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Our 2020 Recruitment Insights for the Communications, Digital and Marketing Industries

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Our 2020 Recruitment Insights for the Communications, Digital and Marketing Industries

VMA GROUP has been a recruitment partner for the communications industry for over 40 years; specialising in corporate communications and consumer communications across all industry sectors.  

In the last 10 years, VMA GROUP has reached further into marketing and digital recruitment and in that time so many challenges have been faced; recessions have been navigated, downturns swerved, and technology has advanced and changed everything.

The team at VMA GROUP speak to hundreds of communications and marketing professionals every week across the UK and Europe. This gives us a unique insight into the state of the communications and marketing professions, the teams, their day to day demands, long term challenges, strategic objectives and future hopes.

It’s a unique role that we hold, providing a service to many clients. We advise and support professionals throughout their careers, engaging with the industries we serve and understanding their organisation’s long-term strategic goals and building the teams they need to help facilitate their success.

Over the last 6 months corporate communications and marketing recruitment has been hit hard by the pandemic. Understandably, the shock of Covid-19, and the impact on businesses across the world has meant that recruitment has taken a back seat. Hiring freezes have been implemented, headcount reductions and cost control have sadly been a requirement for many businesses. Organisations have, quite rightly, pivoted towards communicating internally with a degree of honesty and transparency that will hopefully remain after the threat of Covid-19 leaves.  

The impact of these freezes and reductions are certainly showing, particularly within communications. We know that communications teams are still under a huge amount of pressure to deliver on the strategies and projects planned at the start of the year. They are trying to do this balanced with the massive complexities of Brexit, the need for businesses to re-focus their attention on diversity, sustainability and environment and managing business as usual; as well as still working at considerable pace on Covid-19 communications. 

Even the most experienced communications teams are feeling the pressure, and it is certainly felt that Christmas will mark the end of many communications team’s capabilities in juggling all these aspects without proper resource. Investment in communications team’s budgets and headcount for 2021 and beyond should not be underestimated.

There has been a positive change this year; a focus on empathy within business, an understanding that this has been a difficult experience for many.  Leaders within communications and marketing teams have spent more time learning about their employees, caring about how they feel and understanding them on a level that they have never really got to before.  

The switch has been turned on for CEOs and senior leaders, that what they say and do, and how they say and do it, really matters to the people that work for them.  There has been so much talk about authentic leadership in recent years, but this year really has shown its power, and quite frankly, its importance.

2020 has brought us an experience that should unite us, not just through Covid-19 but also the Black Lives Matter movement and action for climate change.   

It has certainly made it crystal clear how important it is that businesses communicate with integrity, honesty and compassion and it is their communications teams that lead the way.

VMA GROUP looks forward to continuing to build the communications, marketing and digital teams for the next 40 years.


VMA GROUP is a leading international interim and permanent communications, digital and marketing recruitment and executive search specialist. Specialist practices cover corporate communications, internal communications, change communications, PR, media relations, CSR, public affairs, marketing, digital and agency services.

We have a reputation for providing leading consultancy services and advice supported by in-depth knowledge of the professions we recruit for. Our thought leadership and benchmarking studies have become go-to resources for the communications and marketing industry supporting planning and decision-making.

VMA GROUP has offices in London, Manchester, Amsterdam, and Brussels, but we work with organisations and individuals on a global basis.