Improvements in the recruitment of executive marketing professionals
It’s been a challenging few years if you have been looking for a new marketing director job. The top end of the market has been sluggish, new opportunities have been sporadic and the recruitment process has typically taken longer than desired. While there have been opportunities available, the volume has been low and candidates have been competing against stringent experience criteria with fierce competition for each post.
Changes in 2014
It would be inaccurate to say that the market has reverted back to the boom days of 2007, but we are definitely seeing improvements in the industry. Since October 2013, our data clearly demonstrates a consistent and positive increase in the number of high-level marketing roles being recruited. Early 2010 was the last time our indicators showed such promise but that proved to be a ‘false dawn’. Will it be any different this year? Page Executive believes it will be and we remain cautiously optimistic.
[Businesses are ... putting an emphasis on business development.]
Job creation depends on a number of factors but the one thing that is essential in the recruitment market is confidence. The top end of the market is usually the slowest to move as people who are well remunerated have the most to lose from a perceived ‘risky job move’. This necessary confidence means those who have ‘sat tight’ or ‘battened down the hatches’ feel safe to move onto a job that will be more challenging. Movement of candidates between jobs creates opportunities for others to populate the vacant roles, which in turn creates more job vacancies.
What breeds confidence in job seekers? Predictably it is the same thing that drives confidence in the economy in general. Improved GDP figures, investment in the country and a drop in unemployment are all factors. They give us the confidence to spend money, the confidence to move house and the confidence to move jobs.
Focus on strategic growth
People simply moving from job to job is obviously finite and doesn’t actually create ‘new’ posts, it just regenerates existing roles. What is particularly encouraging this year is that we are seeing companies move from a day-to-day trading mentality to one that focuses on long-term strategic growth. Businesses are moving from cost reduction or cost neutral positions to putting an emphasis on business development. Having a rigorous product or customer engagement and acquisition strategy is paramount to such planning and this creates the need for senior marketers. This is noticeably prevalent in private equity and venture capital funded companies, especially the SME community. Until this year, we saw very few marketing director jobs being generated from such investment.
A positive outlook
[...the one thing that is essential in the recruitment market is confidence]
London and the South East continue to be the epicentre of new senior marketing positions. However, all our regional data shows an improving picture to varying degrees, outside of the M25 as well. The market is still tough but it is certainly improving. Remuneration levels seem unaffected and companies are prepared to pay to get the right candidate. We have had a number of false dawns since 2008, but so far 2014 is looking like it is the going to be the strongest year yet for new top level marketing jobs.
If you are interested in discussing executive marketing roles further, please feel free to get in touch with Anthony Marchant, director at Page Executive.