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What’s Next for Talent Acquisition in Marketing & Technology?

14th May 2024

What trends are shaping the future of talent acquisition in marketing and technology? And how should those trends influence your approach to recruitment? Here’s the ZD take.

You’ll often see tech and marketing squished together in recruitment circles because there’s such a big overlap between the two (most obviously in terms of AI and data). Yet the recruitment landscapes for the two couldn’t have been more different in recent times.

Tech is constantly battling a skills gap and fighting for the best talent. Marketing, on the other hand, has taken something of a battering during the economic downturn and, although things are improving for candidates, it’s definitely been more of an employers’ market recently. As many more employers now look to recruit again, however, we’re likely to see some of the tech talent shortage replicated in marketing.

Talent shortage is one clear trend affecting both sectors, but there are others, so what are they, and what talent acquisition strategies can help you respond to them?

The trends shaping the future of talent acquisition in marketing and technology

  1.  Talent acquisition vs hiring

    We’ve written before about the difference between recruitment and talent acquisition. Recruitment is the process you follow to put your talent acquisition strategy to work.

    Without the strategy, recruitment may solve an immediate problem, but it won’t help you build a team aligned to your business goals. With the right talent acquisition strategy, you can anticipate the talent you’ll need over the coming years, which will help you recruit better, retain better, reduce cost per hire and reduce the need to make urgent, reactionary hires over the long term.

  2. Hiring AI skills

    You’d need to have been living under a rock not to see the impact AI is already having on our world, and that impact is only going to grow. As Euronews1 reports, 95% of businesses across the UK, US, France and Germany said harnessing new technology was vital for their future growth, yet almost half worried that they wouldn’t have the AI skills to deliver on the technology’s potential.

    It’s pretty ironic that the biggest thing slowing down the uptake of AI could be people. So recruiting skills and developing those of the people within the organisation is a trend of real importance.

  3. Encouraging more women to stay in tech

    It feels almost weird writing this in the 21st century, but tech still seems to have an issue with retaining women. Sources vary, but women make up just over a quarter of the tech workforce (compared to 50% generally). 66% of women in tech don’t see a clear career path.2 56% leave the sector between 10 and 20 years into their career.3

    The right talent acquisition strategy can help you create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

  4. Employees want flexibility and salary

    Remember during the pandemic when worker priorities shifted and the importance of salary suddenly became a distant second to flexibility and the ability to work from home?

    Well, the cost-of-living crisis scuppered that.

    Tech and marketing talent still wants flexible working. If anything, it has become more important than ever as increasing costs make the ability to work from home (and save on commuting costs) even more attractive.
    But the cost of living has also pushed salary back to the top of the priority list. Whatever the future of talent acquisition, pay is as important as it ever was.

  5. Understanding the next generation of workers

    Know who comes after Gen Z? Gen Alpha, and they’ll be hitting the workforce in just a few years. If you’re developing a talent acquisition strategy to see you through the next five or more years, it won’t just be millennials and Gen Z to whom you’ll need to tailor your approach; Gen A will play an increasing role too.

    We’re not wild about making generalisations about entire generations — we’ve always found it far more effective to look at individuals than the generation they happen to belong to — but with 75% of the workforce set to be millennials by 2028, it is important to understand how expectations of the workplace may change, so you can be proactive in the way you adapt.

How are companies adapting their talent acquisition strategies for marketing and tech roles?

  1. Align to business goals

    A talent acquisition strategy doesn’t (or shouldn’t) sit in its own silo, divorced from the rest of the business. If the strategy is to benefit the business, it’s vital that any strategy starts with a clear understanding of the wider business goals, and then is shaped to support them.
    What does that mean in practice? Effectively, hiring for skills and experience are only part of the equation. When your talent acquisition strategy aligns with your with business goals, you also recruit based on values and the ability to support the journey you’ve mapped out.

  2. Build an employer brand that aligns with candidate values

    We’ve written at length about the employer brand, so we won’t repeat ourselves too much here, but it is important not just to build an employer brand, but to continue to review and refine it, so it stays aligned with the things potential employees will value most.
    As we’ve noted above, what employees value is a constantly evolving picture.

  3. Create flexibility that works for women

    Until society takes its next big step, we’re faced with the inescapable fact that women continue to be the primary carers in most families. They’re more likely to be the ones caring for children who are off sick.

    They’re more likely to need the sort of wraparound support that will enable them to do a full working day (rather than having to pick the kids up from school at 3.00 pm). They’re more likely to be taking ageing parents to medical appointments.

    Creating a flexible workspace isn’t just about working from home a couple of days a week. It’s about creating the space that enables primary carers to care without feeling guilty or under pressure from their employer. That will benefit every carer, but it will disproportionally benefit women.

    Tech organisations able to build real carer support into their talent acquisition strategies should find it easier to buck the trend in hiring and retaining women.

  4. Use tech to recruit for tech

    We take a pretty light touch with AI in our recruitment processes at present, although others in the industry are experimenting with it intensively.

    We can expect AI to play a bigger role in talent acquisition of the future, in terms of tailoring ads and job descriptions to individuals, supporting the onboarding process or sifting candidates.

    We’d be foolish to make predictions about where AI will take us next, but as things stand, we’d suggest there’s a need not to get carried away with every shiny new piece of tech.

    We believe recruitment should remain a human-driven process because that’s what delivers the best results, but we won’t complain if tech takes over the repetitive stuff and enables us to focus more on individuals.

Overcome your recruitment challenges with Zachary Daniels

The future of talent acquisition in tech and marketing starts by developing your strategy, and then working with the right partner to help you recruit for it. Let us help with your recruitment. Talk to us now.


2Trust Radius
3Computer Weekly

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