A recently-published study on job satisfaction among marketing, digital and creative staff reveals that once an employee has started work at the company, salary comes second to job interest.

Digital and Creative Sector: Salary Not the Prime Motivator at Work
There is no getting away from the fact that salary is a prime motivator in the choice of a job. A report published by recruitment agency Aquent states up front that 98% of the some 900 marketing, digital and creative professionals in Europe surveyed this summer confirmed that salary is top of their list of requirements when applying or deciding whether to accept a job offer. The reason they give is the need to look to the future and ensure stable employment prospects. However, once inside the company, the motivational paradigm seems to be reversed, the importance accorded to salary diminishing as other factors for personal motivation come to the fore. The survey, carried out in partnership with French recruitment agency Cadremploi, set out to analyse the factors that drive an employee in these sectors to deliver high-quality work and high levels of productivity. Meanwhile, some 80% of the managers polled stated their intention to take on a new person within the next six months.  Clearly, if they want to recruit staff for the long term, these managers will need to take into account the new expectations of today’s employees.

An individual first, an employee second

Once the employee has started in the job, the factors affecting his/her work quality change rapidly. The survey results indicate that early on in the new position s/he tries to become a part of the team as quickly as possible, and expects clear targets and feedback both from his /her direct manager and peer group. Once settled in the role, job interest – both intellectual stimulus and pride in the finished product – becomes the prime factor for employee satisfaction for 73% of those surveyed, relegating salary and financial benefits to second place. Underlines Perrine Grua, Head of Aquent France: “The number one reason for losing people is boredom.” Respondents’ replies indicate the overall importance of intangible factors, of personal development aside from salary and purely material considerations. Having one’s professional skills recognised and being given responsibility for tasks come out more or less on a par with material advantages. “There has been a real paradigm shift. Qualified people are now looking first and foremost for a job that enables them to make a real contribution. They come to work with the intention of achieving their personal goals,” explains Perrine Grua.

A thirst for learning

People in the marketing and creative sectors are apparently very aware of the fact that, given the rapid advance in both products and strategic approaches, they need to be highly adaptable. Thus some 42% of those polled highlighted the importance of continuous learning, whether in technical skills or more general questions of market issues and challenges. This thirst for knowledge is actually a question of survival, says Perrine Grua, stressing that “change must be driven both at company level and by individuals taking on responsibility [...]. The traditional career paths that firms have provided up to now no longer match reality going forward.  A company can no longer guarantee that its employees will climb the ladder, so that approach will have to be replaced by one based on skills development and continuous learning.”

By Quentin Capelle