- Most advertising and marketing managers (67%) plan to expand their teams in the first half of 2020, with a focus on mobile and web development positions, according to the Dec. 16 results of a Robert Half survey.
- Even more (69%) said they'll be increasing the number of freelancers they use — a 7-point jump from six months ago, according to the firm.
- "To keep up with changes in technology and consumer behavior, businesses seek people with a passion and commitment to improving customer experiences and driving growth through digital innovation," said Diane Domeyer, executive director of Robert Half's The Creative Group, in a press release. "Companies are increasingly hiring professionals with expertise in areas such as data analytics, demand generation, automation and artificial intelligence."
The demand for web and mobile professionals illustrates an evolution that's taking place across industries. Employers of all types are increasingly focused on finding talent experienced in data, artificial intelligence and other emerging tech.
Marketers aren't alone in their plans to hire freelancers, either. Fearing a recession, many employers have adopted "agile" talent strategies focused on temporary workers or independent contractors, retaining the ability to quickly and easily adjust headcount in response to market demands.
But despite these plans to increase headcount, employers know the talent market remains tight. A majority of the advertising and marketing managers responding to the Robert Half survey said they've had a hard time finding the right talent, and other research shows they're not alone: HR professionals responding to an XpertHR survey said recruiting will remain a top concern heading into 2020.
In response, employers have devised some creative solutions. Some are prioritizing candidates with the right soft skills (such as leadership and strong communication), hoping they can be trained on the job's more technical requirements. Others have turned to untapped talent pools, focusing on individuals with disabilities and those with criminal histories, for example. Still more have removed drug testing mandates and degree requirements, attempting to cast a wider net.
Improved benefits and development opportunities often are on the menu, too, but with the exception of retail employers hoping to attract seasonal workers, employers generally have been slow to offer substantial salary increases, again wary of a predicted recession.