Most internal comms pros looking for a new job, says VMA survey

Nearly eight out of 10 UK internal comms (IC) professionals are planning to take a new job in the next 12 months - or "potentially" looking to do so - as the economy improves, according to new research.

Picture credit: monkeybusinessimages
Picture credit: monkeybusinessimages

A survey of 500 IC professionals by recruitment firm VMA Group found 54 per cent were seeking or taking a new job in the next 12 months, and 25 per cent would potentially do the same.

Quoted in the new VMA report, Nicole Dempster, internal comms director at ITV, said: "Over the past few years, the economic climate has made some want to batten down the hatches and simply stay put in their jobs. Now that the economic climate is easing again, it’s no surprise people are starting to think about their next career move.

"But what is surprising is that a whopping 80 per cent of those surveyed say they’re planning to move in the next 12 months. That’s some shift."

The vast majority (87 per cent) of respondents expected demand for IC to increase in the next 12 months.

However, most did not expect to see a corresponding investment in the function, with just 20 per cent predicting an increase in IC budgets in the next 12 months.

One third (32 per cent) saw a decline in their IC budget in the past year, and just 19 per cent saw growth.

However, many did see growth in the size of their teams this past year and expected to see more. The survey found 35 per cent saw their teams grow in the past 12 months, and 26 per cent expected the same in the year ahead.

Elsewhere, despite having an IC function, 36 per cent of respondents said their organisation had no formal internal comms strategy, and 24 per cent said this was only ever reviewed on an ad hoc basis.

"It is disappointing to note that so many of the survey participants do not have an IC strategy," said Drew McMillan, head of internal comms and innovation at Virgin Trains.

"Perhaps we feel that ‘strategy’ is a dirty word, perhaps we are a little scared of planning and governance, or perhaps we don’t think that the rules apply to us."

Other findings:

  • 43 per cent of respondents believed their comms directors valued IC less highly than other comms functions such as external comms, media and public affairs
  • 46 per cent reported to corporate comms departments, up from 38 per cent one year ago
  • 27 per cent said IC should report directly to the CEO or MD, but just 12 per cent did so
  • 28 per cent thought their MD or CEO did not value IC in their organisation
  • 58 per cent had undertaken no IC-related training within the past 12 months

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