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The war for marketing and PR talent persists as academic institutes fail to keep up

The Marketing, advertising and PR industries are facing a serious talent shortage due to digital transformation, which has dramatically effected the industry.  Due to the fast pace of change, universities and school curriculums have not been able to keep up, causing a bottle neck of fresh young talent with the skills businesses need now.

With fierce competition between technology companies for candidates within an already small talent pool, James Miles, managing director of RGF International Recruitment Singapore, said that in order to be better prepared to tackle these challenges, employees interested in entering the marketing, advertising and PR market sector need to adapt and reskill, and employers need to upscale their own workforces by investing in digital skills.

Most recently, RGF International launched findings from a study which said that the struggle to locate and attract key talent is a huge concern for Singaporean employers with 84% stating it as the biggest hiring challenge. This is despite the fact that Singapore is the top location that job-seekers around the world would choose to relocate to if given an option – ahead of Mainland China, North America and Europe.

Nonetheless, on the employer side, sentiments are highly positive when it comes to business growth and hiring plans with none of the Singaporean respondents stating a “pessimistic” outlook. Singapore was the only country of the study to record 0% pessimism. Rather, 53% were “optimistic” while 47% were “neutral”.  This optimism translates into aggressive hiring plans for local respondents who aim to expand headcounts in the coming year.

Celebrate and reward your star employees and teams at the inaugural Marketing Talent Awards 2019 and attract new talent.

The war for talent

Miles added that most companies today are looking for talent who are comfortable with data, numbers and analytics – a far cry from what the marketing and advertising industry used to be like. Unsurprisingly, content marketing and the use of social media are also increasingly in demand, creating a surge in the hiring of digital marketing specialists.

However, recent policy changes and government regulations have made it difficult to hire foreign talent, and many companies are now focusing on having a majority of their core team comprised of local Singaporean’s and Permanent Residents. These changes have created both a shortage and a war on local talent as companies compete over this scarce pool of top Singaporean and Permanent Resident manpower.

This talent shortage has caused Singapore to move from a client-driven market to more of a candidate-driven market, similar to countries like Japan where finding local talent is also a major challenge.

This means candidates have more power to choose their own employers while employers have less of say as these talents have high demand, resulting in demand for high pay.

“We have seen companies turning increasingly to hiring freelance or contract workers in order to fill the gaps in their businesses. These brands are continuing to extend their talent acquisition reach by expanding their internal recruitment teams, investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and candidate matching technology, increasing their usage of recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) services from relevant staffing companies, and turning to more specialised executive search firms to identify the hard to find niche talent,” he added.

Celebrate and reward your star employees and teams at the inaugural Marketing Talent Awards 2019 and attract new talent.

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