Consumer – Marketing Recruitment Review

(View Marketing Recruitment Review and Salary Survey 2016 as a downloadable PDF here)

Head of Consumer Recruitment at Brand Recruitment

David Atkin - Marketing Recruiter

Heading up our Consumer team of four, David sets a benchmark in customer service and successful account management. With over ten years’ recruitment experience, David always takes time to understand his clients’ businesses and his candidates’ needs, and prides himself on leaving no stone unturned in the search to find the perfect candidate and employer match each time.

It has been a strong year for the consumer sector, and the next year for us is going to be all about continuing to build strong relationships with key employers and job-seekers across our regions in order to improve loyalty. This is something that will be vital in order to build on the successes of 2015. Developing these relationships even further enables us to remain current and allows us to increase the depth and relevance of our knowledge in a sector that continues to move and change quickly.

The labour market and economy over the past year has been relatively strong and this looks set to continue in 2016, meaning that the competition for hiring companies to find the best candidates will continue to increase. The candidate market has tightened over the past year as unemployment has fallen, companies have put more emphasis on employee retention and fewer people are actively looking to leave their position for pastures new. Therefore the pressure is on recruiters to think outside the box and to ‘make things happen’ in order to provide a good service to their customers. Recruiters need to move with the times or they are going to get left behind!

All employers want the best candidates and it comes as no surprise that the best candidates are the hardest to find. Many aren’t actively looking to make a career move so good recruiters need to have the strategy and skills to find and engage with these people before they will even contemplate considering new opportunities. Many candidates aren’t applying for jobs online but are always keen to hear about fantastic roles, however, to work with the best candidates, recruiters need to be the best too…

Searching for the perfect candidate for each client has become increasingly difficult over time which reinforces the importance of candidate searching precision and the need for more in-depth candidate searches. LinkedIn, if used properly, has become a key tool by which to network with consumer marketing professionals who may not be proactively searching for a new role at the moment, but could be in the future. We encourage our candidates to contact us via LinkedIn or keep in touch via email so that we can be keeping an eye out for relevant opportunities that may come up that are right for them, and their skillset. We have found that attending events and developing and nurturing “off-line” relationships with key marketers within the sector has proved to be even more effective in opening up access to those harder to find candidates. I think it has been this aspect of our work that contributed to our being awarded Best Regional Agency at the national Marketing and Digital Recruitment Awards in November 2015.

Salaries have remained fairly consistent across the consumer sector in comparison to last year, but I have noticed that organisations have been finding new ways to attract and, most importantly, retain staff meaning that salary isn’t always the key motivating factor for candidates that are making career decisions. To remain competitive we are seeing employers become a little more flexible with the salary bands they are offering in order to reduce the risk of losing their first choice candidate. We are really seeing the value in clients offering financial flexibility in this manner so that they are able to secure the marketer of their choice. Continued flexibility is going to be important in the year ahead.

For marketers, FMCG is one of the most sought after industry sectors to work in and also one of the most difficult to break into. Therefore, unsurprisingly, it is also one of the most challenging sectors for recruiters to be successful in due to the lack of available and suitably qualified candidates, as well as the unwavering list of essential requirements that the employer places on each vacancy brief. Quite simply, if the employer can’t find the right person for the job, they’ll wait as long as it takes as opposed to hiring an individual that they’re not 100% sure about. Whilst for candidates, breaking into the FMCG industry is not easy, once you’re in, this sector will open up a fantastic career and a multitude of opportunities for the future.

Over the years working in consumer recruitment, we have noticed that the employers that we recruit for really appreciate when they can see on a CV that a candidate is loyal to companies that they have worked for and has shown motivation and passion for progressing further.

In 2016, I expect that competition in the consumer sector will continue to be strong meaning that two-way candidate engagement and relationship building are going to be key success factors.

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