Research Reveals In-Demand Skills and Top Sourcing Strategies for Hard-To-Staff Creative Roles in Canada

Web and mobile development are top areas for hiring and hardest to staff

  • Canadian employers more flexible on skills requirements when facing recruiting challenges
  • 83 per cent of companies would rehire a former staff member who left on good terms

Toronto, ON — Digital initiatives will drive hiring of creative professionals in Canada in the second half of the year, new research from staffing firm The Creative Group shows. According to a survey of more than 200 advertising and marketing hiring decision makers, the greatest need is for people with expertise in web and mobile development, user experience, web production, visual design, and user interface and interaction design.

Check out the infographic with survey findings.

The research points to a talent shortage in these areas, too. When asked which creative roles are hardest to staff, the top responses were web and mobile development, user interface and interaction design, web production, information architecture, and videography.  

Top Areas for Hiring*

Most Challenging Areas to Staff*

1. Web and mobile development

1. Web and mobile development

2. User experience

2. User interface and interaction design

3. Web production

3. Web production**

4. Visual design

4. Information architecture**

5. User interface and interaction design

5. Videography

6. Marketing strategy

6. Creative development**

7. User research

7. User experience**

8. Email marketing

8. Marketing strategy**

9. Digital marketing**

9. User research

10. Creative development**

10. Art direction

*Multiple responses were permitted. Top responses are shown. **Denotes a tie.

“Digital initiatives are a priority for many organizations today, yet companies often struggle to find professionals with the expertise to develop and manage these programs,” said Deborah Bottineau, a district director for The Creative Group. “To attract top candidates, employers must cultivate and promote an attractive work environment, and move quickly to extend offers that include competitive pay and perks.”

Overcoming Recruiting Challenges

Advertising and marketing hiring decision makers engage in a number of different activities when struggling to source creative and marketing talent. Nearly half of respondents (49 per cent) said they become more flexible on skills requirements to drum up candidate leads, and more than eight in 10 respondents (83 per cent) said they would welcome back a former employee who left on good terms.

Forty-four per cent of those surveyed admitted they divide work responsibilities among their existing team while they continue their search for a full-time hire. But Bottineau cautioned, “A drawn-out candidate search with a prolonged unfilled role may mean heavier workloads for current staff, which can lead to burnout and turnover. To speed up the hiring process, employers should streamline steps where possible and be open to providing training for candidates who meet most of the requirements.”

About the Research

The online survey was developed by The Creative Group and conducted online 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, candidate portfolios visit and

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