Is there a recruitment crisis looming in marketing?

Is there really a marketing recruitment crisis looming?

The marketing industry looks extremely healthy right now. Marketing Manager has once again been deemed the best job in the UK, the number of marketing vacancies advertised remains high and more people are now employed in the marketing and advertising industry than ever before.

UK Employment in Marketing & Advertising
UK Employment in Marketing & Advertising

Source: Office for National Statistics, Employment by Occupation

However, a recent report commissioned by Marketing Week suggests that there may be trouble ahead for the marketing industry when it comes to recruiting the next generation of marketers.

Marketing Week canvassed students across the UK to find out their opinions about marketing as a career. Over half said marketing was ‘never’ or ‘hardly ever’ mentioned at school and only 3% felt the marketing industry offered the best career opportunities. And when it comes to choosing a degree, only 2% felt a marketing degree would give them the best prospects for their future career; particularly concerning as over 63% of people working in marketing and advertising are graduates.

Just 3% of students think marketing offers the best career opportunities

The Marketing Week article goes on to suggest that there is a lack of information available to young people about the wide range of opportunities offered by a career in marketing. Marketing also has an image problem; it is seen as very closely linked to advertising, which is generally disliked or distrusted by Generation Z, the post-Millennial demographic.

This lack of awareness about marketing could lead to a significant lack of diversity, as only those already exposed to marketing through friends and family are likely to consider it as a career. A report from 2016 suggests that marketing is already experiencing diversity issues; over 30% of marketers come from middle-class backgrounds and nearly 93% are white.

The digital skills crisis makes employing more young people, who generally have an in-built understanding of technology, even more important. Marketing is a rapidly-evolving industry and if the sector is to keep up with the latest developments in digital tools and social media, it’s vital to bring in new blood.

Marketing Week suggests the solution is for the industry to work to inspire young people to pursue marketing careers. Marketers need to find opportunities to talk to students and graduates and let them know about the rich and rewarding opportunities that are available in marketing. In short, the industry needs to start marketing marketing.

What do you think? Do you feel the recruitment storm is really just a flash in the pan? Or is it crucial to get out there and reach young people now, before it’s too late?

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