Hiring has boomed in the post-pandemic marketing sector, but those doing the hiring have found that the talent landscape has changed monumentally. Specifically, marketers now have their pick of opportunities for new roles, and are demanding more than ever from prospective employers. 

To find out what workers are looking for, we commissioned Talent Trends 2023: The Invisible Revolution, a unique global survey of 70,000 white-collar workers. This research revealed that the high turnover which began with the ‘Great Resignation’ is here to stay – and the marketing field is no exception. 

In fact, the study found that 86% of marketing professionals are currently open to new opportunities. This trend is multi-generational and applies to both junior and senior employees. In this insights piece, we’ll be summarising key findings from the report, what they mean for marketing recruitment, and how employers can get ahead of the curve.

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The Work-Life Equation: Pay + flexibility + career progression

Many employers will be shocked to hear that nearly 9 in 10 members of their workforce are liable to leave within the next six months – but this is the new reality of the job market. 

Furthermore, around 4 in 5 people who started a job in the past year report that they are open to new opportunities. An uncertain economic landscape no longer puts off job hunters – 57% of marketers are more likely to look for a new job when the economy is performing poorly.

The Invisible Revolution is here to stay. So, how can hiring managers attract and retain top marketing talent in this candidate-driven recruitment landscape?

Our research has identified three key elements of an appealing job offer: competitive pay, flexibility, and career progression. Together, these comprise what we call the Work-Life Equation. Read on for a breakdown of each factor and how you can optimise them.

1. Pay

In the post-pandemic era, many have taken a more transactional approach to work, replacing the emotional benefits once reaped in the workplace by those of family and friends. This means salary has significantly increased in importance.

As professionals increasingly realise their worth to their employers, they are monetising their time more - a bigger salary elsewhere is more attractive than work perks in their current role. 

Employers are feeling the pinch: 63% of employers said matching salary expectations was the biggest recruitment challenge. 

But with an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, it is essential to remain competitive when it comes to remuneration. When we asked workers their top workplace priorities, salary ranked the number one reason to accept a new role, and was also ranked as the most important item in a job advert. 

Our recommendation: Don’t lowball on salaries

Marketing has always been a work perk heavy sector, and while benefits are important, our data suggests that salary is still king. 

In such a competitive recruitment landscape, effective salary benchmarking is absolutely essential. Check out Michael Page’s 2023 Marketing Salary Guide for a breakdown of remuneration in the sector by UK location and job title, including low, medium, and high salaries for each role in each place. 

From here, employers should review their current employees’ salaries as soon as possible, and ensure salary information is clearly visible in recruitment adverts. Review the additional benefits you offer – are they being used? And if not, could they be swapped for higher salaries?Start hiring top talent today

2. Flexibility

When it comes to flexibility, marketers were clear on they want – hybrid working. This is unsurprising, since work-life balance was found to be the most significant influencer of job satisfaction, with 60% of all respondents selecting it as a top priority. This is a higher proportion than selected pay (43%), or good relationships with co-workers (40%).

Furthermore, 57% said they would be willing to reject a promotion if they believed it would have a negative effect on their wellbeing. The presumption that workers with families would prioritise flexibility the most was also turned on its head, with work-life balance found to be important to all age groups, across all markets, and to people both with and without children.

Our recommendation: Embrace flexible working

Offering some level of flexibility is now standard; this means that a one-size-fits-all flexible working option is unlikely to stand out to candidates. With marketing increasingly embracing part time and non-permanent roles, flexible hiring will also help companies with headcount challenges.

Employers should collaborate with their marketing teams to find out what type of flexibility they prioritise most, and use this to build an holistic and inclusive employee experience.

Trust is key to a successful flexible working set up. Employees want true, personalised flexibility; adding rigid rules around this flexibility will significantly reduce its appeal. Don’t just tolerate flexibility – instead, embracing it as a positive business strategy that will help you retain your best people. 

Employers that want to go one step further could even consider offering progressive flexibility solutions, such as a four-day work week. 

3. Career progression

The report revealed the growing prominence of the strategy known as ‘job hopping’, where employees will intentionally rapidly move from one role to the next in order to climb the career ladder and increase their pay. 

Offering clear progression is an effective method to prevent top talent leaving for better opportunities elsewhere. Yet our research found that employers underestimate the importance of career growth to employees by 10%.

Our recommendation: Turbo charge career progression in your company.

Employers must recognise talent’s newly-empowered position. Candidates are now evaluating what their employer is offering them as opposed to what they could gain elsewhere – and opportunities to progress are a big selling point. 

Implement clear pathways to progression, with targeted milestones along the way, and ensure employees are aware of this potential to climb the ladder from their first day with the organisation. From entry level marketers to marketing managers to marketing directors, development and progression should be a big departmental priority.

Furthermore, marketing skills are always evolving to keep up with the pace of digital transformation, so access to upskilling at work is extremely valuable within the sector.

Access the insights you need to attract and keep top marketers

Our 2023 Talent Trends report provides a deep dive into the most profound shift in work culture since the arrival of the internet. Surveying 70,000 individuals from around the world, this is the most robust and comprehensive study of skilled white-collar professionals globally. It analyses the changing priorities of workers in various fields, across different generations, and at lower and higher levels of seniority. 

Find out where your workers’ priorities have shifted, why, and how you can build talented marketing teams in this challenging recruitment landscape. Get the data and inside information you need to not just survive this monumental cultural shift – but also to thrive in it.

Download 'Talent Trends: The Invisible Revolution'

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