Post-referendum outlook from the latest MMCC sector group meeting

09 Aug 2016



The creative industries in the UK are booming, with huge potential for growth. So how might the EU referendum outcome impact on hiring activity? Additionally, how can specialist recruiters work with clients to address one of the major challenges in the sector – the lack of diversity and latent barriers to social mobility?

These were the two key themes of the latest REC MMCC (Marketing, Media, Creative & Comms) sector group meeting which brought together external representatives from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Behavioural Insight Team, Penguin Random House, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE).

The key messages which emerged from the meeting were:

Clients are adopting a wait and see approach post-referendum

MMCC members did not report an initial knee-jerk reaction from cients, with most adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach. There may be an initial slowdown in permanent hiring, although recruiters in specific areas like public affairs could see an increase in demand for staff post referendum. In addition, the period of uncertainty may cause a shift towards short-term staff (see our latest data from Report on Jobs).

International mobility will remain key

Recruiters were optimistic that mechanisms for overseas hiring and for international placements would be developed for sectors like gaming, fashion and media where there has always been a high level of cross-border worker mobility.

Preparing UK nationals to fill key roles across the sector is a priority

Better careers guidance is key and the work of the Careers & Enterprise Company (who took part in the meeting) connecting the world of work with schools and colleges will become increasingly important. A number of REC members expressed an interested in getting involved and it was agreed that the REC would pursue this further.

Inclusive recruitment can provide a differentiator for MMCC members

There have been some signs of progress in terms of employers being more open to take on applicants from underrepresented groups, but we have not yet reached a tipping point. In the games industry for example, experience is valued over skillset, which perpetuates problems with diversity, particularly with regards to age.

The Good Recruitment Campaign is a means of engaging with clients

Developments like taking names and dates of birth off applications can be seen as a step in the right direction when tackling the lack of diversity, but the feedback from MMCC members was that this often treats the symptoms rather than the causes. Promoting and showcasing good practice is a key way forward and is at the heart of the REC’s Good Recruitment Campaign. MMCC members can encourage client organisations to sign up to so that we continue to expand the network of participating employers.

The REC aims to work with government to help build a successful post-EU jobs market. The input of the MMCC sector group and of the wider REC membership is crucial to this. On the inclusive recruitment agenda, members can play an active role by signing up to initiatives like Disability Confident and the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) and by feeding into the REC’s work with government on boosting opportunities for older workers and for BME candidates. One further underlying aim is to promote a genuine partnership approach between employers and recruiters and we will continue to use the Good Recruitment Campaign to drive this agenda.

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