Creative Outlook: April 2024

A recurring series highlighting current and emerging trends in the Creative, Digital, and Marketing spaces.

With the onset of spring, the first quarter for many organizations has drawn to a close. Tentative plans for growth have since solidified, as many clients look to tackle their design and marketing needs to meet their creative project goals.

Contract-Work Bounces Back

From the start of 2024 to date, we have seen a notable hiring uptick in the creative and digital sector, especially for contract jobs. For one, we saw an 18 percent increase in jobs in Q1 compared to the previous quarter. In addition to higher volume, another positive sign is the increased duration of contract engagements. As we all know, 2023 was a difficult year across industries, and contract positions in the creative sector were extremely targeted to support initiatives like product rollouts and staff coverage for extended absences. But in 2024, we’re seeing longer engagements, a sign that companies are pivoting towards strategic planning and growth strategies. This focus on retaining talent for longer periods of time offers a much more secure environment for creative professionals.

The Continued Growth of Marketing Roles

One area where we’ve seen steady growth and demand for talent is in Marketing. More specifically, companies have sought candidates with specialized focuses in Paid Media, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and Email Marketing.  From our vantage point, this refined focus within the marketing field signals an increased need for precision on the part of clients. They want specialized talent that can be part of a team and provide tangible contributions within a specific practice area. As one of our recruiters’ notes:

Companies right now are looking for niche marketing talent. They don’t necessarily want someone who can do it all, but rather a candidate who excels in a particular marketing strategy or tactic and can contribute to a larger team. Roles are becoming increasingly specialized.” - Marissa Marinkovich

This growth is not just in numbers but also in strategic importance, with companies investing in marketing to not only address current needs but also anticipate future market conditions. Additionally, companies are seeking additional project management resources to help support and guide their initiatives.  

Emphasizing Skills Rather Than Titles

Another significant industry shift we’ve observed is the decreasing relevance of job titles compared to actual skills and responsibilities. This shift reflects a move towards skills-based hiring throughout recruitment more generally.

While increasing the talent pool, this shift presents some challenges in creative when similar desired skills and employer needs come in the guise of incredibly varied job titles. What’s more, junior candidates may want a specific title, the assumption being that titles held can have implications for long-term career development. But as one of our Account Managers notes:

“Today's emphasis on skills means that companies are less concerned with titles listed on a resume. They’re more interested in your contributions to past projects and what you can bring tangibly to the table.” - Morgan Hogan

So while titles are part of career development, a candidate's skillset and demonstrated abilities will play an increasingly crucial role in their professional growth and mobility, especially in creative. Such a dynamic highlights the importance of dedicated firms like Planet Interactive, as our knowledge of the industry gives us the unique ability to navigate the recruitment landscape and connect candidates to the right opportunities.  

About Planet Interactive

One of the largest creative recruitment companies in the US, Planet Interactive offers talent solutions focused solely on Creative, Digital & Marketing roles. ​

With a passion for design, a keen sense for technology trends, and an unwavering commitment to service excellence and long-term relationships, Planet Interactive matches all star creatives and digital marketers with exceptional opportunities across the globe.​

Looking for a new opportunity in the Creative, Digital & Marketing space? Find a position where you can apply your expertise and broaden your skillset today!

Photo Credit: Unsplash

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