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2021 Creative Staffing Trends

2021 Trends in Creative Staffing

We’re a quarter of the way into the year and a handful of themes have come to the forefront of the creative staffing space.  In an ever-evolving industry, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends to stay ahead of the game.

We sat down with Orris Long, Senior Vice President of Onward West, to discuss his views on the industry. Here are four 2021 Creative Staffing Trends he believes will dominate the creative landscape for the remainder of the year.

1. Burnout is a Real Threat

For those of us who were fortunate enough to retain our jobs in 2020, the workload hasn’t stopped. In fact, it’s dramatically increased.

Even if companies didn’t have layoffs, they likely had more restrictions on hiring during the initial months of uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. This lack of hiring coupled with higher attrition rates and an unprecedented consumer demand in 2021 has placed an enormous burden on many employees.

Burnout is a real threat for any creative team and has become a top concern for many teams under these circumstances.

As more companies embrace workplace flexibility, we should anticipate an influx of programs and messaging that center around helping employees stay connected to their jobs and avoiding burnout. AKA: that perfect work-life balance.

2. Creative-led Digital Transformation

We saw an explosive shift in demand for creative freelancers starting in Q3 of 2020, and it hasn’t let up since. If Q1 of 2021 is any indicator for the job market, we can expect a year of unprecedented growth.

Freelance and contract workers have had a major impact on businesses adapting their digital footprint. Expect much more of that in 2021 and the years ahead.

We will also see more and more companies turning to creative professionals to digitize products and services. Whether that’s designing new digital products, creating new content, or re-inventing brands, expect creatives to be at the forefront of this digital renaissance.

3. New Pathways for Creative Content

The businesses that are having the most success across their platforms are those who understand their consumers and what they want. They’ve adopted an omnichannel marketing approach that places the customer first and have fostered a seamless user experience no matter the medium.

Do a simple Google search for anything and what are you left with? Millions of results. It’s not just about creating content anymore. You must create actionable information – whether that’s in written or video form – that enhances the lives of your audience and leaves them wanting more.

Expect the creativity of companies who’ve gone digital to only continue, with more joining the ranks of YouTube, podcasting, and simply experimenting with content on Instagram or Facebook. This isn’t the time to be shy. Think about what you value you can offer to your consumers.

4. Increase Focus on Upskilling and Reskilling

Maybe you’ve heard one, or both, of these terms thrown around before. Upskilling refers to learning new skills or teaching new skills to employees, while reskilling involves learning new skills so that you can do a new job. Both will be important moving forward.

The advent of AI and automation in the workplace, coupled with a quick-fire pace toward digitized services, is actually opening up new job opportunities. And of course, people need to be trained for these opportunities.

There are always questions around bringing in new employees versus retraining current employees. The advantage with the latter is the breadth of company knowledge that current employees carry beyond their specific positions, as well as the cost savings that come with teaching new skills to someone who understands your culture, values, and internal processes.



Cheers to 2021 and Beyond!

We’re ready to crush the remainder of this year and hope you are too, now that you are up to date with all the 2021 Creative Staffing Trends we expect to see. If you’re a hiring manager looking for top talent, we can help with that. If you’re a talented creative professional looking for your next gig, check our job listings.

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