The Role of AI in Marketing A Conversation with Katie Robert 22

Marketing Jobs Recession

This data was originally featured in the August 16, 2023 newsletter found here:

This week, let’s talk about a specific recession. There isn’t a broad recession, at least not one recognizable in normal economic data. This week let’s look at a place where there IS confirmed economic contraction: marketing jobs.

You may remember this chart from a couple weeks ago when we talked about the impact of ChatGPT on jobs:


What this chart displays is a relative index of the number of open marketing positions in the USA compared to February 2020, just before the pandemic. We see that in the spring and summer of that year, marketing lost more than 50% of its open positions, signifying the contraction. Then in 2021, marketing hiring rebounded, at one point in early 2022 with almost 75% more open positions than before the pandemic.

However, in the spring of 2023, the market fully came back down to pre-pandemic levels – and this summer, it has sunk below it. There are approximately 20% fewer marketing job openings right now than there were before the pandemic.

We are beginning to see signs of a bottom in terms of the deficit of marketing jobs; the trajectory is beginning to flatten, but absent a systemic change, it looks like the marketing jobs market will be depressed for the remainder of 2023.

So what? What does this mean for us? If you’re hiring for marketers, candidates may be more plentiful than they have been in previous years, so as long as you have budget to support headcount, you may be able to land better quality talent. An employer’s market also tends to favor retention, so it might be easier to keep existing employees compared to previously.

If you’re a job seeker, expect the market to be much more competitive than it was even 3 months ago. That means applying for many more jobs than you might have otherwise. The rule of thumb I learned when I was a recruiter was the rule of 10s. For every 1 job offer, you need 10 interviews. For every 10 interviews, you need 100 interested companies. For every 100 interested companies, you need to send 1,000 applications. So if you set your expectations that you will need to send out 1,000 applications to land 1 job, you have a sense of the task before you.

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