Creative Talk with Lauren Juska, Sydney Manager at The Creative Store
Creative Talk this month is with Lauren Juska, our Sydney Manager / Consultant at The Creative Store. Lauren looks after the Account Management / Content / Social / Marketing side.
How is the Australian recruitment market at the moment across your roles? Are you seeing any new trends?
This year has seen more frequent peaks and troughs than in the past few and candidates are reporting this too; it can be quiet for weeks and then an influx of great roles will appear. Always consistent is the need for strong mid-level account managers and people with digital marketing expertise. More and more businesses are needing junior to mid-level marketers who are creative and strategic, yet have strong experience with analysing data for insights – a cross-pollination of analyst, coordinator and strategist.
Your area of focus at The Creative Store is across marketing, account management, social, content, digital – how is the split between candidates looking for agency vs client side roles?
Good junior-mid level account managers are in demand - candidates with 2+ years’ of good agency experience are not on the market for long. There certainly seems to be a lot of marketing generalists at the moment, and less demand for this skill set.
What areas are your clients finding hard to source?
Marketers with strong digital marketing and analytics skills. More and more of our clients are requiring marketing teams who are confident using data and analytics to drive conversion, retention and engagement. Depending on the size of the business it is not always affordable nor efficient to have a dedicated Analyst resource, therefore it is smarter and more cost effective to have one person who can dive into the numbers and then develop and execute strategies around those insights - whether that is more investment in PPC, UX projects, tailored email marketing or an updated social media and content strategy.
What would be your top 3 recommendations to clients when thinking about their next hire?
Start the process early and don’t delay meeting people – although it can seem impossible to find the time (there is never enough!) make it a priority to meet people and move quickly with the process. Being a resource down or not allowing for a proper handover will put more stress on your team and reduce productivity. You can keep your first interview meetings to quick 30 minute meet and greets, or take the time for an in depth 60 minute meeting.
Prepare interview questions – make sure you are leaving each interview knowing the candidates’ strengths, weaknesses and what they will be like as a cultural fit. This makes it much easier to judge each prospects suitability.
Beware the ‘halo effect’ i.e. hiring someone just like you or like the previous employee. A good blend of varied experience, personality and point of view makes for an innovative and well-balanced team.
Traditional Account Managers are proving hard to find – how is this affecting your clients?
The good ones are snapped up quickly. Clients are having to move quickly and be competitive with salary. It also means being more open-minded about whether a candidate’s work experience background is an exact fit for the role; cultural fit, attitude and transferrable skills are becoming more pertinent, as is a solid on-boarding process.
You get a lot of daily freelance requests – how easy is it for you to find freelancers on demand?
We have a solid database of freelancers across all roles, and are constantly meeting and networking with new talent; finding very competent freelancers is rarely an issue, although again the good ones can be booked pretty quickly so it pays to move quickly.
How realistic are the Australian salaries? Do you find clients and candidates expectations are meeting at the same place?
Salaries across more traditional roles such as marketing and account managers seem to have made very little progress over the last 5 – 10 years. I am finding that clients are expecting quite a lot from candidates but are also restricted by their own budgets, and that most candidates are willing to be flexible to work in the right role and business. This means that often each role salary package is altered depending on the candidates experience level.
Location – a lot of candidates only look to work inner city suburbs – how do you get around this?
By really understanding the client and the role – candidates do not mind commuting for the right job!
Working on roles across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – are many of your candidates interested in moving inter-state?
People are really clued up about how important job satisfaction and work cultural fit is to overall happiness these days, so as a rough figure it seems almost 30-40% of candidates are open to moving if the right role or company came up!
How about new talent coming to Australia from overseas – are the new visa rules inhibiting the talent growth here?
Sponsorship is becoming so expensive and difficult for businesses, that it has become more and more rare that international talent, without full working rights, can be considered for roles. This certainly limits innovation as it means the Australian workforce becomes same-y and insular.
If you would like to contact Lauren Juska – email Lauren@thecreativestore.com.au / Call (02) 8278 7514