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Director-level roles on the up - but why?


One of many consequences of the global economic downturn was a decrease in the number of senior marketing professionals seeking to advance their careers. Given the uncertainty of the financial climate, many opted to stay put - moving advancement to the back of their minds - until a little more stability returned.

Recent months have seen a dramatic improvement; indeed, June saw the National Institute of Economic and Social Research suggest that the national economy grew by 0.9 per cent in the quarter to the end of June, meaning gross domestic product was 0.2 per cent above the level recorded in January 2008.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has led to a surge in employment activity. In their latest Report on Jobs, KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation revealed an acceleration in the growth of staff appointments during July, with recruitment consultancies placing more people into both permanent and temporary roles. This upturn was driven by stronger demand from employers; growth accelerated to the fastest rate since January, with the private sector proving to be the biggest creator of new jobs.

This trend for increased hiring activity has been no different in the marketing sector, in which senior professionals are once again taking their plans for career development office to seek out new, more fulfilling, opportunities with other employers.

At EMR, we've seen a greater level of movement among heads and directors of marketing than at any point since 2008. Many are either marketing director roles for new entrants, or positions with companies that have recently introduced new products or services.

So what's behind the trend? The end of the recession is clearly the primary influence here, but it's resulted in several other supporting factors - greater confidence within the market, increased investment, stronger growth than has been seen for years.

As Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, puts it: "It seems that employees are finally beginning to wake up to the opportunities available to them, with the rates of growth of both permanent and temporary placements accelerating simultaneously for the first time since the winter."

In the light of all this movement in senior positions, what can businesses do to ensure that they don't either miss out on the top talent or lose their star employees to rival firms?

Well, it's really a case of staying ahead of the game - and that means partnering with top recruitment agencies to ensure that you're able to track potential acquisitions.

Equally, it's important to make sure you're prepared for life without any one of your senior marketers. Therefore, you need to have a strong succession plan in place and develop leaders from within your existing workforce - particularly among middle management.

Provided your company is able to achieve these goals, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to both recruit strongly and keep hold of your most talented members of staff.

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