According to a survey by Aquent, employment in the marketing and design industry looks to be on the rise after the turbulence of the GFC.

The ‘2010 Market Eye’ survey found that close to 50% of employers have added staff over the past six months, while almost 55% of employers expect to add additional staff in the coming six months.

While hesitancy still lingers, particularly with the use of temporary staff, the survey indicated the permanent hiring freeze from last year is now easing.

It also showed that salaries are also predicted to rise: close to 55% of employers have increased salaries over the past six months. In contrast to 2009 when salary freezes were widely implemented, business confidence is building to the extent that employers are willing to invest further in their permanent staff.

Aquent regional director for Australia and New Zealand, Simon Lusty said the survey points towards the industry in “rebuild mode” following the widespread cuts of 2009.

“Following the catastrophic decline in hiring intentions throughout 2009, widespread staff redundancies and general panic as employers struggled to ride the economic downturn, it is pleasing to see that the employment market has bounced back in 2010,” he said.

“While a degree of hesitancy remains, employers are feeling more upbeat about the future and this is translating to a more buoyant hiring market.”

The survey also found staff retention strategies remain a hot discussion point. Flexible work practices remain the most important retention strategy as reported by both employers and employees.