Long gone are the days when survey data was the main source of information in market research. The development in emerging technologies, social media and digital tools has completely transformed the way we are able to understand consumers and what they are thinking.
As data gets bigger, more ubiquitous, and more social, businesses need to have the confidence and ability to research and track behavioural and passive data as well as interpret it & make sense of what it’s telling them.
Investment in big data analytics as well as the development of online tools is big for business. Agencies’ clients want help to face a range of local and global commercial challenges, as well as understand and maximise the use of digital and mobile tools. They also want help in finding new ideas, developing new products and so actively seek out research agencies who offer innovation expertise and who can deliver creative, commercial and cutting edge solutions.
So what does this mean on the recruitment front?
The job market is looking good at the more junior end of the recruitment market. Agencies can develop industry expertise internally, however they are actively recruiting new, less experienced individuals who can bring other skills to the table, such as social media experience. The number of market research jobs we have registered for candidates in this category with experience in online, digital or social media skills (and up to 2 years work experience) has increased by 32% in the first 5 months of 2014, compared with the same period in 2013.
Innovation roles have also increased dramatically over the past 18 months (46% higher in 2014 than for the same period for 2013).
Times are changing very quickly and in order to stay ahead commercially, businesses are investing more money in product development. We’ve definitely seen a rise in the number of requests for innovation or NPD specialists, however as demand for experts in innovation outweighs the number of available active and passive job seekers with these skills, we have started to register more and more job opportunities where innovation experience is not a prerequisite, provided applicants can prove their interest in Innovation research and are able to demonstrate fantastic new ways of presenting, using infographics or video animation, for example.
Working in a large research agency was once seen as limiting to job seekers who wanted to deliver insights to leading brands and be an extension of their client’s business. Attitudes are changing for many of our candidates. Big agencies are confident in competing globally. They’re investing heavily in new and emerging technologies. They offer clear career paths, the chance to work with a broad range of talented colleagues, international career opportunities and the chance to work with some amazing global clients. The number of candidates in 2014 so far, who are asking to work in big agencies is notably much higher than the last 3 years.