small creative agencies hiringA study released last week by FunctionFox, a time and project tracking software provider for small creative companies, predicted design, advertising, public relations, web and marketing communications companies are poised for growth in 2013.

The survey results show the majority of small creative companies that employ 25 or fewer people expect to keep the same number of employees in 2013 as they did in the previous year, and 41 percent of companies are expecting to ramp up hiring to meet increased revenue projections. Only 6 percent of companies surveyed said they planned to decrease staff in the next 12 months.

FunctionFox designed the study, dubbed the “Creative Outlook Survey,” to take the pulse of the creative industry and determine what staffing changes, revenue expectations, challenges and opportunities are in store. FunctionFox deployed the four-question survey October 18, 2012 and invited creative professionals to participate in the survey November 2012 via email. Some 189 respondents completed the survey before its closing date of December 31, 2012.

Other survey findings include:

  • Firms that employ four to eight people are the most likely to maintain or increase staffing.
  • In the U.S., northeastern creative companies are the most likely to increase staff; 51 percent of respondents plan to hire new workers in the New Year. Approximately 58 percent of Eastern and Western Canadian creative companies will likely increase staff in 2013.
  • 63 percent of small creative companies anticipate more revenue in 2013.
  • 28 percent of respondents identified finding new business as their company’s greatest challenge in 2013, while 24 percent said achieving profitability will be their greatest challenge.
  • Respondents were almost evenly divided on what they feel are their greatest opportunities for the year: 24 percent selected expansion followed by 18 percent new media and 17 percent new businesses.

To see all Creative Outlook Survey findings, visit here.

What This Means for Your Agency

As John pointed out yesterday, most of us would probably deny we have much psychic power, but I’m confident Kuno Creative will embody the outcome predicted of creative agencies like ours: growth. Why? We’re located in the Northeast (where 51 percent of respondents plan to increase staff), and we have 10-24 employees (half of survey respondents plan to increase staff). There’s also the fact that we welcomed a new employee the first week of January and are touting four available positions.

If your creative agency is also anticipating growth in the New Year, here are a few questions you should ask before inviting candidates to interview:

  • What are our goals for 2013? (Do you want to bring in new business? Increase business with current customers? Increase productivity of current staff?)
  • Is this financially viable? (Does adding a new employee make sense financially?)
  • Are we overlooking our current staff? (Does someone on your team deserve a promotion and/or pay raise? Is there someone who can handle more responsibility?)
  • Do we have the space? (Is there an empty desk in the office for a new employee? Or will you accept telecommuter candidates?)

Is your small creative agency planning to increase staff? What are your thoughts on the Creative Outlook Survey findings?

Photo Credit: scottkellum


lisa gulasyLisa Gulasy is a young public relations professional highly interested in social media brand management, copywriting and grammar. Lisa works as an Associate Consultant at Kuno Creative where she creates content and assists senior consultants. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Topics: lisa gulasy, inbound marketing agency, functionfox, creative outlook survey

Lisa Gulasy
Lisa Gulasy
A brand journalist, Lisa Gulasy creates and executes content strategy, writing and editing web copy, eBooks, blogs and email campaigns along the way. Find her on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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