Which marketing salaries are rising fastest and why

Which marketing salaries are rising fastest and why

Just two years ago, wages in the creative industries were stagnating and the whiff of redundancies was in the air. How times have changed.

The market has rebounded from its slump. But strong candidates willing to fill vacancies are like hen’s teeth. So severe is the talent shortage that some agencies have stopped pitching for new business that they cannot service.

Research by marketing recruitment specialists Aquent has confirmed what many employers have observed. It also explains some of the reasons why staff are so hard to come by.

Pay packets are swelling

The Aquent data, compiled from 2021 UK placements, shows salaries across the board are rising.

Midweight candidates are pushing towards higher-earning roles, which is pushing up pay packets. UX roles are so sought after that senior role pay packets have jumped by 50%.

Meanwhile, ‘insight analyst’ roles have seen a huge salary spike as business performance has become mission critical. With the drive for improved online content, senior art directors, designers and web editors have also seen salaries surge.

And with flexi-working being imposed during the lockdown, the majority of candidates are demanding it as part of their ongoing working conditions.

Some examples of roles where pay is currently booming, according to the survey, include:

  • Senior art director – £65-85k
  • Senior digital designer – £50-65k
  • Senior UX designer – £80-120k
  • Senior UX architect/ information architect – £80-120k
  • Senior digital marketing manager – £55-85k
  • Midweight digital marketing manager – £38-55k
  • Senior marketing communications manager – £55-100k
  • Senior brand manager – £60-90k.

The talent exodus and finding the right people

So why is it so hard to find marketing talent?

The Aquent study confirms the pandemic came as a ‘wake up call’ to many in the industry. They questioned whether the work was delivering the quality of life they wanted beyond material reward.

The ‘Great Resignation’ has seen the total number of candidates in marketing roles – particularly those in senior positions – fall as part of a mass exodus.

Pay and flexible working

The Aquent research shows that the key enticements back into the industry are higher pay and more flexible working conditions.

One of the company’s recent studies, for example, found that 83% of candidates would turn down a job offer without flexible working options in favour of one that did. And whereas in 2019, career advancement was ranked as the number one goal of candidates, that was only true of 17% in 2021.

The study also found that remote interviews via video calls are only making hiring harder.

Video call interviews make it easier to carry out interviews. But they also require less commitment than a face-to-face interview, which translates to candidates possibly being less committed when attending interview.

In fact, while 35% of the workforce is looking for jobs, the company estimates that 10% are ‘passive’ job hunters, and wouldn’t be willing to move unless it’s for the right offer.