It seems like there should be a more perfect instrument for bridging the gap between contractors and opportunities around the country. As I have said before in this blog, the fastest growing piece of our business (placement of analytics and search marketing professionals) is the consulting / contracting market.
As the industries mature, more professionals are reaching the point in their careers where they can support themselves and thrive as independent contractors. The lifestyle is compelling for haters of corporate politics and those who value compensation and quality of life more than climbing the corporate ladder.
As most of the financial and some of the marketing worlds are in decline, online advertising spend and share continue to climb (albeit at a slower pace than in the boom years). The call to measure twice before buying once is being sounded in marketing departments everywhere. This is continuing to drive demand for these skills.
When you need the skills but your company is on an “unoffical temporary hiring freeze” you look for contractors. This is creating a perfect storm of activity in the space right now where there is both supply and demand.
But it is not a perfect market… consulting requirements are increasingly specific and narrow in scope and the talent pool is very spread-out geographically.
For now, we spend much of our days talking with folks on both sides and trying to make the best matches possible. Until someone comes to market with a better solution…
4 thoughts on “Analytics & Search Contracting Market”
Agree with you completely. I’d like to highlight another gap that the analytics industry is facing across the world. Companies that have ventured into setting up their own captive analytics teams are of late realizing the mistakes they have made in hiring the misfit talent. Most of them had sought after MBA’s and seasoned Business Analysts while we know a good analytics professional is a mix of both strong business acumen and solid quantitative/statistical skills. These companies are now feeling the skill set mismatch. They are either changing their hiring strategy or investing heavily in training their current analysts in tools like SAS and in advanced statistics.
On the other hand, the analytics outsourcing companies though possess exceptional analytics competency, they most often lack strong business sense. Due to which their solutions would not be as actionable.
This is the gap I’m talking about. On one hand we have high analytics competency and on the other, a need for strong business acumen. The fact that most often one does not get these two together, is creating a gap in the industry.
No doubt the demand for analytics is growing but the ‘true’ supply is not growing at the same rate. I’ll say the industry has still got a long way to mature. Because of this, I’m not sure how effective your ‘independent contractor’ will be. I see there is a stronger need for a better solution as you mentioned in your closing statement.
The consulting opportunities I’ve seen tend to be six month (plus or minus) on site gigs, and those are unappealing for seasoned people like me, who have roots and are willing to work long distance – but not move somewhere for six months. I’d like to see employers show more flexibility – two weeks on site to get things on a solid footing, then working remotely with a trip every month or so. Without this kind of arrangement, I’m not surprised that employers aren’t finding the right, experienced talent.
There are certainly a lot of full-time / on-site positions out there, but we frequently have clients that offer more flexible arrangements. The problem is that it is not easy to find them when you need them (and vice versa). We try to build critical mass of relationships on both sides, but we certainly do not have access to every opening and every contractor…
Good. When and if I need it, I’ll rely on you to be the ones that have worked through the possibilities to the benefit of both parties, including this kind of flexibility.