Global design and marketing staffing company Aquent has released its 2010 Market Eye survey, a snapshot of hiring intentions and salary predictions for the marketing and design industries across New Zealand and Australia.
The survey - which includes responses from 496 employers across Aquent markets in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide – suggests the recovery across Australia and New Zealand is well underway. In New Zealand in particular, signs are emerging of increasingly buoyant design and marketing sectors. Renewed confidence is evident with regards to hiring intentions and a corresponding willingness by employers to invest in permanent staff through salary increases is also emerging.
Following widespread staff cuts across New Zealand throughout 2009, the Market Eye Survey suggests the freeze is now thawing. Only 15 per cent of New Zealand employers surveyed had cut their permanent headcount over the past six months. By extension, nearly 40 per cent of employers had bolstered their permanent headcount over the same period.
More encouragingly, 47 per cent of employers expect to add additional headcount in the next six months, with digital agencies (64 per cent) leading the revival.
Sentiment with regards to the use of freelance and contract staff is also improving. 48 per cent of employers increased their use of freelance staff over past six months, while nearly 37 per cent of employers plan to increase use of such staff over the coming six months. Demonstrating that hesitancy continues to linger across the design and marketing sectors, nearly 48 per cent of employers plan no change to their current use of freelance staff in the next six months.
Salaries, however, are on the rise. Over 50 per cent of employers across Auckland increased staff salaries over the past six months, while 56 per cent of employers expect to increase salaries in the coming six months.
Aquent surveyed both employers and employees with regards to their most effective staff retention strategies. Both count flexible work practices and career development programmes as the top two most effective retention strategies. Reflecting the ongoing disparity between employer and employee motivations, however, the survey found employers count discretionary bonuses as the third most important strategy, while employees ranked this fifth, instead nominating external training programmes and additional leave entitlements as more effective retention strategies.
Aquent Regional Director, Australia and New Zealand, Simon Lusty, said the Market Eye survey points towards the New Zealand and Australian design and marketing sectors in rebuild mode following the widespread cuts of 2009.
“Following the catastrophic decline in hiring intentions throughout 2009, widespread staff redundancies and general panic as employers struggled to ride the economic downturn, it is pleasing to see that the employment market has bounced back in 2010,” he says.
‘While a degree of hesitancy remains across New Zealand, employers are feeling more upbeat about the future and this is translating to a more buoyant hiring market.”
The survey was carried out via face-to-face and telephone interviews conducted by Aquent agents between Monday 26 April and Friday 21 May 2010. In addition to surveying employers, 457 employees were surveyed via email on the topic of talent retention between 18 May and 23 May 2010. Data was analysed using the following segments: Advertising Agencies, Design Agencies, Corporate Marketing, Digital Agencies, Media Agencies, PR Agencies and Research Agencies.
Aquent is the only global staffing company dedicated to marketing and design. With over 60 offices in 15 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.