Opportunities in the marketing industry are rife as the sector makes an impressive comeback after a period of economic uncertainty, with digital marketing one of the most in-demand skills in the current market. According to study by LinkedIn, despite the pandemic there was a 63% growth in marketing jobs with 381K vacancies posted in the last year. Though the supply of skilled candidates has been outpaced by demand; and many businesses are struggling to find the right people with the necessary skills to support their digital transformation.

In a candidate-driven market, businesses should be re-evaluating their hiring strategies to boost their talent attraction and retention in a market where prospective employees have the power to decide. Though when competition for top talent is fierce, agencies must also not fall into the trap of hiring any candidate that comes their way, as getting it wrong can impact your bottom-line and cost you in the long run. Businesses must ensure they have the talent to meet tomorrow’s digital challenges and strive to future-proof their marketing teams with the proper structure, skills sets and strategy to accomplish long-term goals.

Hiring challenges in recruiting digital talent

As the world becomes increasingly digitalised, the need for digital talent is constant as the future holds endless possibilities. Though whether you’re a marketing department or creative agency, finding top-performing candidates is becoming increasingly challenging due to several factors, such as:

  • The skills shortage

The demand for digital talent outweighs supply, resulting in fierce competition amongst businesses. Brands and agencies should take time to perfect their value proposition and streamline their talent acquisition strategy to increase their chances of hiring top candidates, as currently prospective employees have the power to decide!

  • Graduates aren’t market-ready

Graduates entering the industry require effective onboarding and need to gain hands-on experience before they become effective in the business. Not only does this demand time from existing team members on getting them up to speed, but it also means that new junior hires will often cost the business money before adding to their profit.

  • Wages for digital experts are increasing

With rising customer needs and expectations, digital professionals have started to play an integral role in strategic business decisions and driving long-term objectives. This has resulted in salary increase which has also been affected by the war for talent and employers trying to present themselves as attractive career prospects over their competition.

  • Lack of focus on training and development as businesses are busy

As employees, businesses and consumers have largely moved to online, marketing agencies have been busy keeping up with emerging trends and allocating resources to ensure they uphold their market position. This has affected their ability to focus on continuous learning to upskill existing team members, but this is so important! Not only will investment in upskilling your team help to address the skills gap, it will also boost your talent attraction and retention.

  • Keeping up with the ongoing evolution of digital technologies and platforms

Businesses are having to mitigate market challenges brought on by new technologies and many are being forced into re-evaluating their existing team structure and addressing knowledge gaps. Not only that, but employees are also having to adapt to digital innovation and learn new systems and procedures as quickly as possible.

What digital skills are companies looking for?

The uptake in the use of digital services continues to rise as the pandemic caused a significant shift in customer behaviours and their preferred interactions with brands. According to research by McKinsey, 75% of people using digital channels for the first time say they will continue to use them in the ‘new normal’.

This has forced businesses to rethink existing strategies and reinvent new ways of delivering value to their customers, as there has been a renewed emphasis on digital marketing and the necessary skills needed in-house to drive long-term success, such as:

  • Social media marketing

  • Copywriting

  • Search engine optimisation

  • Conversion rate optimisation

  • Data analysis

  • Audience building

  • Marketing automation and technology

  • Paid advertising

Digital skills for the workplace

When evaluating whether a candidate is a good fit for your business, it’s good to bear in mind that our digital landscape is constantly evolving as technology plays an increasingly important role across the economy and society. This means that you will continually need to upskill your existing team members, as well as hire candidates that demonstrate the necessary soft skills to quickly adapt and stay current in the market.

It has become more important than ever that new employees are cross-disciplined, particularly with the emergence of hybrid working models, and have both the necessary qualifications, experience, and evidence of soft skills to succeed such as:

  • Great communication

  • Creativity

  • Problem-solving

  • Attention to detail

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Leadership

Hiring marketing professionals with the right skills has never been so challenging as the pace of innovation continues to accelerate. For more on how to hire for digital skills now and in the future, head to our blog.

Digital marketing team structure

Whatever the size of your business, the marketing team structure should best represent both the soft and hard skills necessary for success. Whether a single person embodies all of them at the same time or they are determined by individuals, high-performing marketing teams will need the following:

  • The marketing leader/ strategist that drives business objectives

  • The data and analytics guru that is numbers and KPI focused

  • The storyteller that’s a great wordsmith

  • The people person who builds and nurtures relationships with prospects and customers

  • The tech expert that leverages automation, PPC and conversion rates

  • The creative mind or graphic designer

  • The project manager that ensures everything is running like a well-oiled ship

Though nothing is set in stone and the digital marketing team structure needs to remain responsive to the changes present in our digital landscape to remain current in today’s market. The team structure should remain fluid and have the ability to adapt to emerging technology and evolving customer needs to drive long-term success. You can find out more about the evolving structure of marketing departments on our blog.

Successful marketing teams start with talented individuals who collaborate effectively to drive performance and results. Our global talent consultancy at DMCG Global helps to quickly connect marketing agencies and brands with the right individuals anywhere on the planet. If you are looking for marketing professionals and would like a bespoke, high-quality recruitment service, our expert consultants will be happy to help. Get in touch below to find out more.