Q1 Trends Report

20 April 2016


The first quarter of 2016 has brought the year off to a positive start, affirming our confidence in the market and proving PR and communications as a thriving and quickly-progressing industry. Recruitment has been very busy at this stage, and we have begun to see a number of key trends emerging.


The PR and communications sector is fast-paced and rapidly expanding; as the scope for communications activity widens and companies try to keep up with (and stay ahead of) the ever-changing digital landscape, the importance of finding the right people for the right roles has risen. Employers are ensuring that they invest in strong PR and communications teams, placing high levels of time and value into finding the right fit, and ensuring that specialist roles do not stay open and unfilled. Rather than restructuring teams, employers are realising that certain roles require a highly specific skillset, so a simple reshuffle is no longer making the cut. Roles are being filled faster than ever, so it is vital for both employers and candidates to act quickly in the current market.

There is confidence in the market and the candidate is king

The fluidity and positivity of the market has proved that candidates have more choice than ever and can be strategic with their decisions, considering every element of the role before they make their decision. The candidate is firmly in the driving seat, no longer afraid to make the case for better salaries and benefits, as there are plenty of other options vying for their attention. 

Smaller companies have the upper hand

Smaller organisations have had the upper hand in being able to hire faster, and therefore secure top talent. We have seen larger companies struggling to retain candidate interest as lengthy hiring processes involving HR departments and rigorous testing has meant they have lost out. Smaller companies can offer greater flexibility in terms of interview times and processes and have fewer teams to coordinate when choosing the right candidates, so can quickly capture and maintain attention.

Experienced recruiters are being brought in as key partners for companies

Time is precious, and enlisting the help of experienced and dedicated recruiters is more important than ever. Online applications, LinkedIn and job sites are great for pulling in an initial candidate pool, but the calibre and quality of the candidates can so often be lacklustre and disappointing. With an existing pool of top-tier talent at our fingertips, specialist recruiters can quickly bring top candidates to the table. As we meet all of our candidates face-to-face, we can also provide an in-depth understanding of each person, in terms of how they would fit into teams, their transferrable skills, and exactly what they are looking for. We make the process efficient, and companies are realising that this is essential in today’s fast-paced business world. 

In-house roles are on the rise

As PR, communications, and marketing departments continue to play a key role in business, we have seen a rise in the amount of in-house opportunities available. Companies are looking to expand these teams and invest more money into them, meaning that teams are growing to cover the various activities that the communications sector now covers, including content, digital and social media. 

Interim and contract roles have risen

The appeal of flexible working has continued to make its mark on the communications industry, and as a result we have seen an influx of interim and contract roles available. These have particularly risen at the senior-level, as maternity cover contracts have increased and companies seek experienced consultants to quickly hit the ground running on upcoming projects.  

Roles in the property, FMCG, professional services and start-ups sectors have increased

There’s no time like the present when it comes to finding a role in any of these sectors, as we’ve seen a huge rise in the amount of jobs available within them. It offers a promising start to the year for these industries, and demonstrates how important and widespread the communications sector has become to all aspects of business. 

Rise in the amount of Internal Communications and Employee Engagement roles

We have seen a clear rise in the amount of internal communications roles available, as companies look to retain their top talent and drive levels of employee engagement. Companies are striving to maintain staff loyalty and act beyond expectations, going the extra mile in order to hold onto their top employees.  

Stay in the loop with our quarterly updates to see how these trends progress throughout the year.  If you’re looking to take the next steps in your career, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a consultant or call us on 020 7009 3500.

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