12 Days of Data 2023 Day 8 The Marketing Jobs Outlook

12 Days of Data 2023 Day 8: The Marketing Jobs Outlook

Introduction

Welcome to the 12 Days of Data 2023 Edition, our look back at the data that made marketing in 2023. We’re looking at the year that was (and oh, what a year it was, something we’ve been saying for four years straight now…) from an analytics perspective to see what insights we can take into the next year. Sit up, get your beverage of choice ready, and let’s celebrate some data and look forward to the year ahead.

The Marketing Jobs Outlook

2023 was a tough year for marketing on the employment front. After the heady years of 2021 and 2023 when companies were hiring like crazy to deal with the wild swings of pandemic-induced demand, 2023 was the year companies “got back to normal” – which included a lot of layoffs and reductions in hiring.

Let’s take a look at the year that was. First, let’s see the big picture. This data, from Indeed.com, shows hiring as a differential from the baseline in February 2020, the month before the pandemic officially began.

Full employment chart

We see that the beginning of 2021 is when hiring started to ramp up and by 2022, demand for every category of employee was far above normal. By the time 2023 rolled around, companies were already starting to reduce hiring; many companies made serious errors in forecasting, assuming each year would be similar to the last, and as a result dramatically misjudged their staffing needs.

Let’s zoom into 2023 itself:

2023 employment chart

In the last year, we see that while the broad economy, shown by the red line, has sustained higher than normal hiring, many professional services sectors have been below the pre-pandemic baseline. In the last couple of months, banking and finance hiring have slowed down, and HR hiring has gone below baseline. Marketing has leveled off but remains below baseline; sales hiring are starting to creep back up, but information jobs and software dev jobs remain heavily depressed.

Key Takeaway

The hiring market in 2023 has been challenged; what really stood out in the data for the year was seeing sales hiring cut back to pre-pandemic levels. It’s not uncommon for marketing’s headcount and budget to ebb and flow. It’s much less common to see sales cutbacks.

Marketing’s hiring as a measure against pre-pandemic baselines continues to diminish; for a brief time at the beginning of Q4, it looked like marketing hiring was going to reverse its fortunes, but that has since continued to decline.

For companies that are hiring, now is the time to put as many roles out as possible; with reduced competition, there’s an opportunity to grab talent that you might otherwise be priced out of acquiring in better times.

For candidates looking for work, there are a few concrete steps to take and things to remember.

  1. Hiring is still very much a numbers game. The more applications you submit, the more at-bats you have for placement in a position. Back when I did recruiting, we told candidates to abide by the rule of 10s: for every 1 job offer, expect 10 interviews. For every 1 interview, expect 10 pre-screen opportunities. For every 1 phone screen/pre-screen, expect to submit 10 applications. Thus, for a single job, you might need to submit a thousand applications.
  2. Leverage tools like LinkedIn’s Easy Apply to increase the number of applications you can submit.
  3. Look outside your geography. On platforms like Indeed and LinkedIn, you can check for remote positions globally. The market you’re in currently may not be hiring as much, but that is almost certainly not true globally.
  4. Leverage the power of your network, however big or small it is. Something else that we used to talk about in recruiting when sourcing job orders is that for every job posting you see in public, there are at least two in private that aren’t posted for the world to see. If you see open positions of any kind at a company you want to work for, inquire to see what else they might have that isn’t posted.
  5. While it doesn’t help as much during an active job search, building and growing your network in good times and bad is essential to having a life raft when your current employer doesn’t work out suddenly. The worst time to do networking is when you’re looking for work. The best time to do networking is when you don’t need a network at all.

There’s no telling what 2024 will look like for hirijng. As we’ve seen over the past 3 years, the market can turn on a dime and what’s a hot market for 6 months can very quickly become a cold one, and vice versa.

Read the 12 Days of Data 2023 Series


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