How is hiring and job searching in the Research & Insight area?

Both quantitative and qualitative experienced candidates are in high demand, mainly at the Research Executive to Research Manager levels, however, we are starting to see an increase in demand for Associate and Research Directors now too. There has been a real shift towards work life balance being even more important to candidates now and having the opportunity to work either remotely or a hybrid office/home model is very important to them.

Research agencies are hiring for multiple roles, partly due to growth and partly due to people moving on, with increased turnover due to the lack of movement in 2020.

We have also seen an increase in the demand for innovation and strategy roles too.

What skills do employers look for in the perfect researcher?
  1. Senior Research Executives and Research Managers are most in-demand.

  2. Agency experience is preferred, but also research experience within PR, media or creative consultancies is also popular.

  3. Quantitative research roles: Managing projects from inception through to completion, including writing proposals, questionnaire design, analysis, writing reports, and presenting is vital. Ad hoc experience is also a must for many, although we are seeing an increase in some tracking opportunities too.

  4. Qualitative research roles: Managing projects end-to-end, including proposal writing, moderating groups, and depths, ethnographies, reporting, and presenting. Experience in both online and offline research is ideal.

  5. All sectors are in high demand, so can all be considered – there is plenty out there to choose from.​

What research candidates can do to position themselves as the perfect candidate:

Those with limited experience could invest in market research courses and MRS qualifications, to help them gain experience and knowledge to give them a better starting point.

Those with experience should consider what their strengths are and where they want to progress their careers in the future. Initially looking at a wide range of opportunities and then being committed to following through with those they feel they have the right experience for and have an excitement about.

Identifying and showcasing their range of skills on working across different projects, demonstrating their expertise and value they can add to an organization.

Networking still plays a key role in enhancing your knowledge of the area and exposure to meeting new people – both at online and in-person events and can give you another great way to considering different paths in this exciting sector.

Working in collaboration with your recruiter, to really identify what is important to you for your next move and matching that to the businesses that would be most suitable.

Attractive employers are keeping this in mind:

It is extremely competitive at the moment and some candidates can have up to 15 roles that they could be right for at one time. Therefore, it’s important that an employer has a strong value proposition and is able to move quickly if they like someone they meet.

Selling who you are and the brand – it’s very much a two-way street between a candidate and client.

Offering a flexible working model, coupled with excellent training and progression opportunities.

Most people won’t move for a like-for-like role, they are keen to find something that offers something new for them or a step up into a greater challenge. Being open-minded to be flexible around your brief and to find someone who can excel in the role rather than the perfect fit, would be advantageous.

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