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22 October 2020

PRmoment asked PR chiefs to tell them all about recruitment issues during the pandemic. Amanda Fone CEO and founder of f1 Recruitment, describes how the job market has changed.

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View from a recruitment consultant

Amanda Fone, CEO and founder of f1 Recruitment, describes how the job market has changed.

“The good news is that people are getting jobs despite Covid-19 and new roles are coming on to the market but entry level roles and up to account director or PR manager level seem to have dropped off quite dramatically.

“This September over 50% of candidates starting new roles through f1 are from a black, Asian, minority ethnic background.https://www.bame2020.org/no-turning-back/. For a sector that has less than 15% black Asian minority ethnic working in it this is unprecedented.

“The main impact seems to have been at entry level and up to the £50,000 salary level where there are far fewer roles available. September is usually one of the busiest months with hiring and people starting new jobs. Most organisations are not hiring (as much) at a junior level to mid level at the moment which is going to give the market a big problem in three to five years’ time; there is going to be a real issue with less talent coming up the ranks.

“£50-140k salary levels (in house and agency and more in corporate and public affairs than consumer comms) is where the work is at the moment and where the hiring is happening, split across in house and agency. Under £50k is really quiet. The danger is that we will lose young people from our sector. For example we know of two AE level – one has decided to go back to do a Masters for a year to change sector and another is moving out of London to start a career in Insurance. We haven’t seen anything like this since the last recession in 2008 and the knock-on effect for young talent then led to wage inflation at the AE to associate level for many years afterwards as organisations competed for the smaller pockets of talent available. We need to be mindful also that attracting diversity of talent into the sector will also be affected – if we want a more balanced workforce and to be hiring more black, Asian, minority ethnic talent in to PR we need to maintain our hiring at entry and second jobber level.”

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