Key Findings:

  • User experience remains top area for hiring, according to The Creative Group research
  • 92% of advertising and marketing managers report challenges recruiting creative talent
  • 71% of employers say staff retention is more difficult now compared to one year ago

The job market awaiting creative and marketing professionals in 2020 is a good one, research from staffing firm The Creative Group suggests. According to the latest State of Creative Hiring data, 65% of advertising and marketing managers in Canada anticipate expanding their team in the first half of the year. User experience remains the top area for recruiting among survey respondents. In addition, 66% of employers plan to increase the number of freelancers they use, a 10-point jump from six months ago.

“Managers are looking for creative candidates who understand where human experiences and digital skills can come together to offer the most competitive value to clients and customers,” said Deborah Bottineau, district president of The Creative Group. “Combining high-tech with high-touch is crucial to building a top-notch and innovative creative team, driving demand for professionals with backgrounds in user experience, data analytics and digital strategy.”

Recruiting and Retention Challenges
A majority of advertising and marketing managers (92%) said it’s somewhat or very challenging to locate the creative talent they seek; this is up considerably from 79% six months ago. Respondents cited the following technical skills as immediately needed for their company:

  • Digital strategy
  • Motion graphics
  • Customer experience, user interface design, AI and machine learning, front-end web development*
  • Social media management
  • Data analysis, content creation and content marketing, UX Design, video production* *Denotes a tie.

The research also shows it’s becoming harder for organizations to hold onto creative and marketing staff. 71% of advertising and marketing managers surveyed said employee retention is more difficult now compared to one year ago. Additional findings:

  • 59% said losing a highly skilled team member without notice would have a significant adverse impact on their business because the person would be hard to replace.
  • 64% reported they experience the most turnover among mid-level employees.
  • The most common retention strategies cited by advertising and marketing managers were increased bonuses (53%) and offering better benefits (49%).

“With business needs and workflows constantly shifting, many companies recognize the benefits of hiring specialized creative talent on an as-needed basis to support and augment their existing teams,” added Bottineau. “Through their exposure to a range of industries and projects, freelance professionals often help keep productivity goals on track while bringing fresh ideas and insights to the organization.”

 About the Research
The online survey was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by a leading independent research firm. It is based on responses from 200 advertising and marketing managers who work full time at companies with 20 or more employees in Canada.

About The Creative Group
The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in connecting creative, digital, marketing, advertising and public relations talent with the best companies on a project, contract-to-hire and full-time basis. For more information, including job hunting services and candidate portfolios, visit and

For further information:
Natasha Ferraro, 647-956-5575,