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Are marketing teams increasing in headcount?


Marketing teams have begun to expand over the last few years despite the UK's economic travails, showing the increased demand for professionals with communication and digital skills as businesses attempt to develop their advertising techniques and engage with consumers in different ways.

With the technological developments currently taking place, companies are looking to bring in as much expertise as possible to leverage new trends in a useful way, meaning hiring prospects look good for suitably-experienced professionals.

This was underlined by recent market research from EMR revealing that over 40 per cent of people in the sector saw a year-on-year increase in headcount over the course of 2013.

Furthermore, one-third of respondents are anticipating further growth in the size of their team through the next 12 months, suggesting the sector is going to continue in buoyant form as the British economy begins to recover following a difficult few years.

This news follows the last Marketing Confidence index released in December 2013, which saw British firms moving into 2014 with a great deal of confidence in the economic and business climate.

Some 42 per cent of firms suggested they had a positive outlook when it came to risk and investment, underlining EMR's report and making it even more likely that marketing jobs will become available over the course of the year.

Furthermore, 46 per cent of marketers report that their organisation's financial performance exceeded expectations during the past year, with six out of ten anticipating a boost in consumer confidence in 2014.

CIM Research and Insights associate director Thomas Brown said: "Since the inception of our study, the trend of increasing optimism from businesses is incredibly encouraging. We have long said that as businesses look to make the shift from recession to recovery, a renewed commitment to risk and innovation is crucial."

This looks set to ring true when it comes to headcount, at least, as companies look to develop their talent pipeline as much as possible.

An additional factor in this shift could be the warnings that a skills gap is set to emerge in the future as fewer talented graduates emerge from the British academic system and younger people fail to develop the experience they need for a career in business.

With this possibility becoming an increasingly ominous one for companies keen to stay ahead of their competitors, developing an internal pipe-line of talented workers prepared for further promotion and career development could be a good move over the coming years.

Despite this, it appears that job security is beginning to fall, dropping by four per cent on a year-on-year basis, according to EMR's research. Some 61 per cent of respondents rated their position as somewhat or very secure, down by four per cent compared to 2013.

This could be another sign that opportunities are on the rise; businesses are keen to bring in the best possible workers in hard-to-find digital areas, meaning they may be willing to trim certain areas in order to stay within budget.

Companies need to focus on their internal and external talent programmes if they are to take advantage of the improved economic conditions in the UK.

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