The State of Creative: A Message to our Community
Will someone please press the reset button on 2020?
How different we are today from 6 months ago. We’re working from home, home schooling our kids, cooking for ourselves and meeting up with mates online for a beer. I miss the pub! It feels so far away from reality. COVID had taken a huge toll on every day lives and pushed our economy toward recession, a first for any Australian under 47 years old.
We are at the beginning of a long process to recovery, I could go into a big explanation of what a recession is and how it works but I’m not an economist so what I would say would be very average at best. That said we are facing Australia's first recession in 29 years, so looking forward our lives are going to continue to change as we make our way through the next few years toward better times.
What have we been doing?
Our first port of call was to up our communications with our candidates. We implemented a Community Forum to get conversation started, and share the experiences and feeling we’re all going through as everything unfolded. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, sharing technical know how, processes and coping mechanisms and recipes with each other. Which has been comforting for a lot of us.
As a team we have made a concerted effort to reach out to our active candidates to give them updates and advice on how they can set themselves up for successes moving forward.
We’ve had a massive influx of new and returning candidates to the Artisan fold. Which has been awesome, to cope with the shear number we implemented a speed dating service to acknowledge them and make sure we have all the best information to help them as things start to pick up.
What else have we been doing?
We started a Consumer Sentiment Survey last year, the first in Australia for the Creative industry. Our last survey April - June Quarter has shown the effects on Business, Employees and Freelance community.
You can download your copy of the report here.
Whats been happening in Industry?
The direct effects of COVID and lockdown has seen 75% of the creative industry effected at a negative level. Business revenues are down, client ordering has decreased and 70% of clients have reported business profitability has suffered.
On a positive note 59% of creative and digital businesses have a plan for recovery once the lockdown period is over. At this point in time only 16% of businesses have permanently reduced staff numbers, and most businesses transitioned to a work from home setup easily.
Here at Artisan we felt the the contraction of business in mid March and it has continued through to mid May. Our revenues dropped by half, and current new temp orders are less than a few a week. These new orders are either very specialist “hens teeth” or very short order, 1/2 day to 2 days.
Recruitment industry analytics, have shown the contraction of the industry as a whole. The drop in the number of new permanent jobs worked on by recruiters seems to have bottomed out, and Australian Job ads halved and fell 53.1% in April (ANZ Job Advertisements Series).
Alternatively, the trend for recruitment agency temp/contractors employment is beginning to rise. It's a small rise from a very low base. This is typical behaviour in a “recessionary” period. Employers will be gun shy of employing permanent staff, and take a more conservative approach to bringing in expertise as needed for short periods.
Artisans current research shows 70% of the Creative Digital industry historically outsource work to temps and contractors, so we expect this to continue as businesses moves toward recovery.
Our current snapshot survey, indicates that Creative Digital businesses are working at 66% of productivity, which is promising as over 70% have indicated revenues are down. The market is expecting to see arise in new orders and new business in July-September quarter where they feel that there will be a return to some normalcy.
Employers will be cautious with spending, as they expect it will take two quarters for their cashflow to return to normal, and feel that business growth will not start until April-June 2021.
So that’s it in a nutshell. It's not all bad news, industry feels that things will start to shift in July and employment opportunities for temps and contractors will begin to increase.
We hope this has shed some light on the current situation and where Artisan is in all of this and thank you again for your support as we endeavour to support you.