6 in 10 Companies in Canada Plan to Expand Creative Teams in First Half of 2019, Survey Finds

Web and mobile development and web production are top areas for hiring

  • 89 per cent of employers report difficulty recruiting creative talent
  • Slow hiring process is primary barrier to securing top candidates

Toronto, ON  — What’s the employment outlook for creative talent? According to The Creative Group’s latest State of Creative Hiring research, 61 per cent of advertising and marketing hiring decision makers in Canada plan to expand their teams in the first half of 2019. Thirty-seven per cent of employers anticipate maintaining staff levels and primarily filling vacated roles. In addition, 48 per cent of companies expect to increase the number of freelancers they use in the next six months.

Web and mobile development and web production are the top areas for recruiting — and among the hardest to staff, results showed. Advertising and marketing hiring managers also reported a strong need for professionals with expertise in creative development, user experience and social media.

“As businesses embark on an increasingly broad range of digital initiatives, many are bringing on specialized creative professionals to support these efforts,” said Deborah Bottineau, district president of The Creative Group in Canada. “Whether recruiting project or full-time workers, employers may face challenges given today’s tight candidate market. Managers need to be prepared to move quickly and offer competitive compensation packages that include sought-after perks to land top candidates.”

View a snapshot of The Creative Group’s State of Creative Hiring research in Canada for the first half of 2019.

The research also shed light on staffing challenges and trends in the creative industry. Among the findings:

  • Good talent is hard to come by. Eighty-nine per cent of advertising and marketing hiring decision makers said it’s challenging to find creative professionals today.
  • There’s a need for recruiting speed. When asked to name the greatest barrier to bringing on top creative talent, the most common response was a slow hiring process (19 per cent).
  • Flexibility is a selling point. Employers surveyed said a flexible work schedule (44 per cent) is the most desirable noncash perk for creatives. Professional development opportunities (20 per cent) ranked second.
  • Interview performance matters. When evaluating applicants for creative roles, 32 per cent of hiring decision makers rated a candidate’s interview performance as the top criterion. Twenty-four per cent of respondents said previous experience carries the most weight.
  • Companies are relaxing some requirements. Seventy per cent of hiring decision makers are now more willing to hire creative talent who have relevant certifications in lieu of a college degree than they were 12 months ago.
  • Frequent job changes are a red flag. Nearly three in 10 employers (29 per cent) said it’s likely they’d remove a candidate from consideration if their resume showed a history of job hopping.
  • Retention is top a top concern. Seventy-seven per cent of companies are worried about losing current creative staff members to other job opportunities in the next 12 months.


“Building a strong creative team requires much more than identifying individuals with the necessary technical skills,” added Bottineau. “Professionals are increasingly attracted and committed to companies whose values align with their own, which means assessing a candidates’ potential workplace fit is just as essential. To attract the best people for the job and organization, employers must be proactive in promoting an authentic corporate culture and defining what makes their company a great place to work.”


About the Research

The online survey was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by a leading independent research firm. It is based on responses from more than 200 advertising and marketing hiring decision makers who work full time at agencies with 20 or more employees or companies with 100 or more employees in Canada.


About The Creative Group
The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in connecting interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire and full-time basis. For more information, including job hunting services and candidate portfolios visit roberthalf.ca/creativegroup and roberthalf.ca/blog.