The market research job market is still extremely buoyant particularly within the areas of consumer/ technology/ media and online research. Some of the major research players have suffered as specialist boutique agencies have snatched their business from them. Many clients have changed agency and moved to a smaller specialist as they have felt that the bigger firms offer less flexibility and creativity in their offering and as a result perhaps a lack of creativity. This has also had an impact on the aspirations of talented candidates who want to work for businesses who are genuinely interested in innovation and development.
Certainly bigger international agencies are able to offer immediate access to a global market and also claim to offer a holistic service to their clients. But the press is always highlighting the fact that individuals who are extremely talented in market research often seek something more entrepreneurial which can offer them the genuine chance to make a difference to their clients. Business is often given to small suppliers on the back of recommendation and we have heard more and more often of successful researchers stating that the work they get has usually been on the back of recommendation.
The recruitment process for bigger firms needs to change if they are genuinely keen to secure the talent they feel they need to add value to their business and make a difference to their clients. The whole approach of sending out market research job specs via online portals, with limited access to detail about individual roles and teams, dehumanises and removes any sense of attraction to the most talented of people. It is hard to relate to a job spec if you don’t know more about the tea,, the projects and what the role is there to do for the business.
Unfortunately many onsite recruiters think that it is enough to just send out a job spec with the name of the business, but to make a real difference we feel that in order to attract the most talented of people, departments, roles sectors ned to have their own individual identity. Too many times have we had candidates reject the idea of working for a major player in the MR industry because of a bad experience that a friend or former colleague had within a different department or team.