Editor's Comment: Recruit for the future

One of the most worrying trends born of the recession is the fall in graduate recruitment.

For those seeking a career in marketing, the situation looks particularly challenging, if the latest recruitment statistics and reports of redundancies in the sector are anything to go by.

As we reveal in our news analysis this week (see page 13), one jobs website is reporting that the number of advertised graduate marketing roles is down nearly two-thirds on last year.

This could be damaging for an industry that, more than most, relies on new blood to produce fresh ideas and insights.

Experts say there is a threat of a post-recession skills shortage. This will not be due solely to the lack of available jobs, but also to the perception that marketing has closed its doors to graduates.

Many companies do not even have a coherent work-experience or internship policy. Talented graduates can hardly be blamed for looking for jobs elsewhere when they are faced with the prospect of days spent cold-calling firms, with very little chance of a positive outcome.

It all adds up to a potential talent deficit over the coming years, as one generation of marketers moves up to more senior roles, but with no one ready to take their place.

Companies that choose to ignore the talent currently flooding into the job market are likely to regret it. They are damaging their own future as well as the wider reputation of marketing as a stimulating and exciting career choice.

Marketers are working hard to convince the wider business community that those brands that continue to invest in advertising during the recession will come out stronger on the other side. The same must apply to investment in people.

- Lucy Barrett is away.

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