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, the crazy season is about to begin. But you might be surprised to know that the October through December period traditionally is my busiest time of year, 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 fourth quarter 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 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 they want filled during the first quarter of 2018: Start interviewing NOW. It may seem early, but 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’d be looking at a start date possibly as soon as mid-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 just as soon give notice sooner rather than waiting until next 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.
Not only is the calendar working in your favor, so is the economy. Many key indicators are pointing in a very positive direction. National unemployment is at a ten year low, wages are on the rise, each day it seems brings another new 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 second quarter, more than 12% of total retail spending occurred on the web, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, a whopping 16% jump over the year before (The government will report Q3 online retail sales on November 17).
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.
Jerry Bernhart, Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, is one of the nation’s preeminent and veteran executive recruiters in ecommerce, digital and multichannel marketing, and CRM. With more than 80 published LinkedIn articles, Jerry is the “voice” of best practices in the recruitment and hiring of ecommerce and digital marketing professionals. Jerry is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Careers in Ecommerce and Digital Marketing,” on Amazon, and participates in many leading digital marketing and ecommerce conferences. Jerry has been recruiting and placing marketing professionals for more than 28 years. Check out Jerry’s other insights on the Thought Leadership section of the Bernhart Associates website.
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