The past 4 years has seen a dramatic change in working culture for jobs in market research. Whilst there are still few “traditional research practices ”, the industry has been complimented with a vast array of interesting and unusual boutique suppliers who have sought to bridge the gap between mainstream research and pure consultancy.
As the emergence of these new consultancies changed the market research landscape, the larger agencies were quick to follow suit. Many larger research agencies sought to develop their offering and take advantage of the commercial opportunities that change could bring, as a reaction to a drop in revenues and loss of business to more specialist, forward thinking and technology savvy competitors. Size didn’t seem to be the most important factor when clients chose their supplier for projects, and some much larger projects were split up into different bites to be shared across a number of consultancies.
Despite the ability to offer strong training programs and career development opportunities, the hunt for talent became even more aggressive with many firms (small and large) courting the same talent, and finding that they were having to pitch themselves to candidates to convince them that they were the best career option.
Sadly for some firms practicing what they preached became a challenge and their reputation and established work methods often hindered their ability to change. This meant that clients became disillusioned and in turn many employees felt disgruntled and let down and so decided to go somewhere that really was different, often somewhere new.
I’d be interested to see how the landscape will change over the next couple of years. One thing I feel certain about is the importance of our role as a recruiter. Not only have they been pivotal in working with smaller specialist consultancies establish a presence within the employment and general market research sector, we have also been key in helping larger market research specialists attract the talent they needed to help them achieve their goals.