The QHQ Job Search Survey

The QHQ job search survey results are in!

QHQ set out to discover what it’s like to search for a new role as a garment technologist in today’s fashion and textile industry.

We asked your opinions via a survey on on how you approach finding a new role, where you look and where you want to see jobs advertised. We had a really good response to the survey and it has given an interesting insight into your experiences of today’s job market.

Here’s a summary of what we found:

1. Where do you look for jobs?

Drapers Record remains the most popular choice for job seekers with other sources listed including Retail Choice, recruitment agencies and Fashion United, which is becoming increasingly popular for technical roles.

2. Which day of the week do you search?

Most respondents said they would actively job search any day of the week. This reflects a change in culture as people generally now accesses adverts via mobile phones and tablets and therefore are always updated on new roles as oppose to former times when people searched on Fridays or at weekends when popular trade magazines were published.

3. How long did it take to find your current role?

This result was surprising to us - most respondents said it had only taken them one month to find their current role –even those is higher salary brackets. This indicates that people are able to move roles quickly in today’s industry, should they want to.

Kate: “In our experience, from a recruiters point of view, a placement from advert to offer can take up to 3-4 months for mid-management roles and in some cases 6 months or more.  Clients are increasingly careful and choosy but when they find someone who fits the team they can make a quick decision.”

4. How frequently do you look at job adverts?

Most respondents answered that they look daily or weekly - again a sign of today’s mobile culture.

5. Do you look at job categories or search by salary band?

This was around a 50/50 split for our respondents.

Sally: “Work life balance is becoming more important for many candidates- we hear this over and over again. This means that many people are willing to accept a lower salary for the ‘perfect’ role that fits with their lifestyle aspirations.’

6. Which salary bracket do you currently fall in to?

Most respondents were earning over £30K per year with many in the £40K+ category.

7. What time of year are you more likely to search for a new role?

Interestingly, most respondents answered that they would search at anytime of the year. This was surprising to us at QHQ, as we would traditionally expect a peak in September and January and less movement during the summer months and around Christmas time. Again, this is probably an indicator of the mobile culture.

8. How often do you tend to change jobs?

The most common answers here were ‘2-3 years’ or ‘3-5 years’ showing that people do invest time in each role they take on and do not move very frequently.  

Kate: “I feel this is particularly true of employees of one of the larger groups or retailers, who then find it difficult to match their current salaries in a new role.”

9. Would you prefer to work in a permanent role or a freelance contract?

Most respondents said they would consider either option – which shows that there is perhaps a more flexible approach emerging in the industry from candidates who are willing to work freelance or permanent.

Sally: “We find this to be the case for employees in the £35k + bracket. Lower than this it can be difficult to get freelance work as you don’t have the experience necessary. Temporary workers under £30k are usually those in-between roles.”

10. Are you more likely to actively search for a role or respond to an advert you like the look of?

The majority of respondents said that it would depend on whether they were happy in their current role. Many also answered that they would respond to an advert even if they had not been planning a career move. This is quite telling, as it shows that the majority of candidates are most influenced by job-satisfaction and emotion. It also shows flexibility and an open-minded approach - as candidates can be attracted to role unexpectedly if an opportunity arises. Perhaps this is due to candidates searching to broaden their career experience – i.e. moving from a supplier role to a retail or manufacturer role at a similar level with an eye on the future.

11. Where or how did you find your current role?

Most respondents said they responded to an advert or were headhunted, whilst a few were contacted on LinkedIn, or found a role by word of mouth. So it seems that recruitment agencies and adverts are still the key sources of job roles.

Respondents comments and opinions:

“It's important to me that the recruiter is working for both sides, not just trying to slot people into vacant jobs. The experience is important.”

“The point that I would make is that people need to understand that senior positions are not just hanging from a tree, so one needs to be patient and continue to have a positive attitude and self-belief in one’s ability and experience.”

 “QHQ is the only reliable freelance agency I know. Most agencies advertise freelance but they never deliver anything and waste people's time offering pro-rata salaries or try to convince you that you want a permanent role.”

“Word of mouth is usually the best when roles are available.”

“I find it difficult to get job roles in fashion as many want work experience to have been completed already, yet most experience is unpaid and in London, which isn't practical for me to afford, which is frustrating!”