Above average pay rises to reward creativity

Most employers in the UK’s creative, marketing and communications industries expect to increase staff salaries by between 4% and 5% in the next 12 months, according to research by recruitment firm Aquent.

However, the survey of 894 UK businesses also reveals that about a fifth of the new media, marketing and creative companies plan to increase salaries by between 8% and 10% in the coming year.

However, no new media businesses envisage boosting salaries by more than 10%, compared with 3% of marketing firms and 6% of creative services companies.

A third of marketing companies estimate that salary rises will stay below 4%, compared with 44% of creative services firms and 27% of new media businesses.

Most creative companies (84%) also predict increased revenue, with an average rise of 25% anticipated across all sectors.

…but staff turnover is a major issue for employers

Despite above-average salary increases, the creative, marketing and communications sector still suffers from a high staff turnover.
Marketing companies have the worst turnover levels, with an average rate of 23%, compared with an average turnover of 20% for creative, creative services and design and production companies.

Marketing, design and production, new media and creative businesses were most likely to have turnover rates of between 10% and 20%.

Perhaps most worrying for all sectors was the fact that more than 30% of organisations across the survey sample recorded staff turnover in excess of 20% per year. This could be due to the unrealistic expectations of workers in the sector or a reflection of the freelance nature of the marketplace. 

Question of calibre depends on location

The calibre of candidates in creative, marketing, creative services, design and production and new media roles varies depending on the location of the job, and in-house corporate teams seem to attract the top talent.

Six in 10 creative services departments within corporate businesses rated prospective employees as ‘good’, followed closely by non-corporate creative teams at 58%.

Design and production teams were the most likely (8%) to consider job applicants as ‘exceptional’, and about half (49%) said the calibre was ‘good’.

Not one creative or creative services departments rated job applicants as ‘exceptional’, however – although this was counteracted by the fact that no departments thought candidates were poor.

New media departments were the most divided, equally split between ‘good’ and ‘average’ ratings at (44%), with an equal number (6%) rating potential recruits as ‘exceptional’ or ‘poor’.

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