Despite a healthy job market, professionals in the creative field may have more hoops to jump through before getting hired than they did a few short years ago, new research suggests.
Advertising and marketing executives surveyed by staffing firm The Creative Group said they receive an average of 32 resumes for an open position on their team and meet with an average of seven candidates before filling a role. This is up from 23 resumes and six candidates in 2014.
“The hiring process has grown more complex, and employers are being very particular about the talent they bring on board. They want to make sure candidates have the hard and soft skills needed to succeed, as well as commitment to the organization’s core values and goals,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group, in a news release.
“To set themselves apart, job seekers need to go beyond the basics by demonstrating qualities like adaptability, ambition and empathy,” Domeyer added.
The research shed light on additional aspects of the hiring process for creative talent. Among the findings:
Empty seats for weeks
It takes five weeks, on average, to fill an open staff-level position. Filling an open management-level position takes an average of seven weeks.
Searching near and far
Forty-five percent of executives said they are now more willing to look outside their city or state to find the right person for a creative position than they were three years ago.
Connecting via email
A majority of hiring managers (61 percent) prefer to correspond with applicants via email. In a separate survey, more than half of workers (51 percent) chose email as their favorite communication method as well.
A hard focus on soft skills
When evaluating applicants for creative roles, 23 percent of advertising and marketing leaders give soft skills more weight than hard skills; 58 percent consider both equally.
Open to negotiation
More than half of executives (57 percent) are at least somewhat willing to negotiate compensation when extending a job offer to a top candidate.
Pressing for more pay
Nearly half of workers (49 percent) said they would ask for a raise from their current employer if they felt they deserved a higher salary. However, 16 percent admitted they’d take no action, and 23 percent said they’d search for a new job with better pay.
Domeyer added that it’s important for professionals to know their value before discussing compensation with a new or current employer. “Research salary trends in your area, as well as what benefits, incentives and perks you can negotiate to improve your overall happiness,” she advised.
The surveys were developed by The Creative Group and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 400 advertising and marketing executives and more than 1,000 workers 18 years or older and employed in office environments in the United States.