Marketing firms need new talent

MarketERS determined to innovate and make creative use of tighter budgets will win out in 2011 as employers come under more pressure to win business, a leading marketing recruitment agency boss predicts.

Alternatives' managing director Sandra Lawler (pictured right) said an ability to develop strategic plans and insights will be the key skill-sets that stand out next year.

Ms Lawler said 2011 would be more outward-looking and most growth would come from exports. As a result, marketers with experience of international markets will be much in demand.

Although marketing has climbed up the business agenda, pressure on executives to perform and demonstrate return on investment is key.

Digital marketing will further evolve and demand for skills in the areas of social networking and mobile marketing will remain high. Ms Lawler expects a turnaround in new job opportunities.

Over 40pc of Irish companies have cut staff numbers in recent years and have not replaced marketers who left. Now they're finding people have gone, but the workload hasn't.

So demand for new marketers on permanent and interim contracts will continue to grow, albeit cautiously, as companies rebuild teams with the right skill-sets.

The need for clients to reduce risk and to be flexible will increase demand for part-time staff and marketers on fixed-term contracts.

An increase in maternity leave should also drive this. Grocery, telecoms and utilities will be the busiest sectors.