If you’re thinking about expanding your skill set or pursuing a new position, now may be a good time to get moving.
The creative employment outlook remains fairly stable for the first half of 2018, according to the latest hiring survey by The Creative Group. This twice-yearly study takes the temperature of the industry by asking more than 400 advertising and marketing executives about their staffing plans for the next six months. This time around, only 5% of respondents said their firm plans to add new positions.
That number may seem small, but the good news is that more than three-quarters (78%) of creative hiring managers anticipate filling vacated roles on their teams. Furthermore, none of the executives interviewed predicted staff reductions. For creative professionals, this means there will be opportunities out there in the months ahead.
Creative Goes All-in with Technology in 2018
The alliance between creative and tech has become increasingly important as agencies and marketing departments continue their drive toward digital prominence. Naturally, a majority of the most in-demand areas of expertise for 2018 either overlap with or are solidly within the online sphere (percentages indicate how many executives surveyed said they plan to hire in each):
- Content marketing (25%)
- Brand/product management (23%)
- Digital marketing (22%)
- Marketing research (20%)
- Copywriting (20%)
- Social media (19%)
- Customer experience (18%)
- Interactive media (18%)
- Print design/production (17%)
- Media services (17%)
More traditional expertise—print design, public relations and the like—continue to be mainstays of most organizations, as they need a mix of skills to execute fully integrated campaigns. There will be demand for non-digital savvy people in the foreseeable future, but gaining digital expertise (and soft skills) is a must for career longevity.
Recruiting Challenges Continue
Here’s some more good news for job seekers: More than half of executives surveyed (53%) reported difficulty finding skilled creative professionals today. This is an 8% increase from six months ago. Small firms are hit hardest, though employers of all sizes have trouble recruiting candidates in the following:
- Web design/production
- Marketing research
- Brand/product management
- Digital marketing
This means that not only is there demand for these specialties, but hiring managers may be willing to sweeten job offers—both starting pay and non-wage perks—to get the right person on the team. In a separate survey by The Creative Group, 57% of advertising and marketing executives said they are at least somewhat willing to boost starting pay to win over top candidates, so don’t hesitate to negotiate.
The best way to secure a higher starting salary is to know what you can realistically expect for your experience and skill set. The Creative Group 2018 Salary Guide offers data on starting ranges, and here are some of the current midpoints for the hottest design jobs today:
- Graphic designer — $54,000
- Web designer — $66,500
- Multimedia designer — $67,750
- UI designer — $72,750
- Visual designer — $81,000
- Art director — $83,250
- User experience (UX) designer — $93,000
- Creative director — $104,000
Customize the results for your city with our Salary Calculator. Also note that job candidates with significant experience and a high level of expertise can receive salaries in the 75th to 95th percentiles in the Salary Guide.
Knowing your market value empowers you to ask for the best possible compensation package when you’re offered a job. Given the current demand for skilled creative specialists, you’re in a great position to negotiate for—and get—what you’re worth.