4 Salary and Recruitment Trends Marketing and Creative Leaders Should Be Watching

By Paul Flaharty on November 1, 2022 at 9:11pm

If you take a step back and look at your marketing or creative team, are there any skills gaps that are preventing your team’s success? Designers? Digital marketing specialists? What about project managers or marketing analytics specialists? All of these professionals and many more are in high demand today. But recruiting these marketers and creative professionals isn’t always easy. 

Navigating a hiring process today can be challenging. Companies continue to compete for top candidates, salaries keep trending upward, workplace expectations have changed, and uncertainty causes unease in the marketplace. It’s a lot for any marketing or creative leader to face when looking for professionals to help with critical projects. Drawing on the Salary Guide From Robert Half, here are four key trends I’d recommend hiring managers consider when crafting a recruitment strategy.

1.    Top talent expects top salaries

Let’s cut to the chase. To hire and retain skilled marketers and creatives, you need to offer competitive starting salaries and review them regularly to ensure they stay competitive. Robert Half recruiters who specialize in this field report that many candidates are receiving multiple job offers, giving them little incentive to consider an opportunity with a lowball starting salary. 

Employers are getting the message. Forty percent of marketing and creative managers are boosting starting salaries to entice new hires, while over half (52%) are giving raises to keep current employees from eyeing a move to another company.

Infographic with marketing and creative salary statistics from 2023 salary guide

Here are national median salaries for some of the most in-demand roles:
•    Digital marketing specialist: $64,500
●    Graphic designer: $62,000
●    Marketing analytics specialist: $75,250
●    Project manager: $77,250
●    UX designer: $107,250
●    Web copywriter: $71,000

Salaries vary by location, of course. You can search for a city in the Salary Guide to get a figure adjusted for regional living costs, availability of skilled talent and other factors.

2.    Work-life balance and wellness are rising priorities

Even a generous salary offer may not be enough to seal the deal. Many candidates look for well-rounded compensation packages that improve their lives in a variety of ways. These are the five most-wanted benefits across all sectors:
1.    Health insurance
2.    Paid time off
3.    Retirement savings plan
4.    Dental insurance
5.    Leave of absence

But that’s not all that workers want. Seventy-nine percent of employees surveyed want to improve their work-life balance, and 51% would like more well-being support from their employer. And companies are listening — a majority (83%) of HR managers said they’ve added new perks in response to the hiring market. These include remote work opportunities, mental health resources, wellness programs and more.

This priority shift to health reflects many workers’ experiences during the pandemic. It’s no surprise that candidates are giving special consideration to employers offering extensive benefits and perks.

3.    Flexible work is an expectation, not a perk

Remember the 9-to-5? Many employees would rather you didn’t. Around three-quarters (74%) of marketing and creative professionals currently work in remote or hybrid arrangements, and over half (55%) say they feel most productive working from home. Forty-one percent of senior managers said some employees have quit rather than return to the office full time. Our recruiters say that firms with strict in-office policies are experiencing the highest turnover rates — the last thing employers need in the current job market.

The best way to look at flexible work is not as a perk or concession but as a win-win for you and your workforce. Remote workers who may once have faced a grueling commute can now start their day sharp and fresh. And working off-site makes it easier for them to shut out distractions for a couple of hours to focus on high-priority tasks. Not all employees want to work from home 100% of the time, though. More than half (55%) of those who plan to look for a new job say they want a hybrid approach where teams alternate between home and office. Employees want to work an average of three days a week remotely, leaving plenty of time for brainstorming new ideas, important in-person meetings and connecting with colleagues.

There are also definite benefits businesswise of offering fully remote or hybrid options. For one thing, with geography no longer a barrier to recruitment you can hire employees who live anywhere. Also you’re likely to see better staff morale and work-life balance and, as a result, increased retention.

4.    Professional development policies are a talent magnet

With many projects requiring up-to-the-minute knowledge of new industry-specific tools and software, marketers, designers, advertisers and the like can’t stand still and stay competitive. Reskilling can help them keep pace with how their jobs are evolving. 

While the best employees learn something new every day, few have the time and resources to pursue more structured training on their own. That gives firms with well-developed upskilling programs an edge in recruitment and retention. Whether you offer perks such as subsidized online learning, mentoring opportunities or both, make sure these programs are prominently advertised in your job postings and candidate outreach channels.

With various shifts and disruptions in the past few years, the current employment landscape can at times look like a minefield. By understanding and addressing the professional, personal and financial priorities of employees and candidates, you can build a great marketing and creative team. 

For more insights to help you hire and retain talent, check out the latest Salary Guide From Robert Half.

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