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2015 Q2: What’s happening in the digital recruitment market

As expected with the current economic growth, the first half of 2015 has seen an incredibly busy recruitment market across the whole spectrum of disciplines at Michael Page. Over the past few years, digital recruitment specifically has grown at a significant rate. Businesses have realised the importance of digital development for the future and this is reflected in a surge in the recruitment of digital talent. 
Headcount at Michael Page Digital has increased by around 20% since this time last year, with a strong hike in job flow and a 26% uplift in revenue. Client confidence is high and the recruitment market trends for the next six months are looking positive. 

Areas of growth in digital recruitment

In 2014, we saw lots of movement within the SME space as smaller businesses recruited their first digital specialists. Role specialisation became more prevalent as larger businesses continued to grow their digital teams. Several Michael Page Digital clients we placed candidates with in 2014 are now looking to hire extra team members to bolster their digital capability. This year, the ecommerce focused sectors like travel and retail, continue to grow and there is a lot of movement within FMCG as this area of the market works to catch up with the rest.
Aside from Google’s latest algorithm change, there haven’t been any major changes impacting the digital sector in 2015; it’s been a relatively quiet year compared to recent years. In 2013/2014, we had the rise of content as king, big data dominated strategy, marketing automation became “the thing to do”, Programmatic and RTB paved the way to efficient, targeted online advertising while mobile commerce defined its own candidate requirements; digital had a couple of big years. 
As businesses grapple with the implications and opportunities of some of these developments, the need for skilled, niche professionals is rising. This looks set to continue in the latter half of the year.

Top tips for recruiting digital talent in the current market

The general candidate shortage as a result of the strengthening economy compounded with the shortage of candidates due to a fast moving, growing discipline means that talent pools in digital are small and businesses are struggling to find professionals to fill their requirements. Across the wider economy there are now fewer candidates than vacancies. Although at PageGroup we continue to generate shortlists of three well-suited candidates for each vacancy, there is an increasing lack of availability and we’re going through all the natural repercussions of short candidate supply; increased wage demands, increased ‘buy-back’ at offer stage, tougher candidate attraction and an increased need for headhunting. All of this will continue for the foreseeable future. 
With this in mind, here are a few tips to help you when recruiting for your teams:
  • Keep processes short and concise: all good candidates are in high demand and will be involved in multiple recruitment processes. Give feedback quickly, don’t add unnecessary stages to the process and make an offer as soon as you can after the final stage. Most candidates will not to want to lose an offer and will normally progress with the first offer they receive.
  • Be realistic with your brief: given that the market is so short on candidates, it is worth going into the recruitment process knowing what skills you can compromise on and what is absolutely essential. This will give you some flexibility if you start to struggle to find the 100% perfect candidate.
  • Sell your business: recruitment is a two-way process and it is as important for you to sell yourself and your business to the candidate as it is for them to prove their worth to you. Where candidates have such a choice of their next business, it is important that businesses recruiting set themselves apart from the competition.

Looking ahead

Continually improving economic conditions will mean that businesses are likely to continue investing in their digital capability over the latter half of this year and into 2016.  Digital will continue to grow significantly in marketing strategy and as new technology emerges and matures, the need for skilled, specialised professionals will grow. It is important that businesses recognise the market conditions and bear them in mind when looking to recruit the best people.
Our specialist teams across the country can help with your digital recruitment needs, please feel free to contact Jason Denhart, senior consultant at Michael Page Digital for a confidential discussion.
Tel: 01932 264156