There may well be a money shortage plaguing agency land in Australia, but there is just a much a good-old fashioned talent shortage, especially when it comes to UX designers, on mobile service provider Amaysim’s head of marketing has told a skills shortage workshop organised in partnership by ADMA and B&T.
Andrew Balint said that while he acknowledged the price of some skill sets were at unsustainable levels, it was really as much a case that the right people just weren’t able to be found in some instances.
“So from a digital perspective I think some of the shortages we see are in the area of user experience, so UX designers. And what we’re seeing is … banks are mopping up all of the UX designers at the moment. It took us six months to recruit someone. We ended up recruiting someone from overseas. We had no other options,” he said.
Balint also said his organisation struggled to find people with digital design skills as well, we see it sometimes at a junior level of digital marketing and there’s often no skill so we look at how we can on-board people within our own organisation.
Balint also questioned what would happen in the future with a lack of appropriately qualified people coming through university.
“If you’re in search marketing for 18 months, within 18 months you’re probably useless unless you’ve been trained-up. So one of the impacts on us is a robust training and development program, which is a dollar impact as well, so that’s something that we’re very conscious of,” he said.
Just making sure that everyone is trained up properly was simply a function of the pace with which marketing was evolving, added Balint. “Because digital marketers will become, not useless, but within 18 months they’ll become certainly less useful to the business over that period of time. So, that’s something that’s really important.”
In good news for what has been a struggling sector ever since LinkedIn turned everyone into a head hunter, Balint also said that recruitment was becoming an important factor again.
“It does take a long time to recruit these people and we’re looking at different sources. We try and do as much as we can direct, and we’ve got a referral program as one of the potential solutions internally, a very strong one, to try and drive talent to us.”
And also in good news for agency land, Balint said that he relied heavily on agencies to fill the talent void within his organisation. “We’re relying on agencies. We have over eight agencies that we use. For a small company that is quite a lot.”
However, Balint did warn that the skills gap was evident in the agency world as well. “We see people moving back overseas as overseas employment salaries improve, the exchange rate is deteriorating. So things are sort of starting to shift back in the favour of London and New York calling all of a sudden where as they weren’t prior.
“Some media agencies are rumoured to have up to a 50 per cent skill shortage at the moment,” he said.