Aquent Malaysia today unveiled the findings of The Aquent Orange Book 2008-2009. The survey highlighted that across the region, the top challenges facing the marketing, communications and creative industries are skills shortages, high turnover rates, escalating salaries and competition from overseas. This has resulted in a rising demand for contract positions and a need for companies to implement innovative retention strategies.
Filling the resource gap in Digital Media
New media and digital are among the sectors where demand for experienced and talented staff is most acute. “New and innovative digital communications technologies have revolutionised the creative industry. There is demand for people in the digital media arena and those able to integrate digital into the overall marketing mix,” said Steven Pang, Regional Director, Asia, Aquent.
Aquent’s agents report a candidate shortage of experienced people in the fields of digital, project and account management, creative, brand consulting, communications, new media, public relations and web design.
A shift towards hiring skilled talent and contract workers
With skilled talent in short supply, the search has expanded beyond the local talent pool to include qualified candidates from across Asia,” said Pang.
“Recent trends indicate that employers are increasingly on the look-out for skilled personnel who are willing to take on contract positions. Experienced contract staff can meet short-term requirements like seasonal peak periods, new and additional projects, unpredicted workloads and critical stages in project cycles,” said Pang.
Setting industry best practices to retain top talent
The Aquent Orange Book 2008-2009 highlights that the creative industry in Malaysia has a high staff-turnover; with 68 percent of respondents indicating that they had changed jobs at least once in the last two years. Advertising agency account management (31 percent) and creative departments in digital agencies (28 percent) recorded the highest staff-turnover rates.
Malaysian companies, who have succeeded in maintaining a staff-turnover of 10 percent and less, strategically focus on developing retention strategies that set or reflect industry best-practices. These companies invest in their staff and offer their employees career development programmes (81 percent), external training (67 percent) and internal company training (52 percent).
“Robust retention schemes and added benefits can help companies hold on to star performers. With the current economic climate, employees do not expect dramatic salary increments. Top talent are less likely to explore new roles if they are presented with opportunities for professional development,” said Priya Bala, Area Manager, Kuala Lumpur, Aquent.
Bala cautions however “in examining retention strategies, remember that women generally have different priorities from men. Bear in mind that basically, what most women want are flexible work practices in order to have greater work-life balance. This is the most important retention strategy that companies need to invest into to keep their top female performers.”
What lies ahead
Malaysia will continue to see a rising demand for experienced talent in the PR/communications, digital and advertising industries throughout 2009. The digital agency sector is expected to present the highest number of job opportunities, with 92% of companies surveyed expecting to increase its head-count in 2009.
The Aquent Orange Book
The Aquent Orange Book is a bi-annual salary and industry monitor of key Asia Pacific and European markets. This survey was carried out in seven languages across 15 countries and received feedback from over 5,000 respondents within the marketing, communications and creative industries. The survey provides salary information, detailed statistics on staff turnover, retention strategies, talent sourcing strategies, salary increase percentages and forecasts on permanent and contract hiring trends.
Now in its fifth year, The Aquent Orange Book is an industry reference document on salaries and hiring trends published in two editions – Asia Pacific and Europe. Internationally, The Aquent Orange Book covers the following categories, among others: marketing, market research, creative, design, digital, advertising, MICE, publishing, editorial, media, PR and communications, and is targeted towards senior managers.
Aquent is the leading global staffing firm specialising in helping companies find marketing, communications and creative talent. With 73 offices in 18 countries, they have an unmatched network of professionals that enables them to deliver the right solution for any client need and provide exceptional career opportunities for their talent. Today Aquent has over 11,000 professionals working at over 3,000 companies. Over the course of its history, Aquent has made over half a million matches of professionals to our clients on an individual, team or through an onsite or offsite managed service basis. The company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters are in Sydney.
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