The UK’s creative industries have not only contributed to driving the country’s economy, but also exerting Britain’s values and influence worldwide. The sector is set to boom in the coming years and recruiters are playing an increasingly larger role in finding candidates, and helping clients prepare for the future.
The REC’s Marketing, Media, Creative and Comms (MMCC) sector group met recently to discuss current trends and to look ahead towards the future. Members representing areas such as PR and public affairs, advertising, gaming and the wider creative industries were joined by Liam Nwanze from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
Current industry trends
Demand for staff has continued to rise in recent years, especially for temporary positions and freelancers. However, this growth has a disproportionate regional distribution – 47 per cent of creative industries employment is in London and South East England. This regional imbalance not only limits opportunities for candidates, but also limits growth for employers. Solutions like flexible working should continue to be championed by both recruiters and employers.
Current skill gaps and shortages are also prevalent across sub-sectors, where employers in publishing, IT and computer services in particular are experiencing shortages. This has been further hampered by Brexit, which continues to pose challenges for the creative industries, especially in specialised fields such as IT and software, which are heavily dependent on non-UK nationals. The REC will continue to be at the forefront of the debate calling for an immigration system which reflects these labour market requirements, and enables businesses to access the people and talent they need.
Small businesses on the rise
Small and medium-sized businesses are growing within the MMCC sector. SMEs are often reluctant to invest in the recruitment process, but the cost of a bad hire can have serious consequences. Recruiters play a vital role in matching the best candidates to jobs, and their expert knowledge is key to helping small businesses grow and succeed.
There is still more to be done on the diversity and inclusion front within the sector, particularly in more senior roles. Both the government and recruiters have a key role to play in shaping the future of the industry.
The REC’s Good Recruitment Campaign encourages employers to put good recruitment at the top of their agenda. Diversity within the creative industries ultimately needs to be representative of UK society and its audience.
Although the sector will likely continue a positive upward trend as technology develops, the element of human creativity will always be at its centre. Let’s be creative!