Once the UK’s recession comes to an end, up to 38 per cent of staff at UK design consultancies will flood the job market, according to new research.
A survey of 567 clients of recruitment agency Gabriele Skelton reveals that 19 per cent of executive-level bosses, 36 per cent of directors, 53 per cent of managers and 47 per cent of co-ordinators and assistants intend to move to other companies when the recession ends.
About 43 per cent of designers are planning on leaving their current jobs. This is in contrast to strategists, of which 21 per cent indicated they could move elsewhere.
Ian Cochrane, chairman of management consultancy Tice Group, says that the results don’t surprise him. ‘People in consultancies are seeing colleagues disappear, there has been a hold on salaries and no bonuses given out, and consequently people are not happy. What they don’t realise is that the situation is the same everywhere else as in their current consultancies.’
The survey asked respondents to rank the attributes they consider to be most important at their consultancies. A strong management team which shows ‘leadership’ is highlighted as the most important characteristic possessed by a consultancy in the eyes of its employees. This is according to 100 per cent of the survey’s respondents.
Elmwood chairman Jonathan Sands says, ‘In a world of financial uncertainty employees need reassurance, so faith in leadership is unsurprisingly top of the agenda.’
A consensus of 99.4 per cent suggests that trusting employees to make decisions is key.
From a list of 22 attributes put to respondents, all were seen to be of importance, although focusing on ‘farming existing clients’ came out bottom, with 88.8 per cent in agreement. Attempting to ‘provide job security’ was ranked 18th, with 95.3 per cent agreeing this is important.
Sands says, ‘The culture and learning opportunities always come ahead of financial benefits, as most people think about long-term benefits ahead of short-term gain.’
The survey highlights what it calls ‘delivery gaps’ between the importance of a given attribute – according to respondents – compared with their perceptions of how well their consultancies perform in that area.
Unsurprisingly, the survey finds that discontented respondents who intend to change job perceive a bigger delivery gap than those who wish to stay. Cochrane concludes, ‘It’s been a tough year for everyone, but there will always be pockets of people who react like this. One big contract win could see a group through, but at the end of that the group will still feel the cold winds of recession.’
He says, ‘We’re no different from the rest of British industry. Gordon Brown may tell us that we’re out of recession soon, but there’ll still be a 12-month lag following our recovery, in which consultancies will have to be run just as tightly.’
Separate research released this week, by executive recruitment consultant Interexec, indicates that the number of non-executive directors is on the rise. It finds that the role ‘brings balance and impartiality to boards’.
Other findings of the survey
- 19% of respondents use social networking sites to disseminate their opinions about work
- 23% of designers and 21% of strategists divulge their thoughts about work on social networking sites
- Staff ‘who are comfortable writing about their work on social networking sites’ could be used to a group’s benefit by creating positive word of mouth, as long as the consultancy meets employee expectations
Source: Design Industry Voices Report 2009 by Fairley and Associates,
Gabriele Skelton and On Pointe Marketing, published 2 December