Published on 15 January 2013
In the first of a regular series of articles focused on the current state of marketing hiring demand, trends and forecasts, we conducted separate interviews with two highly regarded marketing recruiters. Jerry Bernhardt is the Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search LLC, which specializes in direct marketing and digital marketing placement. His firm also regularly conducts widely published surveys on marketing hiring trends. Lynn Hazan is the Principal of Lynn Hazan & Associates, which specializes in marketing, sales and communications placement. Both recruiters handle marketing placement throughout the U.S.
MarketingHire.com (MH): What notable marketing hiring trends do you foresee in 2013?
Jerry Bernhardt (JB): “Marketers are allocating a growing share of their budgets to digital versus traditional advertising. Recent surveys show digital actually outspending traditional marketing at many companies, with some companies allocating more than 50% of their overall marketing spend in digital, particularly the big multinationals. “
Lynn Hazan (LH): “I expect that in 2013 we will see a continuation of the intense demand for marketing professionals that started building in 2012. My firm is currently seeing growth at all levels."
MH: What marketing roles do you believe will be most in demand in 2013?
JB: “This is a question I asked just a month ago when I conducted my most recent Bernhart Associates Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Hiring Survey, so I have hard data on this. The top three were marketing analytics, anything and everything related to online marketing, and then sales. Social Media, by the way, was number 5.”
LH: “We’ll see continued demand from the technology sector -- including software companies using technology for a competitive edge -- and healthcare. We presently have needs, both B2C and B2B, for multiple hires from clients with growth strategies. These are immediate hires.
Marketing candidates need to be excellent writers. I have often seen that markers can't write and communicators don't know how to market. That hurts them in the interview process."
MH: Do you foresee certain industries being especially hot and others being in decline?
JB: “Most of the calls I'm getting are from marketers in financial services and retail. Also, agencies are hiring digital marketing talent. I would probably put publishing at the bottom, based on the inquiries I'm receiving.”
LH: “I expect consumer electronics, mobile technology, software and healthcare to stay hot for the foreseeable future. Of course, as recruiters, we get requests from companies in sectors that are growing, not in remission.”
MH: Do you foresee a shortage in supply for some roles? Is there an opportunity for certain roles to command a higher salary and managers to see higher bonuses?
JB: “Analytics is very hot and has been for many years. I know first hand because I conduct a widespread hiring survey in digital and direct marketing, more than 15,000 industry participants receive it. Analytics has topped the list of positions in greatest demand, quarter after quarter. As a result, they are commanding the largest increases in base salary, often 10-15% over current position.
Spot shortages in this field are appearing in "second tier" markets where the talent pool is more of a puddle. I'm not seeing a push towards higher bonuses at the management level for this particular group, but I am seeing a trend towards small bonuses for individual contributors who also have business acumen to help guide marketing decision makers, where before there might have been none.”
LH: “Between 2001-11 we had two recessions, after 2001 and after 2008. The candidate pool was cut -- marketing and communications was hit especially hard. As a result, there is presently a severe shortage in the talent pool for candidates with 3-5, 5-7 and 7-10 years of experience. Recruiters and companies alike, are in a mad rush to find candidates at those experience levels and price points.
There is intense competition for marketing talent in the tech space. As a result, salaries are moving up."
MH: What roles do you believe will be most in decline?
JB: “More traditional roles such as direct mail, although I've conducted a couple of searches for those types of positions just this year, so direct mail is still an important channel for many marketers, especially financial services.”
LH: “Print related jobs- publishing, print ad sales,print production, print buyers, you get the picture.”
MH: Do you believe there will be any notable changes in how marketing is managed (e.g., more focus on activities that directly produce results or revenue, etc.)? Do you foresee the role of the CMO changing in any significant way?
JB: “The trend I see is that CEO's want more measurement - what is our marketing spend getting us? Not surprisingly, I'm seeing more candidates who began their careers in traditional direct marketing, and now with digital marketing under their belts, getting promoted into CMO positions.”
LH: “In this economy, branding isn’t enough; marketers have to create programs that drive revenue and they need to deliver quickly. I feel optimistic that we are seeing a resurgence of marketing’s importance. For example, one of our clients, a major international company, recently restructured its business to focus on verticals, with marketing taking the lead. The marketing staff previously handled all the verticals without any specific vertical expertise.
In many ways CMOs are caught in a vise of working for large mega corporations where it’s difficult to make changes. The CMOs who will be most in demand are change agents who will will revitalize and reinvigorate marketing with the CEO's blessing.
Whatever programs raise the bar, raise revenue -- it’s a whole gestalt.”
MH: Any closing thoughts?
LH: “Be so good at what you do that recruiters will seek you out. Candidates have a responsibility to establish and promote themselves. Likewise, be good to your recruiter. We remember the great candidates and contact them first.
I also see many candidates over-relying on social media to get their next job. Employers don’t hire Twitter handles, they hire real people.
Every candidate should ask him- or herself the question, ‘How do I show up in life and how do I want to be seen?’ It’s more than your brand. It’s what you stand for in life and in your profession.” We want "best in class"!