2013: Growth growth and more growth

13 Jan 2014 by Sarah Leembruggen.

Wow! 2013 was quite a year for The Works, ending with a fourfold increase in PR roles we were asked to fill compared with the previous year. And it’s been an equally positive start to 2014, with continued cross-sector growth.

PR’s in good shape, based on the last 12-months…or at least in better shape; and 2013 was certainly indicative of that, with many clients committing to additional growth in their departments, bolstering existing teams and creating new roles in PR and comms.

The commitment to team growth and the demand for good quality PRs was reflected in a 14% rise in salaries, compared to 2012. The biggest salary increases in agencies were at the junior and senior end of the market. For Account Executives that meant an average rise of 18%. At the top of the tree, a Head of Communications could expect an average increase of 30%. Account Managers and Senior Account Managers showed the lowest salary increases at 8%, whilst Account Directors and Associate Directors averaged 11%. It’s not a surprise that the biggest gains to be had are for heads of teams; these roles in agencies are revenue generators. In-house; if you’re looking for a Head with specialist sector experience, and you find the right person, it’s worth paying a little more for it.

Corporate PR was a particular hotspot last year. In-house PR Managers were most in demand in the sector, alongside agency Account Managers and Account Directors. It was also interesting to see many young corporate consultancies (1 – 3 years old) flexing their muscles and building their teams at Partner and Account Manager level. In-house corporate roles came in throughout the year, gaining momentum through the second half of 2013.

Just over half of our placements were in agencies and across the board there was a noticeable demand for established Account Managers, closely followed by Account Directors. We found (and continue to find) that agencies are very specific with their requirements, and unlikely to want to look beyond their brief. This is probably trickling down from demanding clients, who want fast results, so agencies need instant teams who can hit the ground running.

We could see with our in-house placements that recruitment is still tending to be specialist and safe. Clients are fighting hard to get the budget to hire and when they do, they are keen to select candidates with similar previous experience. It’s a client’s market and they can afford to wait for the right person as many people want to move in-house, although we often have to advise clients on their long list of requirements as to what is possible for the budget they have.

There is a bit of a misconception when it comes to agencies, as there is a belief that there are lots of people looking to change job - that’s not the case. We’re being more proactive than ever to find really talented people. Great candidates are hard to find and stellar people are being snapped up quickly. That means clients who can speed things up, with a more efficient process will win the day.

It looks like it’s going to be a busy year in recruitment if PR continues as it has started. Tell us your view @theworksrecruit.

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