Marketing Recruitment Trends & Tips in 2021

We recently published our 2021 Marketing Recruitment Trends and Salary Survey, giving you a valuable insight into what to expect from a fast-changing and turbulent economic world highly impacted and influenced by Covid-19.

Our team gathered specialist knowledge from our 50+ consultants, used our 300+ combined years of specialist recruitment experience, as well as a comprehensive research study from a variety of sources, to bring you the most up-to-date salary insights and recruitment trends to help you benchmark your salaries and attract the best talent throughout this year and beyond.

National & Regional Outlook

Employment across the UK is down circa half a million since the pandemic began. However, it is important for businesses not to be complacent when it comes to the availability of talent. Higher unemployment doesn’t necessarily equate to more candidates for every role, and we are still seeing shortages of high quality, relevant talent across many of our sectors. It is prudent to note, unemployment is shown to be higher in sectors such as hospitality, however professional skills and specialist areas of marketing are still in high demand.

Industries most affected by redundancies: Hospitality, Travel, Recruitment

Industries with the highest demand for candidates: I.T. & Digital Technology and Digital Marketing, Logistics & Storage, Pharmaceuticals, PPE & Cleanliness Supplies and Food Services.

From a local perspective, we’ve seen some positive news in employment as Yorkshire outperformed the rest of the UK with 0.8% growth from June 2019 to June 2020, the largest increase of any region. This translates to -264,000 UK workforce jobs and the addition of 25,000 jobs to the Yorkshire region.

Salaries on the whole remained steady throughout last year and into 2021, despite a slight dip during Q2 of 2020. As was anticipated, heavily-hit sectors such as Wholesale, Retail and Hospitality saw the largest drop in pay growth, going down by 0.5%. Construction took the heaviest hit, however, with a 3.9% decline, all according to the Office for National Statistics.

It’s fair to say that 2020 saw one of the biggest technological transformations ever seen, with businesses being forced to adapt to home and remote working during the pandemic. For many organisations this was a big change and one required to be delivered at pace, that they were not prepared for. In fact, this digital shift has seen 48% of employees move to remote or hybrid working (as reported by the Chartered Institute of Management).

Looking forward, the shift in home working has meant candidate priorities have altered and it is reported that key areas they will look for in a new role will be; job security, flexible working, personal wellbeing, health & safety and career progression.


It goes without saying that 2020 (and even early 2021) presented many Yorkshire businesses with a number of monumental challenges, the likes of which have not been seen or dealt with before. Many marketing professionals are seasoned to the tasks of problem solving and responding to sudden predicaments, but the events that have unfolded over the course of this last year have shown the resilience and ingenuity of the profession.

Marketing teams largely weathered the storm of the pandemic, some even finding things to be busier than ever, with stay at home orders seeing a surge in the demand of online content consumption for both B2B and B2C brands. To be able to deliver this shift in strategy, many organisations had to expand on the skills of their existing team or look to invest in specialist marketers, designers and videographers.

With large numbers of shops and offices shuttered for large periods of time, many businesses have heavily leaned on their marketing teams more than ever to fight through an increasingly busy digital and print world. Marketers have had to work exceptionally hard to not only keep their brand awareness high, but also to generate increased leads and conversions to support the reduction of physical sales income that many have faced.

Marketing has always been an incredibly exciting and fast moving sector, with some of the very best adapters to change — the last 12 months has only gone on to highlight this even further. As even more key decision makers in businesses wake up to the importance of investment in marketing and the people that make marketing happen, we are confident that there is an even brighter future ahead.

Key Trends

The results of our research in the sector has highlighted three main areas of change for businesses over the past 12 months:

  1. The demand for digital specialists is now outweighing traditional marketers by 60:40 and it looks likely to stay that way, or even increase, into the future.
  2. Increases in home working, and proof that it is possible to do so without compromising quality and creativity, has opened up once local roles to national possibilities. We are also a lot more likely to see changes to the working week, with reduced or optional time in the office balanced with working from home where appropriate.
  3. The depth of requirements in digital and creative roles is becoming increasingly complex, as employers seek candidates that have much wider skills and deeper

knowledge of the marketing journey. For example, a Marketing Executive may need to have a greater understanding of the impact of marketing on supply chain functions, or a graphic designer may need to offer wider multimedia skills.

Our latest report includes all of the key trends that you need to consider when recruiting a new addition to your team, as well as comprehensive guides to assist you in benchmarking your salaries as you seek to attract the best talent. In presenting our findings, our researchers have taken into consideration the unique identities of each of our local regions, so we have listed tailored data for various roles in South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire & The Humber and the East Midlands to ensure that you have access to the most relevant information.

To find out more about the state of play for Yorkshire businesses in Marketing, and what that means for talent attraction throughout 2021 and beyond, click here download our FREE Recruitment Trends and Salary Survey report today

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