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Robert Kenward

New Survey reveals a third of event agencies have already started to recruit again but salaries have gone down  

The Hub, a recruitment platform dedicated to the MICE, events and experiential sectors, has revealed the results of its ‘What Happens Now?’ research which reveals recruitment plans and employment insights from over a thousand agency owners, corporate stakeholders, industry influencers, commentators and senior event professionals. 

When asked when they will start recruiting again, almost a third (32%) of respondents said that they already have started, with 40% planning to start in September, 16% planning to recruit later in 2021 and 12% waiting until 2022.

Nearly three-quarters of industry employers (73%) will be offering flexible working arrangements whilst nearly a quarter (22%) are expecting staff to work fully remotely. Only 5% are expecting their staff to be totally office-based.  For those offering flexible working, the most popular ratio will be three days in the office and two at home.

The Hub founder Robert Kenward said: “It’s very positive to see that a third of agencies have already started to recruit again and that three quarters are offering flexible working arrangements as standard, but it will be interesting to see how the remaining 25% of agencies fair without that flexibility.

“Since our launch in May we’ve seen a huge number of roles come on to the site; over 100 live vacancies have been posted from key industry employers and recruiters from all areas of the MICE, events and experiential sectors. This is a truly amazing indicator that our industry is already building back up again, but there is still caution ahead.”

A third (35%) of employers expect salaries to go down, but over half (55%) think they will stay the same, whilst 10% are expecting them to go up this year. 

“As we rebuild, it is interesting to see how salaries are changing; we are already seeing that pre-Covid level salaries are something to attain, rather than being the norm,” added Kenward. “A third of agencies expect salaries to go down, but that’s simply because they don’t have the funds to pay the salaries that they used to. Six figure salaries are simply not as common as they used to be.”

For agencies who have made redundancies this year, just under half (48%) will look to recruit the same people back, while 52% will look to recruit new blood. When asked when they thought the industry would return to pre-Covid levels, the majority (63%) were cautious and thought 2023, whilst a third (37%) predicted a speedier return in 2022.

Kenward continued: “The jobs that were lost first were positions focused on sales and delivery; the industry had nothing to sell and nothing to deliver. The senor teams were the last to go. As we rebuild, the jobs that are coming back first are business development, marketing, client services and account management because businesses will want to get the clients back that they had before, they will want to grow those accounts and they will want to find new clients.

“Roles and job titles have changed too; event managers are now event producers because so much has gone online, and content or communications is now broadcast.” 

During the last eighteen months 250,000 event proffesionals were made redundant; 100,000 have already been re-employed but 10% of those who left the industry will not be returning.

The Hub has announced a three-month free trial for companies and recruiters to post unlimited job vacancies to an active audience while having the option to search and download CVs to contact candidates directly. 10% of all CV revenue is going to the charities chosen by The Hub’s community partners.

The Hub is supported by 20 community partners, including leading industry associations AEO, AEV and ESSA (working together as the EIA), EVCOM, HBAA, NOEA, AFO, ILEA (UK & Ireland Chapter), mia, MPI (UK & Ireland Chapter), ICCA (UK & Ireland Chapter), and industry groups and charities including the Alliance of Independent Event Agencies (AIEA), Diversity Ally, Eventprofslive, Meeting Needs, Stress Matters, Fast Forward 15, IMEX Group, You Search & Select and EventWell.