Two-thirds of marketing employers plan to hire this year as Covid tails off

Marketers are equally keen to move jobs, new research reveals, as career expectations change to reflect the fundamental shifts brought about by the pandemic.

job lossesAfter a year of cuts and shrinking teams, the tide may have begun to turn for marketer job prospects, as new research finds more than two-thirds (67%) of marketing employers are planning to hire in 2021.

At the same time, six in 10 marketers are planning to change jobs this year, as hybrid working practices and a sense of “greater purpose” rise up the career priorities list.

According to a survey of more than 700 marketing professionals by recruitment firm Hays and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, career expectations have shifted markedly over the past year. Half of those surveyed claim they are considering an imminent career change as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Of those marketers, 61% say they intend to make changes to their working practices and will be looking for a new role that enables hybrid office-home working, while 17% say they plan to look for a new role based completely remotely.

It’s vital that employers appreciate how the pandemic has changed job seekers’ priorities and refresh their hiring strategy.

Clare Kemsley, Hays Marketing

Over four in 10 say they plan to prioritise upskilling, and 22% plan to pursue an entirely new career path to find a role with a “greater purpose”.

“We’ve seen increased opportunity for marketing professionals since the start of 2021, and mirroring our research the intention is there to hire for employers,” says Clare Kemsley, managing director of Hays Marketing.

Technical marketing skills are the highest in demand, she adds, including CRM, user experience and data analytics, and with so many employers looking to recruit, brands need to develop a competitive recruitment strategy.

Steep rise in demand for marketers with digital skills

“Today’s job seeker is very different to just six months ago. It’s vital therefore that employers appreciate how the pandemic has changed job seekers’ priorities and refresh their hiring strategy. Doing this will help them draw in the talent they need to put their organisation on the road to recovery,” Kemsley says.

Covid’s impact on job satisfaction

According to the research, job satisfaction for marketers has been significantly impacted as a result of the pandemic. Some 35% say their job satisfaction has worsened since its onset.

A third (33%) of respondents rate their current job satisfaction as dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, with half of those citing a lack of career progression as the main driving factor. The next two top reasons for job dissatisfaction are a lack of career development opportunities (45%) and a lack of job security (44%).

Meanwhile, 81% of respondents report some level of concern about the wider economic climate and employment opportunities over the next two to five years.A third of marketers anticipate an imminent rise in job opportunities

However, marketers also note the benefits that have emerged from the pandemic over the past year, as 65% of those who needed to work from home in 2020 rate the impact of remote working on their organisation as positive.

Reflecting this, only 4% of respondents say they would prefer to work fully from the office in the next year. More than four in 10 (42%) say they want the majority of their working week to be remote with some time spent in the office, while some 26% prefer a 50/50 split.

“It’s clear that as lockdown eases, and with the roadmap to recovery providing further clarity to brands and their marketing activities for the year ahead, that marketers are looking to new beginnings,” says the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s CEO, Chris Daly.

“Whether that be investing in their professional development, an increased focus on wellbeing or a change in the way they work moving forward, 2020 has given them a period on which to reflect and rethink.”

Revealed: The cost of Covid on marketing careers

The research also captures views on the role of the physical workspace, finding almost three-quarters of those surveyed do not believe their workplace will return to the way it was before the Covid-19 pandemic.

When discussing the workplace changes required once restrictions ease, 45% of marketers believe their existing office space is not fit for purpose and will need reconfiguring, while 32% say improved access to technology will be necessary.