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Marketing managers have the best jobs in the UK, says survey

26 Jan 2018 By Marianne Calnan

HR drops out of Glassdoor’s top five most desirable positions, as UK lags behind on tech jobs

Marketing manager has been named the UK’s ‘best’ job for the first time since 2015 – as recruiters said the vast impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation meant the nature of the most in-demand and desirable roles would change rapidly in the years ahead.

Glassdoor’s 25 Best Jobs in the UK list for 2018, published this week, found the role of marketing manager scored highest overall in a ranking that takes into account job satisfaction, base salary, number of available roles and overall Glassdoor score among employees.

Marketing manager had a job score of 4.5 out of five, job satisfaction score of four out of five, and median base salary of £42,000. There have been 1,580 job openings for marketing manager roles so far this year on Glassdoor, the site said – a 60 per cent year-on-year increase.

Dan Hawes, co-founder and marketing director of the Graduate Recruitment Bureau, said his business was seeing an increase in employers looking for graduate talent in the last 12 months across all sectors – but marketing, especially digital marketing, had seen a “huge spike” in popularity. 

“The challenge for recruiters is filling these roles across all levels, but there is much more emphasis on technical and analytical skillsets,” Hawes said.

Phil Campbell, policy team leader at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said its own data showed a “high demand” for roles in the accounting and finance sector, particularly for permanent staff. 

“We know from recruiters that marketing was an area where expert candidates were in short supply throughout the whole of last year. Businesses are looking to expand their marketing teams but are struggling to find people with the right skills. Many companies are putting an increasing focus on their brand and marketing managers are key to this,” he said.

“Employers are willing to pay higher starting salaries to attract hard to find candidates. Therefore, earning potential for these in-demand roles has gone up.”

HR manager fell from fifth place in 2017 to sixth this year. The role had an overall job score of 4.3, job satisfaction score of 4.2, median base salary of £45,750 and 391 job openings. 

The increased use of AI and automation in organisations has affected the perception of HR careers, according to Mark Di-Toro, careers expert at Glassdoor. “HR has always done well in this set of figures and we’ll see advancing technology continue to really impact on and shape the profession over the next 10 years,” he told People Management. “This could include automated algorithms to match candidates to companies and remove the middle person actively doing the recruiting, which saves time, increases transparency and can create a better fit for jobseekers and organisations.”

Di-Toro added, however, that the UK is “falling behind” the US in its use of technology in workplaces. “Our equivalent study in the US showed that most companies are essentially tech companies now, and data scientist has been the top job for three years consecutively, whereas there aren’t any tech-based jobs in the top 10 of the UK list,” he said.

Operations manager, audit manager, finance manager and product manager made up the rest of Glassdoor’s top five. Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of recruitment website CV-Library, said the popularity of marketing, operations and finance roles is likely to be down to the positions being seen as crucial functions. 

“Especially during challenging times, these are key roles for any business, which is perhaps why more companies are seeking to hire for these positions,” he said. “What’s more, when competition for talent is tough, organisations are willing to offer sky-high salaries to the right people for these jobs, making them more desirable for candidates.”

Competition in recruitment is rising across the UK, with figures from the Office for National Statistics revealing that the number of people in employment increased between June to August 2017 and September to November 2017. Its latest labour market survey, published on 24 January, also revealed that unemployment levels have decreased to 4.3 per cent – down from 4.8 per cent a year earlier and the joint lowest rate since 1975.

Figures from the Confederation of British Industry published yesterday showed a further increase in the number of people in work. While those in full-time work rose by 97,000, the number of people working part-time increased by 6,000 in the three months to November 2017.

But wages are not growing at such a healthy rate, according to figures from the GMB union. Although the average salary for full-time employees in the UK increased from £30,015 in 2007 to £35,423 in 2017, when inflation of 31.7 per cent is factored in, full-time employees have received a real-term wage cut of 10.4 per cent, it said.

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