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Should Marketing Wages Rise to Match the Rise in Vacancies?

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It’s the age old question which exists not just in the world of marketing recruitment and job vacancies, but in industries across the commercial and public sector. When availability rises and the number of vacancies on the market increases, should wages and expectations rise to match it?

While most markets can treat a rise in demand as an appropriate cause to increase prices, the job market is a little different - particularly in light of the pandemic and the impact that furlough had on so many job roles and recruitment sectors. After all, it’s easy to think that any job is better than the furlough so many UK workers faced - and so there should be no need to increase wages as well.

In this article we take a closer look at availability across the UK marketing recruitment market in particular and consider whether employers are (and should be) increasing wages in order to entice the greatest talent into their team.

Where has the rise in vacancies come from?

Marketing recruitment is an interesting sector to work in, because at its very core, marketeers will always be required both as part of in-company teams and in privatised roles and organisations. Marketing professionals are the glue that hold many companies together and as such, the rise in marketing recruitment is something that has never particularly slowed - particularly with the implementation of new technology and the growing need for digitally competent professionals across the sector.

However, the pandemic and the introduction of the furlough scheme saw a lot of employees leaving the office and being forced to spend time at home away from work - and that has caused a shift in the very way that employees respond to work commitments and flexibility. Employees want more flexibility - and when they don’t get it, they are leaving their roles in the search for new roles - leaving vacancies open and instead seeking out those companies who are most receptive to the increase in demand for flexibility.

In the first week of August, there were 1.7 million active job ads in the UK alone - not just in marketing but across the board. The problem that companies are facing is that these roles are varied and include both low skill roles and professional roles - but companies aren’t always willing to do what they have to do to attract the right people. And, with so many alternative roles and options open on the market right now, those who don’t offer enough in wages and benefits will find that the best talent simply applies for roles somewhere else (often at a competitor company or organisation).

Should wages be increased to match the increase in job roles?

With so many active job ads on the market right now, finding a way to stand out and attract the right candidates is tough. Marketing recruitment firms are finding that a focus on benefits and flexible working can draw people into these high profile financial roles, using the office environment benefits more than ever before to create a sense of belonging and teamwork. But the fact remains that companies are still not offering enough in the way of cold hard cash - instead looking for the softer sell with benefits and the focus on wellbeing. And while this has certainly become a growing trend and something that applicants look for in new roles and companies to work for, financial benefit has not lost its top spot in priority.

And that’s not all.

The rise in vacancies can also be attributed to the rising need for technology and digital skills in adapting to the so-called ‘new normal’ - something which has impacted every industry in one way or another and forced many to find new and innovative ways of reaching their target market. One such industry is the marketing industry which now relies more than ever before on the use of personable and engaging social media profiles to continue to attract and appear relatable to an increasingly digital audience. What this means is that industries are advertising for new roles beyond their usual remit - and candidates with the right skills to meet those needs have become flooded with endless options from a wide range of companies who need their skillset.

So, should companies be increasing wages to find and entice the right candidates?

Should companies be increasing their wages across the board?

There’s an argument for rewarding loyalty, and there’s also an argument for attracting the right talent and respecting the high level of professionalism that you are looking for in candidates. Both of these arguments dive into the side which supports higher wages, with companies using financial benefit as a way of rewarding those who worked through the pandemic and remained loyal throughout, and as a way of providing a competitive salary to new candidates who provide the skills they need.

There are also companies out there who are offering different kinds of benefits as a way of standing out, tapping into the ever-increasing focus on wellbeing and the work life balance that so many UK workers are now looking for. While this works to an extent and can help a company stand out, the fact remains that a final decision will often come down to the finances rather than the working from home and in-office entertainment opportunities.

The Takeaway

The job market is recovering across all industries, with the reopening of hospitality and other industries serving to put more vacancies on the market than we have seen for a long time. But with this increase in job vacancies there comes a need to change the way we attract the right talent - with the pandemic and the easing of furlough proving how important it is to offer competitive salaries for companies who hope to hire the right level people to support their company reopening and growth.

It is no longer enough to throw a job vacancy out there and hope that the right talent will fall into your lap. Whether you are looking for marketing recruitment or something in hospitality, wage is something that needs to be taken seriously and matched to the rise in market vacancies. If not, your applicants will simply go elsewhere.  

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