Key Trends of 2014
As chief executive of VMA Group, I regularly attend events relevant both to the communications and to the recruitment industries. These give me invaluable insights into market trends and helps shape VMA Group’s approach to delivering a better service to our clients.
Two such recent events have been particularly insightful. The first was one of VMA Group’s regular Advisory Board meetings in Amsterdam, attended by Communications Directors from across Europe, and the second was “Recruitment Leaders Connect” #RLC14 a forum for recruitment business owners to share best practice, and discuss the key trends affecting the industry. Both of these events featured captivating discussions, particularly on the key challenges that the communications recruitment industry is facing. I have included a few of these thoughts below:
Employee retention is going to be critical this year as many employees will be looking to progress their careers in 2014, having felt that a move may have been too risky in the past. Pay is stagnant, so the best way to get more money is to move company. VMA Group has seen a busy start to the year with more quality job opportunities emerging which in turn will encourage more people to take their next career step.
According to the Recruitment Leaders summit last week, the number of permanent vacancies across the UK is up by 12%. The industry shrank to £19 billion at the height of the recession but is now forecast at £28 billion this year. It is anticipated that the key sector growth for permanent roles will be in Transport, Healthcare and Medical, Construction and Retail.
Interim and freelance contract opportunities will continue to rise particularly in Financial Services which is a trend echoed by VMA Group’s Interim Management practice.
Junior level opportunities are also growing. Having launched VMA Direct at the end of last year to handle entry to mid-level roles, we have seen this trend confirmed as clients increasingly look to attract rising stars into their organisations and then give them the developmental tools to be successful.
With more than 60 IPOs planned in the UK so far this year, the Investor Relations industry will receive a much needed boost with multiple organisations investing in communicating with financial stakeholders. In particular, we expect a diversification of the industry beyond the traditional FTSE-listed companies, with various manufacturing and retail companies now focussing on investor relations.
Invest in Talent
There are concerns within the communications industry that the pace of change is currently so rapid that many organisations will start to experience critical talent gaps within their teams. There is a real need for training and development programmes, particularly in rapidly developing fields such as Digital, Social Media and Change Communications.
Training also features strongly in our latest European Labour Market Survey as a key attraction and retention mechanism so it is important that the benefit to both the business and the individual is not overlooked.
2014 is already shaping up to be an extremely interesting year for the communications industry, and for the first time the perennial talk of “green shoots” has actually been backed with economic figures and a sharp rise in communication recruitment levels. Long may it continue!
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