How was the market in Q1 and Q2? Busy, and it shows in the numbers. We have taken a fourfold increase in vacancies, in the first half of this year compared to the first half of last year.So, things are looking brighter for PR and Comms.
Corporate comms is gaining serious momentum, which is surely indicative of how managing a company’s reputation is becoming increasingly significant to firms, who are putting more emphasis on this area as part of their overall strategy. We have seen activity from the newer corporate consultancies too (1 – 3 years old) who are building their teams at Partner and Account Manager level. Interestingly financial PR agencies are not growing as much as other sectors although we have seen more new hires from those agencies with a more even blend of corporate and financial PR.
Recruitment can be a good barometer for growth, signalling which industry sectors are doing particularly well. However, this year, when we examined our in-house briefs, it seems a more general pattern has emerged. Private equity firms, law firms, infrastructure, retail, healthcare groups, media groups, telecoms, beverages, management consultancies, asset managers, global recruiters and financial services bodies have all been experiencing growth.
This year has also seen an increase in senior level digital briefs, as well as more of a demand for freelancers with corporate and consumer agencies. We have also placed roles in internal communications as we look to expand our expertise in this area.
Increasingly, employers are fighting to retain their great people and counter-offers are now par for the course. However, how effective it is to win back your ‘star performer’, ‘fulcrum’ or ‘safe pair of hands’, as a result of a counter-offer, is a subject of debate.
Finally, we’ve been doing more international recruitment, mainly in-house from London communications teams looking to expand their communications teams in Europe and Asia. As the UK market is fairly stagnant, companies are growing their offering outside the UK and wanting to build their profile abroad.
Our challenge this year and into 2014, remains the same; finding truly impressive people with not only the right skills but an ‘over and above’ attitude.And, after such a positive start to 2013, let’s hope this promising growth in PR and comms continues.