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Why marketing and sales roles are neglected by Singaporeans

Marketing jobs are not easy to fill and talk of retaining good talent in Singapore is an ongoing one.

Most recently the latest Job Vacancy report released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) showed that commercial & marketing sales was one of the top 10 PMET (Professional, managerial, executive and technical) occupations with the highest number of vacancies unfilled for at least six months.

Occupations hard to fill

While the overall number of job vacancies declined over the year to 60,000 in September 2015 amid softer economic conditions, commercial & marketing sales executive remained the top job that was hard to fill by locals.

Here are the other occupations that made the cut.

Hard to fill by locals

The MOM study cited unattractive pay and the lack of necessary experience as key reasons why marketing roles were harder to fill.

In a conversation with Marketing, Jacqui Barratt, director at recruitment firm Font, explained that when there is such low unemployment level and more jobs than people, the talent pool is often in the drivers seat, giving them the ability to pick and choose what they want.

“The MOM table quotes unattractive pay structures as one of the key reasons for the job vacancies. If this is the case in a sales and marketing environment, recruiters are less likely able to entice someone from their current situation, especially within the sales arena where performance is so closely linked to remuneration,” she said.

Pay can’t be the only driver as then the solution is only short term.

Employers will then need to look into what they are able to offer to make their organisation a place of choice and drive their employment brand. Most marketing organisations today are also striving to be more competitive, increasing productivity and profitability with the resources they have.

There is also a gap between employers and employees. While the latter might want more pay, the former would then expect greater results with less investment in training. Barratt adds this problem is not unique to the marketing field, but it is further highlighted given the sales aspect and result oriented deliverables associated with the field.

“Given the movement of job seekers in Singapore, there is a lack of depth found with the experience candidates have. Candidates are often moving jobs before seeing campaigns or projects through to a stage where they can implement, review and enhance their offering,” she said. Hence many candidates are missing rounding out their skill sets and depth of experience that comes from time.

In an earlier interview, Wendy Heng, associate director of sales and marketing, healthcare, supply chain and procurement at recruitment firm Robert Walters also echoed a similar stance saying that talent today no longer stay in companies for decades. While in areas such as marketing or in house communications, the average lifespan is about three years, in digital it is as low as 18 months.

Hence to find good talent in the sales & marketing, and especially digital marketing, remains a challenge.

Photo: Shutterstock

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