Demand heats up for technical skills in customer insight and relationship

Latest hays quarterly report on marketing recruitment shows demand for customer insights and customer relationship management skills are in highest demand but the supply gap is wide

Technical roles in marketing are on the rise and more candidates are emerging with a combination of traditional and technology skills, according to the latest Hays quarterly report.

The recruitment firm cited an increased number of job opportunities emerging in the marketing space this year in Australia, led by technical roles such as customer insights and customer relationship management. In addition, employers are looking for candidates who are multi-functional and can work with all aspects of digital.

“However, in the future we expect digital roles to be split into more specialised functions such as social media, SEO and content management,” Hays stated in the April to June quarterly report.

Mid-level marketing executives and B2B specific marketing coordinators with experience working on website and social media content sourcing and copywriting are also in demand, while the candidate pool show signs of more applicants emerging with a diverse background in traditional marketing/communications combined with technical skills in the use of software such as Adobe, Hays stated.

Senior regional director of sales and marketing, Peter Noblet, told CMO there are currently no hard and fast rules in terms of where hybrid customer-oriented technology skillsets sit within organisations.

“CRM roles are often found in the marketing departments of large enterprises, where there might be a dedicated customer experience team,” he commented. “More technical roles might report directly to the IT department, while less technical roles usually sit within marketing. Sometimes roles can report to both IT and marketing. Over the past year, we have certainly seen a move towards more technical roles.

Noblet also agreed huge gap between demand for more technical marketing skills in Australia and the availability of those skills shows no signs of closing, and noted a premium salary emerging around more technically based marketing roles.

“The shortage of highly-skilled candidates will continue to present a challenge for businesses looking to hire in this area,” he said.

“The traditional career histories of candidates are becoming less important as demand grows for people who can demonstrate the right mix of marketing know-how and technical proficiency. Add in roles such as data scientist, which means different things to different people, and the need for expertise in ‘real-time bidding’ in the media space, and we begin to see how large the shortage of relevantly skilled and experienced people actually is.”

As companies adopt technologies that allow them to take a more individual approach to customer engagement through digital marketing, traditional marketing communications roles will decline, Noblet added.

Hays’ results reflect comments made by a number of Australian recruitment firms to CMO around the top marketing skills in demand in 2015.

According to Firebrand Talent’s general manager for Melbourne, Alex Kenning, positions most in demand include digital product managers and content specialists, digital acquisition and retention specialists, data and insights analysts, and digital marketing managers.

He put this demand down to the transition many businesses have now undergone to adopt digital platforms and processes. “The need is now for talent that can drive digital innovation to create products and quick, efficient go-to-market solutions,” he said.

“Rather than general marketing roles covering a broad skill base, clients are hiring specialists in areas of social media and content which is a continuing shift over the last few years,” added Hudson executive general manager, Dean Davidson, earlier this year.

The latest Hays quarterly report also highlighted a number of trends in the public sector around marketing skills and recruitment. One of these is the rise in Queensland Government roles focused on communications, strategy and Web content, with digital content and CMS skills top of the list.

“The newly elected Labor Government is expected to spend more on marketing and bring in contractors for project work, and candidate levels remain steady within this area,” the report stated.

More widely, Hays saw high demand for community and stakeholder engagement officers across various state government departments.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

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