There is still about one month left before the New Year, but already it’s is going down in the record books as the strongest ever for hiring in digital marketing and ecommerce, and the busiest year ever for my ecommerce recruiting agency.
Digital marketing knowledge has truly become a “must-have” tool in the market’s toolkit. Without it, you are at a serious disadvantage. Kind of like being a roofer without a nail gun. Just look at the online job posting sites to see firsthand the scope of opportunities that exist today. Enter “digital marketing” in the job search engine indeed.com, you’ll get more than 25,000 listings.
All this year I have received a steady flow of calls from employers looking for my ecommerce recruiting agency to help them find specialists in ecommerce, mobile, social media, search and display, digital analytics, and email marketing. Needs range from entry-level analysts to senior-level digital marketing executives across all segments of the digital marketing ecosystem.
As a career choice, digital marketing offers a lot to like:
Digital Marketing is Constantly Changing
Digital marketing is the antithesis of many professions in which people go to school and end up performing basically the same job throughout their career. Ask digital marketers what they like best about the field, and many will talk about how they enjoy using leading-edge technologies to help solve a wide variety of business challenges. Transformative innovations like the telephone, the television, and the jet engine usually evolve slowly over time. Not so marketing technology, which “self-accelerates” – new technology is immediately put to use to beget newer innovations. It builds on itself, it’s fast-paced, and it never stops.
Digital Marketing Skills Are Valuable to Many Industries
One of digital marketing’s great attractions is that it is used by companies to sell products and services in virtually every industry, B2C as well as B2B, so the career potential is huge. No matter what the category – consumer goods, banking, manufacturing, insurance, technology, hospitality, advocacy, fundraising, or any other – marketers embrace digital efforts because of their immediacy, relevance, personalization, and, above all else, effectiveness. I even received a call once from a chain of funeral homes looking for a digital expert (and yes, some candidates were “dying” to get the job).
Digital marketing and Ecommerce Job Opportunities Are Open to Anyone
Regardless of your background, there are no barriers to entry. Bernhart Associates Executive Search as a leading ecommerce recruiting agency has recruited and filled digital marketing and ecommerce job opportunities with every kind of educational, professional, and cultural background imaginable. I’ve placed attorneys, former police officers, and even a retired professional athlete into digital marketing-related career opportunities.
Digital Marketing and Ecommerce Job Opportunities Offer a Wide Range of Challenges
There aren’t too many digital marketers I know who have felt stuck in one job, for one company, for a long time. One day a marketer might be launching a podcasting or video stream project, and the next day he or she might be executing a new A/B test or doing some geotargeting. A digital marketer might work on the agency side and participate in an ever-changing roster of client projects and campaigns, or he or she might become a product specialist and develop a deep appreciation and knowledge of different markets on the client side. The work is varied, and there’s constant opportunity to learn. Furthermore, because digital marketing is so measurable and immediate, it’s a closed loop system: Digital marketing allows new ideas to be quickly tested and validated. How cool is that?
Many Digital Marketing Jobs Let You Work Where You Are – or Where You Want To Be
Digital marketing is universal. While many of the largest and best-known digital marketers are located in and around major metropolitan areas, chances are there’s a company engaging in digital marketing within commuting distance of your home. Additionally, because digital marketing is an online-intensive field, it offers more telecommuting opportunities than other industries which require a regular in-office presence.
The Best Digital Marketing and Ecommerce Recruiting Opportunities Are Yet to Come
Those who are new to digital marketing sometimes ask me if they’re too late to join the digital revolution party. I tell them the excitement is just getting started. Digital marketing is still evolving, and there is no end to its changes in sight. Digital marketing and ecommerce job opportunities offer a very promising, personally fulfilling, and financially rewarding future for candidates with the right education, the right training, and the right experience.
You might think that the last few months of the year would be a slow time for adding to staff positions in digital marketing and ecommerce. After all, for many businesses, particularly those that sell consumer products, crazy season is underway.
But you might be surprised to know that the 4th quarter traditionally is my busiest time of year as an ecommerce recruiting agency, and this year has been no exception. In fact, I have to think back many years, back to the Great Recession in 2009, in fact, when year end activity tailed off. And the very reason why Q4 heats up is the same reason why you think it might lag: The holidays.
Filling a mission critical digital commerce leadership position usually does not take a lengthy holiday break. Budgets are set, the year-end clock is ticking, and hiring decisions made in November and December help tee up managers to hit the ground running early in the New Year.
My advice for those who have positions to fill during the first quarter of 2021: Start interviewing now, if you haven’t already.
Getting a Head Start On Your Digital Marketing and Ecommerce Hiring for 2020
I always tell my employers there’s the amount of time you hope the digital marketing and ecommerce hiring process will take, and then there’s reality. For Directors and VP’s, we’re talking, realistically, 60-90 days, and more often than not, it’s closer to 90 after you factor in the back and forth of offer negotiations and giving two-week notice (which often is more like three weeks or even a month).
So, for searches starting now, you’re looking at a realistic start date possibly by the end of January. If you wait until New Year’s you may not fill that crucial digital marketing or ecommerce role until mid March or even later if your finalist still has a bonus coming. Many actively looking candidates, if given a choice, would rather give notice sooner rather than wait until Spring to make their move.
Seasonality also tends to give actively looking candidates a boost when it comes to hiring. People’s calendars this time of year fill up with trips, family gatherings, holiday parties, shopping, you name it. That means less time to devote to a job search, so it is a great time to gain an edge because of less competition.
Come January, I can guarantee you that will change.
Along with weight loss and more exercise, finding a new job is a perennial New Year’s resolution, so you’ve got a good two months to keep some distance between yourself and the coming thundering herd of new candidates. Check out this Forbes article on the advantages of job searching during the holidays.
Not only is the calendar working in your favor, so is the economy. Economic indicators are pointing up. National unemployment is at multi-decade low, wages are on the rise, each day it seems brings another new record high for the stock market, consumer confidence remains strong, and for those of us in digital commerce, here’s the best news of all: During the third quarter, online spending jumped a whopping 17% over the same period last year, so the outlook for ecommerce hiring is as strong as ever.
Contrary to what many people might believe, the next 60 days is a great time to do digital marketing and ecommerce hiring, and a great time to keep your job search in high gear. And don’t forget to send your resume to Bernhart Associates, ecommerce recruiting agency!
Where the Action Is in Digital Marketing and Ecommerce Recruiting
People often ask me as a digital marketing and ecommerce jobs recruiter: “What areas of the country are you seeing the most activity in digital marketing and ecommerce recruiter jobs?”
Since I work nationally and speak with candidates from literally dozens of cities and states during the course of any given week, I have a perspective that many others don’t have, so I thought it might be useful to share this first of its kind status report on select markets where the action seems to be (or isn’t, as the case may be), and some of the challenges employers as well as job seekers are facing:
Minneapolis- I’m going to start with my own backyard. The digital commerce scene here is vibrant and thriving, especially among smaller digital agencies. Many of the Fortune 1000’s that are based here are also adding to their digital marketing and ecommerce bench strength.
Atlanta. Most of the activity I’m seeing there is either on the agency side or with start-ups, and there seems to be plenty of it. Atlanta has been among my top markets over the past several years.
NY/CT/NJ. If I ever decided to set up a special phone line exclusively for candidates and employers in the tri-state area, the cost would be easy to justify, more so for New York and New Jersey where the calls and emails come in practically every day. The sheer number of businesses in this area with digital marketing and ecommerce jobs to fill sets this region apart. And that’s not to say it’s always easy for those who are looking. Executive level candidates can easily spend 6 -9 months landing that next opportunity, but at the lower levels, digital and ecommerce jobs in particular are abundant, particularly on the agency side where I’m seeing digital agencies scoop up highly sought after candidates in as little as one month between initial application and start-date. I actually had one search last year go down in record time in Manhattan: Offer was made on the spot during the first interview on a Friday, and the candidate started the next Monday!
Chicago. I’ve noticed that opportunities at the senior-most levels have tightened up somewhat in recent years, and some highly experienced candidates I know have ended up relocating because of it. But at the lower to middle-levels, demand remains strong.
Texas. This has been my top market for the past 3 years running. Not sure what it is, but companies down there are hungry for digital talent. Practically every candidate I’ve placed in that state received more than one offer, and all of this action is also pushing up salaries. In fact, I’m probably seeing more salary inflation there than just about anywhere else. Out-of-staters from high tax locations like the Northeast are getting an extra boost because Texas has no state income tax. Not surprisingly, Austin has been the hot bed for digital marketing and ecommerce jobs
San Francisco. Here, it’s all about the sky high cost of housing. Most of my clients don’t even ask me any more if I think I can find someone from out of state because they know what I’m going to tell them. According to the real estate firm Coldwell Banker, the 11 U.S. cities with the most expensive housing prices are in California, and six of them are in the 50-mile stretch between San Francisco and Los Gatos. That immediately limits the pool of talent to mostly home-grown, which makes the outlook especially rosy for the most in-demand local candidates in ecommerce, search and front-end development. Digital sales is also a hot category, as I found out recently when I was looking for both a sales rep and a sales manager for a digital technology start up in San Jose. New recruiting calls kept coming at my my candidates throughout the entire process. I was fortunate to hang on to one of them- credit to my client who pulled the trigger quickly.
Los Angeles. Ditto here as far cost of housing goes. Relocations are now very few and far between, but the area also has a flourishing start-up community, much of it pure play online.
Florida. You can’t have a discussion about opportunities in digital marketing and ecommerce jobs without talking about Florida, and all I can say is that there is no other place quite like it. No where is turnover higher, but all of that moving around creates openings. Living in the sunshine state has its trade-offs, including generally lower salaries compared with other markets. I get more employer calls from “down under” than anywhere else, other than the Northeast. Many of the opportunities I hear about tend to be either early stage management-owned start-ups or established businesses based in other states that are expanding operations there.
Honorable mentions go to Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Ohio and Raleigh NC.
All in all, those who want a job in this space can definitely find it, particularly if you’re willing to consider relocation. Some of the smaller markets are really struggling to find talent, and employers in those locations are rolling out the red carpet for talented out-of-staters to fill their digital marketing and ecommerce jobs.