I have been recruiting in market research for nearly 20 years, and there has always been trends, twists and turns in that time, but no more so than in the past 2 years.
When I started out I knew nothing at all, but if I could work out the difference between qual and quant I could figure out what people did, or at least I could start to ask the right questions.
At that time the agencies usually wanted someone who could do qual or could do quant. You didn’t need to be able to present until you were at AD level and no one ever ever mentioned sales.
Insight was rarely mentioned.
Now every job spec mentions insight, 60% strategy, and 80% make some reference to sales and commercial acumen.
The duties and responsibilities of roles are varied and I would say more interesting and flexible for an employee. You need to have many “hats” or skills, not just one.
The career of the Researcher today seems much more than that of the Researcher of 1996.
One of the challenges this presents is that it’s difficult when explaining who you are at interview, which of your skills do you focus on; project management, analysis, leadership, insight, strategy, innovation, sales, and not forgetting Qual and quant?
Recruitment has changed as well. There are more automated responses, which makes it less human in some cases and challenging if you, as the candidate, need time to illustrate why you are a good match.
Our candidates often leave an interview and call us saying I forgot to talk about this project or this skill/attribute. We can then step in, wrap up loose ends and if it is the right opportunity we can ensure that it isn’t lost because really 1 hour isn’t enough time to talk about everything you can do.
Where it counts if you have a good recruitment partner, whether you are hiring or job hunting, it really works. So try to think of your recruiter as an essential service – someone who can make this key part of your life a little easier. A great recruiter will be with you for the lifespan of your career – we certainly have been for many of our candidates.