The demand for digital creative talent in Asia is ever increasing. We’re seeing continued growth across all the major Asia markets, with agencies and brands alike competing to hire the best of the talent available. The demand sits across all levels and across all disciplines. The greatest need, as always, being on the agency side of the market. Many traditional Ad agencies are still integrating digital into their creative capabilities and are hiring entire creative teams made up of interactive designers, digital art directors and copywriters. We’re also seeing hiring plans expanding to incorporate UX and content specialists.
What is clearly evident is the emphasis on local market hiring. While businesses (particularly advertising and marketing agencies) are still investing in executive level ‘glamour’ hires from international markets, the need for languages on an executional level is paramount. Many international junior-mid level candidates are finding it difficult to enter the Asia job market.
However there are some exceptions. For example, a number of agencies that are regionally hubbed in Hong Kong are strategically hiring from China. With much of the pitch work being done in the Mainland, there is a growing demand for conceptually strong creatives that have knowledge of the China market place and have the ability to conduct business in Mandarin. The end result being greater buy-in from prospective Mainland clients.
What seems to be consistent across all markets is demand superseding supply. While much of our current business is conducted in Hong Kong and China, our network agency clients are calling upon us to assist their regional counterparts in Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and even as far afield as India.
Sure signs of growth? Yes, and no. While the industry is reporting strong profits and consistent growth much of the ongoing hiring is to replace existing headcount. Hong Kong and China in particular are relatively fickle employment markets, with many junior to mid-weight employees moving every 12-18 months for the slightest increase in salary or for a more attractive title. These markets need to acclimatize. Titles should represent the true nature of an employees role and inflated titles should not be offered to incentivise staff. Instead more competitive salaries, greater benefits and work/life balance should be key factors to digest when considering retention.
All-in-all we are seeing and hearing positive things and Asia is nurturing some very bright and promising grass roots creative digital talent. Many of which are showcasing portfolios with exciting responsive design work and innovative projects utilizing 3D and AR technology.
It’s a fascinating landscape and a very exciting industry to support. We’re just happy to be a part of it.