A new study of marketing leaders has revealed 43% of those surveyed have the intention of increasing their team size or resources in the next 12 months.

Michael Page Australia partnered with marketing and digital advisory Arktic Fox to produce Marketing State of Play 2021: An Australian Study, exploring the core challenges for marketers, how marketing teams are driving performance and efficiency, prominent skills and capability gaps, marketing budgets and the MarTech challenge.

It found only 3.5% of survey participants expected to reduce headcount in line with business needs, while 53.5% would maintain current headcount levels in the next 12 months.

Michael Page Director Leela Lewis explained that the appetite to increase marketing headcount was closely correlated to the new job registrations that the recruitment firm experienced since the beginning of the year.

RELATED: Data & analytics flagged as marketing’s biggest technical skills gap

In addition, SEEK’s Employment Report found that April was the second consecutive record-breaking month of job ads posted in the job board’s 23-year-plus history. However, applications per ad were at the lowest level since 2021.

“We have had a very encouraging start to 2021 and are continuing to see new job registrations grow nationally, with VIC and WA surpassing pre-COVID levels and the rest of the states following closely behind,” Lewis said.

She revealed increased job volumes were mostly for junior to middle management roles, but was yet to see the senior and executive market rise to previous year-on-year levels.

Lewis added that the number of contracting opportunities had also increased, with “instability” being a driving factor around this shift to non-permanent roles.

As a result of the local skills shortage and talent squeeze, the study found that 57% of marketing leaders were open to recruiting remotely and would consider candidates from interstate.

However, as businesses look towards recovery with increased headcount, several sectors were grappling with the candidate-short market, which means the recruitment and hiring outlook for certain marketing roles continues to be challenging.

Lewis noted that the candidate shortage could be closely linked to the international border closures, leaving a limited supply of immediately available local candidates with specialist skill sets.

“Many digital, marketing and communications candidates are in process with two to three opportunities at any one time,” she revealed.

“So businesses making swift decisions and those that have shortened recruitment processes are acquiring the top talent.”

Key technical skills and capabilities for marketing teams were also identified in the report, as well as the biggest soft skill gaps, which have significantly increased in importance over recent years.

The study was based on a survey of 233 marketing and digital leaders, operating across a broad number of sectors across Australia, conducted from 2 January to 5 March 2021.

To access the full Marketing State of Play 2021: An Australian Study, click the image below.

Australian Marketing Outlook Report

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