2021 Creative, Marketing and Digital Talent Report Has Three Words for Leadership: Value People More

New Research from Cella Highlights why Individuals are Leaving Organizations Behind and Essential Benefits and Perks Needed to Recruit and Retain Qualified Talent

August 17, 2021

When looking for a new job, over 75% of job seekers put work-life balance first on their wants list, followed closely by remote work flexibility, according to a new report from Cella, a nationwide staffing, consulting and managed solutions firm. The 2021 Creative, Marketing and Digital Talent Report found that an incredible 90% of job seekers are interested in working remotely at least some of the time, and that remote work is the most desired perk candidates look for, beating out higher compensation. Over half of job seekers would also take advantage of any professional certifications, technical training and additional coaching that employers offered, validating that these services are great recruiting tools. 

Cella surveyed more than 400 creative, marketing and digital professionals including managers and individual contributors, to understand, from job seekers themselves, the latest trends behind job searching and job acceptance in 2021 and beyond. Millennials and Generation X accounted for 80% of the respondents, and over 50% of those surveyed had about a decade or more of specialized experience. Copywriters, marketers, graphic designers, project managers and digital designers made up more than half (52%) of the respondents, and the job seekers represent more than 22 diverse industries ranging from architecture, financial services, consumer products, technology, travel and more. 

Of those surveyed, more than 40% of respondents are considering leaving their current company, and 51% of employed respondents are so unhappy with their current company, they’d take the first opportunity to make a lateral move. Among the many reasons given for why they are seeking better employment, harmful atmospheres were the most prevalent. More than half (51%) cited poor leadership and management as reasons for leaving, and 54% described toxic environments as a cause. 

“Cella’s inaugural survey report of creative, marketing and digital talent comes as we emerge slowly from a period of intense and rapid change. So much of how we work has changed substantially, and we wanted to hear from the talent themselves on what they want and need in their current and future jobs,” said Rob Ganjon, CEO, Cella. “Finding quality creative, marketing and digital talent continues to be difficult and organizations that want to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead have to understand job seekers and employee motivations to recruit, inspire and retain them. The organizations that can be flexible and adaptable and show, through benefits and culture, that they truly value people, will be the ones that succeed.” 

Additional findings from the Cella report include:

  • Reputation and Relationships Matter:  Glassdoor tops the list of trusted sources for company reviews. Over 55% of job seekers use the site for information about working at different companies. In addition, feeling comfortable with the people and the environment outweighs a small salary differential for many job seekers. Nearly half (45%) said they would accept a job offer if they liked the potential manager, but the salary offer was 5% to 10% lower than expected. 
  • Respect for Job Seekers; Time Is a Factor: The majority of job seekers spend only one to three hours per week searching for a job that’s right for them, and are comfortable interviewing virtually or in person, and with multiple people participating. Over half (56%) believe that conducting more than three interviews with a candidate is too much, and over 30% won’t bother applying for a job if the role doesn’t sound appealing. 

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is No Longer Just a ‘Nice to Have’:  Over 60% of job seekers rated a positive policy on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as important or very important. In addition, 72% are utilizing Diversity Network and Diversity Jobs, leading diversity job boards, in their searches.

  • Benefits Packages Must Include Flexibility: When asked what benefits, beyond healthcare, what talent want most are the flexibility to work remotely and financial benefits such as 401K, retirement and personal investment opportunities. Roughly 16% of job seekers wouldn’t even apply for a job if there’s no remote working at some level, and nearly a third (30%) were interested in additional paid leave categories. More than half (53%) said they would accept a job offer if it included excellent benefits but didn’t fully meet salary expectations. A bit more compensation can go a long way in overcoming any lack of benefit offerings, though, and 56% of job seekers said they would accept a job offer if the benefits didn’t meet their needs, but they would be receiving a 5%-10% increase in compensation.

The full report is available for download here. A webinar, hosted by Cella’s recruiting experts Lynn White, Manager, Recruitment & Delivery, and Tim Gearhart, VP, Talent Delivery, also provides additional analysis and takeaways here

About Cella

Cella is an award-winning leader in consulting, staffing and managed solutions for creative, marketing, digital and proposal development teams. We help people build meaningful careers and partner with companies to help them win. Our secret sauce? The Cella Trifecta: we have the right people, we understand our clients and we deliver results. Success requires a partner who offers all three. Together, we put passion to work. Cella is the only creative staffing firm to win the Best of Staffing® Client and Talent Awards for over a decade and is a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise. For more information, please visit cellainc.com or contact [email protected].