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Marketing & comms jobs: UK market overview with Sarah Tapley

Marketing & comms jobs: UK market overview with Sarah Tapley

Continuing our series looking at specialist industry sectors in the UK, we spoke to Sarah Tapley, Associate Business Director, our expert in permanent and interim marketing and comms jobs. Here is her assessment of the current market, from both an organisational and candidate perspective:

“The market has definitely picked up with strong competition for top talent. There is no longer the same level of choice or availability of candidates due to a number of factors, including IR35 legislation and the pandemic, which has shrunk the pool of global talent. This has meant that organisations are having to sell themselves, their cultures and benefits to entice the best marketers and comms professionals. Getting that engagement as quickly as possible is vital.

“In terms of the demand for specific roles and skills, the overarching trend is one for generalist marketers and marketing managers with a broad range of skills. Organisations are particularly looking for individuals with multichannel, integrated campaign management experience who will not just measure and report on analytics but are proactive in making recommendations. This requires strong personalities and stakeholder management skills. CIM qualifications are an advantage but not essential.

“A lot depends on the size of the organisation and some are better positioned to hire specialists, for SEO/SEM, email marketing, CRM, social media platforms and analytics experts. Content marketing is another big area with formats such as blogs, podcasts and video key to connecting with external audiences. Internal and external comms/PR experts are also highly sought after to boost engagement and brand awareness.

Rise in marketing and comms salaries

“Given the demand for talent, it’s not surprising that salaries are on the rise, especially for permanent marketing roles. We focus mainly in £40k+ roles, with organisations typically looking for a minimum of five years’ experience. But we are also seeing marginal increases in the day rates for interim roles too, with day rates of up to £800 being offered for the top candidates. To secure the best talent, organisations are not just having to increase their monetary rewards but look at all aspects of their benefits packages. Industry sectors such as IT & Tech, Telecoms, Financial Services, Education, Charities and the public sector are particularly buoyant at the moment.

“As for top tips for hiring managers, it’s imperative that organisations have a clear process in place and that they’re upfront about first and second interview dates, shortlists and when they will make those hiring decisions. Transparent communications and speed will ensure that you don’t lose candidates on the journey, especially now when candidates often have several offers on the table. Candidates also want to know about culture, so first impressions count especially during remote interviews and remote onboarding. Factors such as wellbeing and social engagement should enter the conversation.

“Candidates must quantify their achievements, outcomes and ROI on their CVs, so marketers at all levels must include results of campaigns. This is even more critical for senior roles, especially now that marketing directors often sit on management boards. Metrics that can show the link between marketing and revenue generated are critical. My other top tip would be to really maximise and promote your own personal brand on LinkedIn, so treat it like a CV and make sure that each role is covered adequately. Every line manager will look at your LI profile, so it should be a key part of your go to market strategy.”

Contact Sarah!

With a master’s in international business and marketing and a former marketing executive with Mercedez-Benz, Sarah has 16 years’ experience in recruiting marketing professionals for a wide range of clients, across both the private and public sectors.

 Are you looking to hire your next marketing superstar in London, the south east and UK regions?

You can reach Sarah at or call 07716532825.

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