The effects of quarantine are kicking in, and recruitment during COVID-19 is not the same as before. As we head into another week in lock-down, Pearce Doorley Head of Carter Murray Australia, explores the ramifications of coronavirus on the Marketing & Communications marketplace, and the evolving trends and the impacts upon employers in Australia.
Pearce talks about marketplace trends in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, the issues and challenges that have emerged in the market, the sectors of the Marketing & Communications profession that have been hit hardest (if any), inherent opportunities from this health crisis, and predictions and advice for accountants for the future.
What marketplace trends are you currently witnessing in Marketing & Communications recruitment in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic?
The market is very interesting at the moment because we are not witnessing very much movement at all. Most organisations are still in a pause mode, they have moved from the initially upheaval of getting everybody working from home to a stage where people are carrying out their roles as best they can and organisations are waiting for restrictions to be lifted before they make any major decisions. Saying that, Communications is one of the busier areas as companies work to keep their staff and customers informed about their business. We are also seeing a lot of activity in ecommerce marketing and digital marketing as companies increase their online visibility and offering.
Are any demographics (e.g Heads of, middle management, juniors etc) being hit harder than others?
Senior and middle management seem to be taking the brunt of the pain in the market, while we are not seeing a lot of redundancies, the ones we are seeing tend to be at the more senior level. Companies are retaining the more hands on junior marketing team who are carrying out a lot of the day to day functions around content, communications and digital media. The pandemic coincides with a lot of restructuring in marketing and communications role in the financial services sector, so we have been seeing more and more candidates with 8-10 years’ experience coming onto the market over the last 6 months.
What are the major issues that employers will be facing – presently and in the near future – as a result of the pandemic?
I believe right now the market is in a state of limbo, the government incentives such as JobKeeper and payment holidays around taxes etc have stabilised the market in most sectors. Retail and hospitality are the two obvious exceptions. Once the government support and incentives are removed and the economy takes the dip that analysts are forecasting, I believe we are going to see a spike in redundancies in certain sectors and roles. The extensive damage caused to some sectors such as retail, hospitality, education, financial, manufacturing etc will mean organisations who sold into these sectors will also be massively impacted as they have to find alternative markets, this will lead to redundancies and less new roles being created.
Conversely, what are some opportunities that can and will arise as a result of the pandemic?
I believe we will see increased demand for ecommerce and digital marketing skills, there will be new roles created as companies develop new product and services as new sectors emerge and grow. The way we work I believe has fundamentally changed and we will see a lot more remote working with more technology used so we will see a lot more technology developed. Communications both internal and external will become even more important as organisations rebuild brands and keep their employees engaged.
What advice, if any, would you offer to Marketing & Communications Professionals coming through the ranks and/or those who have been made redundant/asked to reduce salary or hours?
It is a tough question to answer right now as we do not know the full impact yet. While the next year is likely to be a challenging one, what we have seen over the last 6-8 weeks is that most organisations globally have moved online and consumers are more confident in buying online and using technology to work, shop and interact with friends and family. I believe this will continue and increase and Marketing and Communications will be an integral part of this. Companies will now more than ever be looking for candidates with the right marketing skills, content generation, social media, ecommerce, marketing automation, SEO, PPC, branding, Loyalty, and change communication. Just like the GFC, new sectors and industries will grow and develop and create lot of new opportunities for candidates in the future
What is clear is none of us can afford to operate as we have in the past. The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally shifted how we live and do business and is becoming the accelerator for one of the greatest workplace transformations of our lifetime.
Whilst the future is still uncertain and we do not have all the answers at this juncture, with new jobs, sectors and industries set to emerge post Covid-19, there are undoubtedly many opportunities for businesses and professionals to take advantage of to ensure both professional and business longevity.