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Good news for designers and marketers in 2013, in recently released hiring data from creative staffing agency The Creative Group shows that 33 percent of respondents surveyed reported that “they are looking to fill design or marketing roles in the first quarter of 2013”. The data gathered from a survey including more than 500 advertising and marketing professionals in the United States also showed that advertising executives made up a larger proportion of those intending to hire—51 percent versus 31 percent of marketing professionals.

Survey responses also revealed that 39 percent of hiring managers find it “somewhat challenging” or “very challenging” to find skilled advertising/marketing professionals, with hiring managers at midsize firms (50-99 employees) reporting “the greatest difficulty”. Numbers showing demand for skilled advertising/marketing professionals coupled with reported difficulty in filling these positions points to potential opportunity for more experienced job seekers.

Also, noteworthy are the reported top five areas executives expect to hire in—account services, media services, social media, brand/product management and public relations. Not surprising given the increasingly complex media landscape and competition for consumer dollars and attention.

One piece of data I did find surprising was the importance of what are commonly known as “soft skills” to potential employers. Over a third of survey respondents (39 percent) cited “teamwork and collaboration skills” as factors “most important” to them contradicting a commonly held notion that creativity trumps all else when it comes to hiring. Commenting on this, Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group said, “Companies seek professionals who can help improve their online presence and interactions with customers and clients. In many cases, there is a shortage of creative people with the right technical expertise and soft skills, making it difficult for employers to fill open jobs.”

All this established demand begs the questions of how to best position oneself to a.) get the interview and b.) get the job. Additional data on employment trends and salary information can be found in my earlier article highlighting key insights from The Creative Group’s 2013 Salary Guide.

Full Hiring Climate for Creatives survey results along with the infographic accompanying this article can be found at creativegroup.mediaroom.com.

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