Miranda Dobson

"Digital disconnect" found in marketing sector

Skills shortages have been blamed on a knowledge gap between workers who are digitally savvy, and senior staff without computing backgrounds in the digital marketing sector.

Recruitment and media firm, The Candidate, carried out research into digital marketing, to find what they called a “damaging disconnect” between staff who have recently graduated from specific vocational degrees and those in higher roles that graduated from broader subjects at redbrick universities.

The Manchester-based firm found that while 100% of senior workers thought communication skills were either more or just as important as computing skills, 33% of junior staff prioritised creative and technical skills.

Junior digital marketers had higher expectations for salary rises, as 50% said pay would increase between 5 and 10% in the next year, while senior level staff said pay rises would correspond with inflation.

Candidate’s Managing Partner, Colin Telford, said: “Whilst we hoped it would help identify some of the reasons behind the skills shortage what we didn’t expect to discover were essentially two separate cultures - one predominantly redbrick, the other, graduates of specialist digital marketing courses, both with their own sets of values and motivations and both failing to fully appreciate the needs of the other.”

Brian Matthews from Candidate commented: “The closer we looked at the data the more obvious the gap appeared.

“For example, junior graduates place such a high priority on training that it came out as the single biggest reason that they left their first role.

“Office location and social factors are also important again outweighing salary as priorities, issues that barely ranked for more senior staff.”

The firm recommended a “realignment” between candidates and agencies was need to close the skills gap, while both parties needed to have a better understanding of each other to improve.

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