In this live panel debate FutureBrand’s, chief strategy officer, Jon Tipple; Trustpilot’s chief marketing officer Alicia Skubick and associate director of BlueSky PR Vickie Collinge alongside Robert Half’s head of marketing Garry Reynolds, examine how your employee value proposition can increase your attractiveness and boost your own candidate attraction efforts.

From potential hiring via generational differences and the importance of intellectual curiosity to the 70/20/10 rule, these are hiring and retention lessons from our panel of strategic thinkers - and people managers -  working agency- and client-side.

How competitive is the marketing & creative market for hiring the talent you need right now?

Jon Tipple: You’re looking globally across the board right now and it varies. In some parts of the world, it’s difficult. Typically, the US and Europe are very difficult to attract the right people. And the right people when you find them are absolutely in demand. Compare that to places like India and if you go to the Middle East, it’s dynamic and it’s quite rich and exciting there. Traditionally, it used to be, you know, relatively low levels of talent, but they’re massively learning so fast.

Alicia Skubick: [As a hirer largely in the tech sector], it’s been a little refreshing in terms of going into the market now compared to maybe a year ago. We're getting incredibly high calibre candidates and a lot of applications. And so, we're finding we're finding it's a hiring market and we're able to be choosier. I'd say the best markets for us are basically in Europe, the US and the UK.

Jon: We must spot when there's natural churn. Our industry is changing [and] some people leaving is not [always] a bad thing. It's great for us to identify gaps. Which ones do we need to replace? Because some people you don't.

So, that means that the person we're going to hire might be more senior or more experienced, but we're now looking for people with multiple talents who can run anything, tools and do so. That creates quite a pinch because it's finding the right person is much more highly prized. Before you could afford to hire maybe in larger numbers, which obviously was good but now we're much more narrowed down.

Garry Reynolds: As a counter to what you've just said this year, I was speaking last week about potential hiring. So, in a very tight market, one of the things that you can do is bet on somebody who has potential to grow. Is this something you’ve seen?

Alicia: What we found is, depending on the level, and I'm sure you've seeprin this in your companies and industries, there is a desire to move quickly within the ranks. And so, we certainly always hire high potential. I'll compromise on skill to ensure that their values match the company's and that their 'how' is as strong as their 'what'. Also critical are deep curiosity and intellectual capability. They don't always have to have 100% craft.

What marketing skills are hot in your business? And how easy is it to find these creative skills?

Alicia: It goes back to intellectual curiosity and strategic thinking. If you have those then you can put in the best tools, and I have watched them fail because there's not curiosity about how that works. So, I think making sure that you're hiring for that is key – and of course, really strong performance marketers are always for us.

Jon: Our biggest thing is great creative people. And while data is something that people talk about a lot; the onus is on the ability to make the leap from data into ideas. There's much more openness about people turning down university degrees. We're taking people who are older, we're taking people who have done nothing like this ever before.

We've got a guy who used to work for a public service but is just an interesting guy. We're much more open-minded about that - in fact almost not wanting to find it from Oxbridge because often you can't pay them what their friends get and so they don't stick around. But at the same time, they're not necessarily the freest thinkers and creativity is quite hard to spot.

Vickie Collinge: What we are finding is more conversations are taking place around skills adjacent, looking at the adjacent skills to what you need. So, you may, for example, have a salesperson in the team who's a great communicator, great supporting job adverts, writes and great at using social media but is not in marketing function.

But if you put that CV alongside others you got in, that salesperson may be the better person for the job. So, we are finding that there's a lot of conversations around that sort of adjacent skills hiring. I'm looking at what you really need and whether they do need to come from the traditional places or not.

What are the most important elements of your (employer) brand in securing marketing & creative talent?

Garry: As marketers and creatives, brand is often there to attract customers. But it’s easy to have core principle that help to attract talent. Obviously, your brand plays an important part in somebody's decision making, whether they are a customer or a potential hire.

Jon: We tend to think of them when we're trying to hire people. We have this 70/20/10 thing going on and I think a lot of companies probably do this without realising it. But 70% of what we offer people is what you'd expect, you know, a salary, safe place to work, all the stuff that makes good employers.

The 20% on top of that is stuff that probably most in this room already offer people like enhanced training. What I would really recommend to push is on that top 10% and doing things that are counterintuitive and odd, but that seems to make the difference. Now, bearing in mind the generational difference between the employers and employees these days, that seems to resonate in a way.

It's difficult as an employer because you must come out with those sorts of counterintuitive things.

Vickie: You've got the younger generation that tend to be more digitally enabled. So, they're on TikTok and Instagram. And obviously, a lot of our clients are looking at how they can utilise and leverage TikTok to engage with that demographic.

So, you know, there's a real need for a mix of the community kind of communication channels that you target. I think that's only going to increasingly become important as people become more aware of the fact that it's that kind of market now, where they can be more choosy thinking about where they go.

Jon: Your message must be interesting to make you want to go on these platforms, you know. And that means being distinctive and authentic. And I think that's why the Instagram and these platforms are quite good because suddenly millennials will look on Instagram to figure out what this company is like behind these websites. And so how you manage that is another challenge.

Alicia: I think that's interesting because the idea of wanting to be authentic is more informal now. People don’t want to just see the CEO talking on a video. They want to see the real-life stories in every type of medium.

For more information on hiring trends in the creative and marketing industries, download your free copy of the 2023 Salary Guide here. Are you ready to begin building your marketing team of the future? Get in touch with our recruitment experts today.