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Can You Keep Your Marketers From Packing Their Bags for Another Job?

8 minute read
Dom Nicastro avatar
LinkedIn has released its latest report on marketing jobs and skills trends. What's the message to marketing leaders?

Companies want marketers perhaps more than ever. Many marketers don’t want to work for certain companies.

What are we supposed to do with these findings?

LinkedIn’s new global data on marketing jobs last month found a 374% growth in marketing jobs in 2021 and 1.3 million-plus marketing jobs posted.

A win for marketers, no doubt. Plenty of work, right? But are those same marketers happy where they are? Not all of them. LinkedIn reported a 31% year-over-year increase in job changes for LinkedIn members within the marketing industry and 618,000 marketing job departures in 2021.

“More and more marketers left their jobs in 2021 than ever before because they want to prioritize work-life balance, compensation and company culture,” Connie Chen, insights program manager at LinkedIn, told CMSWire.

“Marketing leaders should take this time to understand how they can create a better working environment for their team members to ensure that they can attract and retain talent. When companies prioritize their talent it goes a long way; happy employees are more likely to recommend their company to others, which can buoy recruiting efforts and the bottom line.”

Attracting Marketing Talent Starts From Within

The marketing findings come amid a time of great change in the larger workplace post-COVID-19’s arrival in early 2020.

LinkedIn saw nearly 40% growth in year-over-year job changes by users. It also reported worker happiness fell 3.5% from 2020 to 2021, and employees who feel cared for are 3.7 times more likely to recommend working for their company. Compared to pre-pandemic, almost 50% more workers are likely to recommend their employer based on whether they feel cared for, according to LinkedIn’s findings. 

Work-life balance topped both compensation and benefits and company culture as top priorities for employees. Overall, 40% of job seekers considered company culture a top priority when looking for their next position.

And employees want more options now in terms of where and how they work. Nearly 90% of employees want to remain remote most of the time, and 65% of job searches were for remote-only positions. LinkedIn saw an 83% increase in job postings mentioning “flexibility.”

“The workforce is showing that if marketing leaders want to attract the best talent, it must start from within,” said Anastasia Pavlova, CMO at Uberflip. “Employees want a culture of transparency, trust, diversity and inclusion throughout the workplace. They desire ongoing learning and development, and a workplace that offers challenging, rewarding and flexible opportunities.”

Related Article: Top Marketing Skills and Traits for 2022

Embedding Diversity in Marketing Recruiting

So what’s the message to marketing leaders about the significant moves marketers are making in the workplace?

Diversification in recruiting practices is a good start, according to LinkedIn’s Chen. It should be noted that while on the move, marketers sharpen skills along the way: social media advertising skills landed on LinkedIn profiles at an increase of 102% year-over-year, followed by Instagram at 96%, presentation skills at 89% and content marketing at 79%.

“Today, marketing candidates are more educated than ever due to increased access to resources that can up-level their skills at virtually no cost,” Chen said. “A great marketer can come from any background, education or experience. In addition, The Great Reshuffle caused marketers to rethink where, why and how they work. Recruiters should also think about diversifying the pool in which they find good candidates in parallel.”

In addition to looking for those who have the skills to do the job, she added, recruiters should also consider a candidate’s work to foster company culture, investment in their career mobility and ability to lead by example. “By considering these factors, not only will you find a great marketer, you’ll be able to keep great marketers as well,” Chen said.

In order to retain talent, marketing leaders should provide opportunities for employees to grow their careers and continue their education, whether it is in their current function or elsewhere across the company, to spark creativity, sharpen their skills and stay engaged, Chen added.

Related Article: Where Should Your Marketing Teams Focus Their Skills Training

Support Learning and Development Opportunities for Marketers

The growing marketing skillsets findings mean marketing leaders need to provide ongoing learning, development and training opportunities for marketers, according to Pavlova. It will demonstrate companies support career development and professional growth.

The top growing skills for marketers on LinkedIn from 2020 to 2021 include:

  • Social media advertising: 102%
  • Instagram: 96%
  • Presentation skills: 89%
  • Content marketing: 79%
  • Brands Awareness: 57%
  • Campaign management: 52%
  • Branding: 47%
  • Creative Problem Solving: 44%
  • Facebook marketing: 40%
  • Social media optimization: 39%

Ironically, it’s not too far off from what was hot on LinkedIn from the fastest-growing marketing skills five years ago:

  • Instagram
  • Hootsuite
  • Content marketing
  • Twitter
  • Facebook marketing
  • Ecommerce SEO
  • Pinterest
  • Social media
  • Marketing
  • Inbound marketing

Another report five years ago did differ from today’s marketing skills:

  • Digital advertising
  • Social marketing
  • Website design/development
  • Content development
  • Mobile marketing

“Hard skills have always been in high demand, but as the martech space has exploded with thousands of applications, the need for employees that are highly trained, educated and experienced has also grown exponentially,” Pavlova said.

Learning Opportunities

“In an age of social media and streaming entertainment, martech leaders are seeing a convergence of B2B and B2C into business to human (B2H), and consumers are expecting companies to deliver in areas of personalization. This means companies are needing workers with training in social media advertising, platforms like Instagram and content marketing to deliver personalized content experiences.”

Uberflip has a learning and development initiative in place for ongoing skill-building for employees. This initiative includes more than 100,000 online courses with Udemy, and employees take three courses a month. These are selected by each employee, management and HR, and all support personal growth, career development and company growth. The initiative also includes lunch and learn events throughout the year and a Continuing Education Program that supports participation in conferences, workshops and resources for additional training.

Related Article: 4 Skills to Look For When Hiring a Marketing Manager

Looking for Marketers With a ‘Growth Mindset’

Uberflip’s hiring process aims to ensure potential team members have the necessary skills to perform their jobs. It conducts 1:1 interviews and panel interviews and requires presentations for senior-level roles.

“In addition to technical skills, we value team members that are eager to continuously learn and look for candidates with a growth mindset,” Pavlova said. The marketing space is in need of employees that are passionate, creative, entrepreneurial, strong technically and are natural collaborators and problem solvers, she added.

“At Uberflip, we look for people who are H.U.S.T.L.E., which stands for heart, unique, skill, tech, lean and entrepreneurial. What a recruiter will look for will ultimately depend on the role the company is hiring for, the function that role plays and the company’s size. At a foundational level there are attributes that make a potential team member stand out.”

These include their unique accomplishments, tenure in a current role of two or more years, being a thought leader in the specific function or industry the company or role is in and experience with a company that has significantly grown. Further, from entry-level employees to senior leaders, the workforce is emphasizing company culture as a priority, and companies in the martech space are following suit.

“In fact, Uberflip prioritizes culture first, before product and revenue,” Pavlova said.

Keep Your Eyes on Consumer Trends

Composing your marketing team and attracting top marketers should dovetail consumer trends, according to Judd Marcello, chief marketing officer at FarEye. The pandemic changed the idea of work from home from a now-and-then thing to an everyday thing, and it changed the way companies connect with consumers, specifically as it relates to marketing. Everything has become an online proposition for buying and selling, especially if you are a B2C brand. 

“Marketers embraced the idea of digital transformation when it came to modernizing methods to create and capture demand for their products,” Marcello said. “It forced marketing teams to rethink what was possible and deliver on it. And they did it from the comfort of their own homes.”

So why do they keep moving?

The next generation of marketing leaders is looking to make a difference and do it on their terms, Marcello said. “Looking at the top growing marketing skills from 2020–2021, they are all skills used in online jobs — without being in the office,” he said. “Marketers are now evaluating their next move based on the quality of life offered, not just on the comp offered.”

Building up marketing skills always starts with the customer. The new skills that people seek are a direct reflection of changing consumer buying behaviors, Marcello added. 

“If you understand how the consumer experience has changed, you know that online is rapidly becoming the norm over traditional in-store,” Marcello said.

“The new norm has a massive implication for marketers connecting with buyers and responding to their needs. If we design career/skills development with an inside-out mindset, we'll constantly be serving the consumer's needs with marketing methods that demonstrate cutting-edge marketing skill sets.”