Out with the Old, In with the New Year!

15th January 2018

It’s fair to say, many would be glad to see the back of 2017.

Advertising agencies had a tremendously tough year while Media were the quietest they’ve been in a decade. Digital was steady with many of them struggling to hold on to top talent amid fears of becoming too one dimensional. We are seeing a number of Digital transformations taking place across the private sector. In particular larger enterprises, who are adopting a Design, Build, Run approach in many instances. Cultural transformation is also key, as these organisations seek to embed new areas such as DevOps and Security, with a focus on work flexibility and team diversity/inclusion.

The ability to attract capable and successful revenue generating staff remains the key to success in most organisations, which continues to fuel the requirement for experienced salespeople.

Employers have changed their approach to hiring sales staff. They are using testing tools, strong behavioural interviewing techniques and a well-managed process to make their key hire decisions. This has lengthened the time it takes to recruit, which in some cases means that good potential candidates have been lost.

What’s in demand?

Quality Digital candidates remain in very high demand regionally. While there are many available candidates in the market, employers want candidates with specific skills coupled with industry experience. E.g. UI Design in finance, or CRO in insurance. Companies also want top talent who see their roles as a ‘craft’ and are involved in ‘extracurricular’ activities/events, such as conferences, meetups and coding challenges.

Hybrid roles continue to be created / what the market is really looking for. This involves combining traditional marketing or communications roles with digital skills. As digital becomes more integrated into marketing functions, this demand will grow. For employers, the challenge is that hybrid candidates are rare and there are less generalist roles than ever before.

What employers need to do?

With demand for such candidates increasing, speed to market and realistic salaries remain the keys to success. However, throughout 2017 we found many employers were not meeting the candidates’ salary expectations, thus employers must act quickly and provide a positive recruitment process experience if they are to secure their ideal candidates.

Those employers with a strong employee value proposition and who can clearly convey the outcomes expected in a role will see the most successful hires.

What are candidates looking for?

Digital jobseekers want to work for innovative businesses that value the ability of digital to improve customer experience. They are not as focused on an organisation’s brand but want to know the details of projects, the future for digital and what they can learn in a particular role.

Employers need to remember that almost every passive candidate open to new opportunities don’t take the potential move lightly. It is all about the search for something better. Whether it be working on better projects, or to progress in their careers, or everyone’s favorite, the desire for a more suitable remuneration package, candidates are holding firm on what they want.


We’re only two weeks into 2018 and we’re definitely seeing signs for optimism. I for one am hoping this region fulfils its potential in what could be a defining year leading into the Expo 2020.