A third of CMOs say losing talent to rivals is a major challenge, study finds

As the battle for talent continues, the need to invest in employer branding is rising up the agenda.

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As the war on talent intensifies, more than a third (35%) of CMOs across Europe say losing talent to competitors has been a major workforce challenge over the past six months, according to new research from LinkedIn shared exclusively with Marketing Week.

Another 35% of the 263 CMOs surveyed say they are receiving fewer applications for vacant roles and 32% report finding it difficult to recruit people with the right qualifications.

As a result, marketers are casting the net wider when it comes to recruitment, with more than a quarter (26%) now looking overseas for talent, while more than three-quarters (76%) believe offering hybrid working is key to attracting the best applicants.

Having a strong employer brand is also rising in importance as companies try and stand out to candidates. Almost three-quarters (73%) say investing in their employer brand is an important priority over the next six months. This is partly because more than a third (35%) admit they feel prospective candidates are put off by current workplace policies.

The importance of employee experience is rising up the agenda, and has been singled out as one of Marketing Week’s trends for 2022. Not only in response to the ‘great resignation’ and people seeking a better work/life balance, but as businesses realise employee experience is linked to brand performance.

“Companies will need to focus on building an employee experience that puts flexibility and professional development front and centre, and CMOs will need to demonstrate they are finding ways to help employees nurture their creativity and continually develop their skill sets in a hybrid working reality,” says Tom Pepper, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions EMEA and LATAM senior director.

The fastest growing skills

As Marketing Week has reported previously, digital skills are becoming increasingly sought after as companies look to respond to shifting consumer behaviour brought about by the pandemic.

According to the social media platform, the fastest growing marketing job titles in the UK over the past year are growth manager, growth specialist, head of growth, social media assistant and product marketing manager. This is followed by chief marketing officer, marketing lead, insights director, social media marketing manager and community manager.

Companies will need to focus on building an employee experience that puts flexibility and professional development front and centre.

Tom Pepper, LinkedIn

Meanwhile, the 10 fastest growing marketing skills in the UK are sales and marketing, ad serving, creativity, presentation skills, Instagram, analytical skills, content marketing, web content writing, video editing, and finance.

The need for upskilling and training is therefore growing in importance as brands look to retain and attract the best talent.

Specsavers marketing and ecommerce director Chris Carter told Marketing Week last month that teams will need to focus on developing technical skills around data, analytics and digital performance marketing next year.

Unilever has been on a major upskilling drive this year to ensure its marketers are up to date on digital. While General Motors has just embarked on a global upskilling programme for its marketers. The company has identified 22 key skillsets touching on areas such as innovation, personalisation and modern martech, it believes marketers need to thrive.

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