to buy or accrue more, pension, healthcare, flexible and remote working, complimentary/supplemented food and drinks, a focus on wellbeing at work and the chance to achieve a work/life balance – these can all make a big difference.

This is just a brief look in to what the learnings have been in the Digital Marketing and Media space over the last 12 months within the West Midlands. If you’d like a chat about structuring your team for the financial year ahead (no pressure, no strings, no hard sell!), just get in touch.

by Emma