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Digital recruitment outlook for 2015

Based on the digital recruitment market in 2014, it looks like 2015 is going to see continued growth in digital teams and greater specialisation of roles as teams grow. The main issue in 2014 was a shortage of talent – especially for specialist roles. The supply of candidates is unable to keep up with demand and as a result, we are in a candidate driven market. Candidates are reporting a higher number of unsolicited approaches from companies and recruiters, as headhunting becomes the norm for recruiters in the digital space.
Candidates have increasingly ambitious expectations when it comes to salary growth and despite the candidate driven nature of the market, these are not always in line with reality. Salaries are rising but only for a handful of niche roles, such as UX, CRM and optimisation roles, not for all digital roles across the board. Alongside salaries increasing, employers’ expectations when it comes to skills and ability are also increasing. In the agency market, the demand for strategists has increased and the good ones are incredibly expensive. Client services professionals are expected to not simply manage client relationships, but to have a clear understanding of the strategy in order to manage the client and process more effectively. Again, these skills are scarce and expensive.

Areas of growth in digital recruitment 

In 2014 we saw lots of activity in the SME market as small companies hired their first digital specialists or started to grow a digital team where this had previously been outsourced. In addition to the sectors that are always busy, such as retail, leisure and other ecommerce driven businesses, B2B companies have showed more activity this year. More firms launched B2B platforms or recognised the potential of digital marketing for B2B firms. This looks sets to continue with more B2B services being delivered from the cloud in 2015 and beyond.
Recent economic improvement has meant an increase in consumer spending which means increased investment. Much of this investment is going into digital and ecommerce innovation, specifically marketing automation and display advertising. 

Top tips for recruiting digital talent in 2015

  • Focus on speed – good candidates are in high demand and in order to secure top talent you need to ensure that you run a slick recruitment process, sell yourself effectively and produce an offer swiftly. Candidates will generally not run the risk of losing an offer in hand so will usually take the first offer they receive.
  • Ensure you have a clear brief – make sure you know what it is you want. In light of the shortage of candidates for many specialist roles, think about what skills you really need and where you can be flexible.  
  • Be realistic – If your recruitment consultant says your brief is unrealistic... it probably is!
  • Be honest with candidates at interview – if you promise them too much and can’t deliver, they will drop out after they are placed. 

Outlook for 2015

After a second year of an improved economic climate, it is likely that companies will continue to invest in digital talent and that means greater specialisation for digital professionals. Competition for digital talent is going to continue to be tough and companies/agencies will need to up their game in order to secure the best digital professionals on the market. Companies that have not yet invested in a multichannel approach are likely to get onboard this year.  
For more digital recruitment advice, or to talk about your digital recruitment needs, contact Huw Jones, associate director at Michael Page Digital.
T: +44 1932 26 4079