What's driving the 2020 marketing skills shortage?

There's a growing mismatch between candidate skills and employer requirments in the marketing profession and it's holding everyone back, says latest Hays report

Australia's massive talent gap will continue to plague marketing in 2020, with a growing mismatch between jobseekers’ skills and those needed to employers, according to the Hays Job Report.

The report, which looks at skills required for the first-half of 2020, cited the rising tide of data, along with an increasingly competitive digital landscape, as creating much of the skills gap.

According to the report, data-based marketers are in demand and organisations are increasingly viewing marketing as representing the voice of the customer, which can be achieved by utilising data to make evidence-based decisions. When making hiring decisions, this translates as employers wanting marketers who can identify relevant insights and apply them for informed decisions. 

In addition, marketing leaders need to be able to present data to the c-suite that explains the operation and wider business context. For Hays, this translates to employers favouring commercially-minded marketing executives who can show the relevance of data to all verticals in the business.

In terms of in-demand technical marketing skills, the report found a rise in social media and SEO digital marketing specialists in response to the competitive online space. Digital content managers who understand user experience (UX) and 3D are also needed to meet the rise in interactive content. Communications managers to manage unified communications are another role in demand, while marketing insights analysts are required to help with data. 

Others on the list are PR managers as well as CRM professionals, campaign managers, senior graphic designers, bid writers and managers and ecommerce experts. In the public sector, designers, communications and media advisers and generalist marketing officers are needed, according to the report.

According to the Hays report, a shift from brand marketing to data-driven marketing has created a skills gap whereby marketers who started their careers with narrow skillsets and focus are required to be generalists with integrated digital skills at the mid-level. In terms of the agency side, consolidation is creating more full-service businesses, giving rise to the demand for highly skilled people, but the report finds high agency turnover and a low supply of suitable candidates. 

For candidates, demand for skills is increasing the trend towards taking temporary assignments to trial an organisation and upskill before committing to a permanent role. And employers, for their part, find temporary assignments allows employers to trail new roles and structures without making permanent changes.

The Hays report is updated twice a year to reflect changing market conditions.

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