British businesses are preparing for a positive year of expansion and investment, according to a number of metrics, with plans afoot for further hiring. This is likely to be good news for marketing professionals keen to find a new role in 2014, with the sector looking more lively than it has done for some time.
A recent survey of chief financial officers (CFOs) from Deloitte found that uncertainty among top UK firms is at its lowest level for three and a half years, meaning there is increased willingness to invest in additional staff.
Some 91 per cent of firms questioned by the accountancy organisation said they anticipated enjoying larger revenue streams over the course of the year, which could offset the cost of bringing in new workers and make expansion even more likely.
"Uncertainty and credit shortages, two major blocks on business activity, have eased substantially and CFOs believe that the level of financial and economic risk facing their businesses has reduced significantly in the last year. Whether through introducing new products and services, M&A or moving into new markets, expansion is firmly back on the agenda," said Ian Stewart, Deloitte chief economist.
With 57 per cent of CFOs willing to take more risk on to their balance sheets - the highest level since the survey started six years ago - prospects look good for job-hunters.
However, many recruitment managers remain relatively cautious, meaning they could plump for hiring marketers on temporary-to-permanent contracts rather than bringing them in full-time straight away.
By utilising the temp-to-perm process, recruiting managers can rely on the member of staff to justify his position - as long as they can demonstrate their value effectively, it makes it easy to explain the necessity of creating a permanent gap to those in charge of the purse strings.
But are these good options for marketers looking for a new position? EMR recommends that they approach the prospect of a temp-to-perm job with an open mind, although it’s understandable that some workers might be cautious about the potential uncertainty involved in taking on such a role.
Ultimately, it's important to ask a lot of questions about the prospective switch before making a decision. Jobseekers need to work out why the company in question is relying on temp-to-perm - is it because of budgetary constraints, or to help the firm win a new account? These queries can be important in working out whether a permanent position will be lined up after the initial temporary period.
One way of gauging whether or not it is worth taking the risk is to find out how many of the businesses' current marketing team started out on interim deals - this can help applicants understand the reasons behind the temp-to-perm approach.
Finally, it is worth finding out how the assessment process is likely to go over the course of the temporary contract. A company that offers regular check-ups based on key performance indicators will be better placed to decide on whether or not a worker is deserving of a big contract further down the line.
It's certainly not wise to dismiss these types of positions out of hand, but some caution can prevent marketers from finding themselves in a difficult place further down the line.