Surprising Hiring Trends for Senior Level Marketers

Posted by Elise Van Buskirk on July 15, 2009

As recruiters, we expect to see specific hiring trends during economic downturns. Historically, we anticipate increases in contract/freelance staffing because corporations, which are in the midst of hiring freezes, have laid-off large numbers of marketing and communications pros. With a skeleton staff and the same daunting workload, the inevitable outcome is that organizations bring on contract/freelance staff to fill the gap.

Generally the most common need is for mid-level talent with 5-10 years of experience.  The senior level positions are less often requested because strategies have been set and companies want simply to execute on plans.  But 2009 has not played by the standard rules.

While we are seeing an increase in contract/freelance hires, we’ve been surprised that another trend has emerged: our staff is recruiting for a significant number of senior and executive level marketing openings across a broad range of industries.  

Most recently, we’ve recruited for a CMOs, VPs and Directors of Marketing across a wide variety of industries including retail, telecom, health and beauty and tech.

 The question: Why the change in upper management at this time?

Are these executive level openings a result of the company taking their business in a different direction, and, thus, needing a new leader with fresh thinking? Perhaps this recession has provided management with the opportunity to clean house and let go of senior marketing staff that have not been able to make a measurable impact. It may be a case of organizational growth despite this challenging environment. Some suggest it may be a case of attrition. Or perhaps it is simply an anomaly that we alone are experiencing within our recruitment practice.

To find the answers or at least further the conversation, we are reaching out to our community of Marketing Professionals. As marketers on the front lines, we’re interested in hearing directly from you. Click here to take a five question survey about hiring trends within your organization. We’ll be sharing the findings with our readers, and individual responses will remain confidential. And feel free to comment on the subject here. We value your insight, your questions and your feedback. 

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