The high demand for skilled digital specialists across the country continues to grow, according to a survey conducted by Aquent, the leading global staffing firm specialising in marketing, communications and creative talent.

The Aquent Orange Book 2008-2009, a salary survey and industry monitor of key Asia Pacific and European markets has revealed high rates of staff turnover and short lengths of employment in agency digital sectors, a likely result of increased demand.

“With revenue growth slowing, and in some cases, shrinking, CEOs across the globe are looking for measurable ROI – digital provides a far greater ability to measure the return on marketing dollars spent,” said Aquent International CEO, Greg Savage.

“Ironically, the transfer of marketing spend to digital is exacerbated by the tougher economic climate, because for most companies its cheaper or more cost effective to spend on digital than it is on print, TV or outdoor advertising.

“Advertisers are moving to digital, and the agencies are enjoying a greater slice of the action, which in turn, is driving digital staff demand.”

An average length of service of up to two years was the majority trend for Brisbane (58%), Melbourne (60%) and Sydney (72%) account management staff in design/digital agencies.

This sector also anticipates one of the largest salary increases for the coming year 21% a further indication of high staff activity.

“These high rates of employee churn have an obvious raw cost to the business, but at a deeper level, they will harm the competitiveness of many agencies at a time where securing market share is increasingly critical,” said Savage.

“With revenues tightening, employers cannot solve this issue by throwing money at the problem.

“Many owners and managers in the digital sector will need to revisit what they are doing to attract and retain staff.”