Hiring managers at agencies are interested in hybrid candidates who can be both client facing and production/executional, according to Brianna Paton, a senior talent consultant on agencies at recruiter iknowho.
Agencies, with leaner and flatter teams, prefer professionals who can drive client communications and are also not afraid to roll up their sleeves when it comes to production.
Paton says conversations in the advertising industry are generally positive despite COVID-19.
"There is a strong belief that this is temporary and this too shall pass," she says.
The majority of agency briefs she has received are digital and CRM within the financial services sector, plus packaging design within FMCG.
"This makes sense as clients push comms onto digital channels and products on shelves compete to impress consumers," she says.
"Agencies are hesitant to bring on permanent hires, all my placements during COVID-19 have been six month contracts or less with a view to going permanent.
"This is partially due to hiring freezes and partially due to uncertainty in the pipeline and market."
And agencies are paying less and expecting more from freelancers.
"My advice work hard in the initial contract and then prove you deserve to go permanent, by that time you will be able to negotiate more money and prove your worth to the agency, unfortunately there’s not much room to negotiate at the moment," she says.
"Candidate referrals are strong, people are really banding together and helping out those who have been less fortunate during the COVID cuts.
"Those with positive/flexible attitudes who are prepared to think outside the square are managing a lot better than those who are being more stagnant."
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