Buoyant recruitment activity shows increasing strength of UK design industry
Recruitment activity in the design industry has been extremely lively over the past six months, signalling that confidence in the market is growing, according to Fiona Watson, head of the design and creative services division at RPCushing Recruitment.
When recruitment activity picks up, it is generally a sign that things are on the up in an industry and since the start of 2006 we have witnessed significant movement in the design industry, at all levels.
Increasing volumes of client briefs, leading to expectations of continuing increases in workload are fuelling this recruitment drive, which although steady, is substantial.
The good news is, it seems that employers expect current growth to be sustained over the long term. Employers are generally being very selective with regards to the candidates they are taking on. Recruitment decisions are being well thought through, indicating that this surge in recruitment activity is not just a knee jerk reaction to a sudden, and perhaps short lived, upturn in work. On the contrary, employers are thinking about recruiting employees to be with them for the long term and are subsequently being very focused about the kind of people, ability and experience they want.
Despite this highly selective approach from an employers' perspective, it is, generally speaking, a candidate's market. This is due to the sheer volume of activity and the fact that the really excellent account handlers and designers (particularly mid-weights with between three and five years' experience) are in short supply.
The current candidate shortage for designers at mid-weight level has been triggered by a cut back in graduate recruitment and training programmes when the market took a downturn a few years ago. This had begun in a small way before 9/11, but accelerated enormously in the aftermath.
To avoid exacerbating this shortage of designers within the industry, employers need to channel more resources into graduate recruitment and training programmes in order to attract and retain fresh talent. They also need to be more aware of offering development and benefits in order to retain that talent for the long term.
Offering free work placements can also be a way of helping graduates to obtain a foothold into the industry. Employers who provide industry newcomers with the opportunity to gain some real work experience often find that the good turn is often rewarded with hard work and a positive attitude -- and the opportunity to hire a graduate who has proved their ability on a placement.
RPCushing Recruitment is one of the UK's fastest growing market leaders in the provision of recruitment solutions for the market research, design and marketing communications industries.
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