digital marketing recruitmentIt’s December, when everyone’s thoughts turn to the coming winter, end of year bonuses and … should I be thinking about a career move with the New Year just around the corner?  It’s good to think often about your career, and not just during the Fall.  I talk and write a lot about building your personal brand, something every working professional in digital marketing and ecommerce should be doing as often as they get their hair cut.   No doubt about it- the demand for skilled talent in all aspects of online commerce is growing.  2016 will very likely go down as the busiest year ever here at Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, in terms of digital marketing recruitment activity, particularly on the services, technology and agency side.

For 2017, here’s what I see on the digital marketing hiring front:

-Assuming the overall economy doesn’t slip into a full blown recesssion, I expect another record year in terms of digital marketing and ecommerce hiring, and the volume of searches coming into my office.  The shift towards digital is in high gear and I expect the number of posted job openings in digital marketing and ecommerce to reach record highs. Competition for top talent will continue to be fierce. Just to give you an idea how heated it is, I just completed a search during which I lost four candidates to competing offers before I ever had a chance to arrange first interviews.  One of them received three offers.  In 2017, there will be a new wave of digital marketing hiring coming from businesses within industries that are relative newcomers to digital, such as healthcare, manufacturing, and technology-driven start-ups. I had more start-up related searches in 2016 than any prior year.
-I see no big change in the “quit rate.”  The US Labor Department actually tracks this, and according to the government, three million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs during the summer. Obviously, an action like that is not something you’re ordinarily going to consider unless you’re pretty confident about your ability to quickly land another job. Marketers with good skills and good track records are having no difficulty finding other opportunities while keeping their current ones, so the “take this job and shove it” index should continue to track at low levels.
– Everyone wants to know about salaries. It’s a rare candidate who doesn’t get a bump in compensation, and in fact, some job-to-job increases have been sizeable.  Most employers have fairly accurate data on market compensation in digital marketing hiring and ecommerce hiring, so I don’t expect a lot of sticker shock when it come to knowing what they need to pay. For the most in-demand job categories such as search and content, salary increases of up to 20% or even 25% won’t be uncommon for candidates with solid skills and strong track records.
-Relocation allowances will improve. They have to. Many employers have been getting by with very minimal moving packages in their digital marketing hiring, but with competition heating up even candidates at the most junior levels are going to expect, and will receive, basic assistance, i.e., moving their belongings and some temp housing.
-Layoff rates in this space are significantly below the national average. Barring an unexpected jolt to the economy, no change there expected in 2017.
-Most candidates who tender unexpected resignations will receive counter offers. Don’t get me started on this: I’m definitely not a fan of counters, but in the world of digital marketing and ecommerce, and among the most sought after candidates, assume they’ll happen.
-Amazon will get bigger.


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 digital marketing recruitment in the Thought Leadership section of the Bernhart Associates website.

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