In a new research project published today, following on from our previous report on the digital skills shortage for agencies in the North West, we have now canvassed a range of 200 online businesses about their HR and recruitment processes, building up a detailed picture of recruitment for in-house roles.

We have found that most online businesses, defined by us for this report as businesses taking at least 20% of revenue via online channels, recruit a specialist digital role to their in-house team at least once a year. The majority of this recruitment is to replace outgoing members of staff who have stayed in their role for less than two years - revealing an extremely high attrition rate for professionals working in-house in this sector.

The research confirms a number of challenges for online businesses when it comes to recruiting for an in-house team. Factors that come into play include too few suitable candidates, a perceived lack of professional development opportunities, and slow internal processes.

However, it is the high staff attrition rate which could have the biggest impact, both on the long term development of the digital industry as a whole, and on individual businesses which are losing skilled members of their workforce.

But the bigger picture isn't all negative. Increasingly, in-house employers are viewing digital marketing as an important strand within their business strategy. As technology develops and eCommerce becomes a significant revenue stream for greater numbers of businesses, more and more employers realise how important it is to get digital right. Ever more SMEs are adapting their entire business plan based on digital marketing strategies and options.

We are working with growing numbers of employers who are now building new in-house digital marketing teams. Some are moving away from the agency model as this becomes a bigger part of their operations, whereas others are creating new digital teams from scratch. To help employers through this process, we recently published a Digital Marketing Recruitment Guide, which outlines the different roles which combine to create an effective, integrated digital marketing team. This growing demand means that currently there is a great deal of scope for experienced candidates in roles with in-house employers.


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