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Digital salaries & market trends

What key trends have you witnessed  in 2017

In last year’s market report we briefly touched on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it had been creeping into the marketing stratosphere. In 2017 an increasing number of roles required marketing automation as a mandatory skill and we expect that to continue in 2018, as machine learning and other types of automation really take hold.

With the uncertainty Brexit generates, we’ve noted companies becoming increasingly cautious with their budget. This has resulted in strong business cases being required to replace leavers, a significant increase in counter offers and longer recruitment processes. In some sectors this meant an increase in interim roles being required.

What key trends do you expect to see over the next 12 months?

We forecast a number of technologies that are going to come into their own in 2018 – AI, as discussed above, Augmented Reality (AR) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

AR and its holographic technology is beginning to excite industry experts, especially the retail sector, as stores can showcase products without having to keep any in stock. Computer science and design skills will be of growing interest to employers, as digital creatives explore the boundaries of AR’s capabilities.

More companies are incorporating IoT into their products, thereby increasing demand for candidates with skills across retail sensors, radio frequency technology, digital signage, smartphones, automobile technology and virtually anything that transmits data.

The key challenge for decision makers within digital is its constant evolution, with new technologies and platforms being launched almost daily; businesses can become frozen and fearful of investing heavily just before a game changing technology is launched. However, hesitation risks being left behind and so investment into staying up to date with developments is crucial. The best marketing and digital leaders network with and follow key influencers, attend events and are most likely to attend digital training courses to keep up to date (see page 49 of report).

The digital economy will continue to strengthen and so we don’t expect to see any reduction in the demand for digital talent. However, Brexit is already having implications on supply, which in the long term threatens London’s position as Europe’s digital hub. Cities such as Dublin and Berlin are jostling to position themselves as attractive alternatives and the UK Government needs to provide support to protect London’s status.

What methods are companies using to attract and retain the top talent?

Companies are offering more flexibility in the workplace as candidates continue to seek a better work-life balance. Remote working at least once a week is increasingly popular, as are flexible working hours, offering part time to parents and more dynamic working environments.

Counter-offers are now more common than ever before as businesses look to avoid rehiring, as is up skilling staff and investment into health and wellbeing, particularly mental health.

Do you anticipate any changes to permanent salaries and bonuses over  the next 12 months?

As supply tightens, there will be a natural pressure to increase salaries, however we are starting to see more talent at the junior end from education and apprenticeships, which could help level salaries long-term. We expect roles within data and analytics to see the largest increase, with social and content remaining relatively flat.

Contract roles & day rates

We predict a rise in the number of digital interim roles over the next two years as Brexit plays out. Interim candidates can change roles frequently and it is common for these candidates to be enticed by higher rates for the same work elsewhere, which keeps rates competitive. Digital project managers are in constant demand. From small-scale projects to managing digital transformation, skilled project managers can command £300 to £700 a day. Email remains as popular as ever, though employers often have to stretch their budgets to attract email contractors.

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