Creative Job Seekers: Meet Your Competitors

Survey Shows Candidates Face Stiffer Competition Than 3 Years Ago

Toronto, ON — Despite a healthy job market, professionals in the creative field may have more hoops to jump through before getting hired, new research suggests. Advertising and marketing executives surveyed by staffing firm The Creative Group said they receive an average of 32 resumes for an open position on their team, and meet with an average of seven candidates before filling the role. This is up from 23 resumes and six candidates in 2014.

The research shed light on additional aspects of the hiring process for creative talent. Among the findings:

  • Empty seats for weeks — It takes five weeks, on average, to fill an open staff-level position. Filling an open management-level position takes an average of seven weeks.
  • Searching near and far — Forty-five per cent of executives said they are now more willing to look outside their city or state to find the right person for a creative position than they were three years ago.
  • Connecting via email — A majority of hiring managers (61 per cent) prefer to correspond with applicants via email. In a separate survey, more than half of workers (51 per cent) chose email as their favourite communication method as well.
  • A hard focus on soft skills — When evaluating applicants for creative roles, 23 per cent of advertising and marketing leaders give soft skills more weight than hard skills; 58 per cent consider both equally.
  • Open to negotiation — More than half of executives (57 per cent) are at least somewhat willing to negotiate compensation when extending a job offer to a top candidate.
  • Pressing for more pay — Nearly half of workers (49 per cent) said they would ask for a raise from their current employer if they felt they deserved a higher salary. However, 16 per cent admitted they’d take no action, and 23 per cent said they’d search for a new job with better pay.

“Employers are increasingly diligent and deliberate in their search for creative talent,” said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager of The Creative Group. “They are looking for people with the right mix of technical and interpersonal skills, and who demonstrate a passion for their work and alignment with the company’s mission and core values.”

“Beyond practical experience, job seekers can set themselves apart by demonstrating qualities like flexibility, inventiveness and ambition,” added Bottineau. “Having a solid understanding of local compensation trends is also crucial for negotiating a salary package that reflects your expertise and value to the company.”

View a slideshow of the full survey findings and tips for both job seekers and employers to navigate the hiring process.

Find more information on hiring, compensation and benefits trends, including salary data for more than 80 creative and marketing positions, by visiting The Creative Group Salary Centre.

About the Research

The surveys were developed by The Creative Group and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 400 advertising and marketing executives and more than 1,000 U.S. workers 18 years or older and employed in office environments in the United States.

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, candidate portfolios and TCG’s blog, visit Follow us at and @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace news and hiring trends.