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Top marketing talent requires ‘salary-plus.’ Here’s what they are asking for

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By Kenneth Hein | US Editor

December 6, 2021 | 6 min read

In this edition of The Recruiter’s Corner, Spencer Stuart leadership consultant Tatia Torrey tells us what brands must do to attract top marketers, as well as what job seekers should keep in mind when seeking that next great role.

Salary Plus

Cash isn’t king anymore in this talent market

Two musts for companies that want to win over top talent

1. Employers need to offer flexibility and salary-plus. Demand is at an all-time high. The pandemic really changed the market and pushed businesses in a variety of ways. And the great resignation – as a result of employees and people just generally changing their perspectives – has made the conversations that we’re having with candidates dramatically different. Successful employers are really keeping that top of mind and putting their workforce, their employees and their culture first. And they are understanding the need to be flexible.

Salaries are at an all-time high, but really, they’re looking for salary plus. They’re looking for things such as flexibility beyond location, but also flexibility in structure, in their autonomy and how they work with their teams. They’re looking for what their experience will be like with a business. What is the culture like and what is a company doing for them on their journey?

You’re seeing a lot more focus on professional development. Businesses are trying a variety of things that offer an employee-first mentality to try to be attractive beyond just compensation at this point.

2. Employers need to hire faster. The speed is very different. Because of the virtual world, companies can meet more people and move faster. Because the demand is so high, they’re often eager and feel like they may be behind the eight ball in terms of being able to get someone in place. There’s an increased sense of urgency.

Two key lessons for job seekers

1. Identify exactly what you want to do and offer proof points for how you can do it. It’s a candidates’ market right now. If you’re looking for a new opportunity, identify what that is and then craft your story so that you’re ready to express it at any time. Then as you’re networking, do it purposefully and be ready to share those compelling reasons that you’re the right person for the role.

Even as you investigate where you might want to go, capturing your success stories is important because you start to see what motivates you and what gets you excited. That can help you steer out of your direction in terms of what you’re looking for. Don’t get lost in LinkedIn. Really identify and be purposeful about what you want to do and the people you want to meet, and then leverage your network in that way.

2. Listen. Do your research. Don’t forget the basics. Listen. That’s a big one. Don’t go into an interview and talk the entire time. And do your research upfront. That’s important as well. It’s kind of surprising when someone doesn’t do the research prior to the interview, especially at an executive level.

What companies want in a chief marketer today

We’re looking for learning agility and curiosity. The ability for a leader to communicate vision and strategy to all audiences with clarity. Someone who has the ability to educate and motivate teams.

We’re also looking for somebody who’s an inspirational storyteller. Not only because they’re basically telling the brand story in the marketplace, but also because more and more brands are being held to stand for something – and so that sense of purpose. They have to ensure that the story is checking all these boxes while not losing sight of driving growth. There are multiple demands.

What retail companies are looking for when it comes to marketing roles

Retail is really an amazing industry to be working in right now. It was going through such a transformation prior to the pandemic, but the pandemic really pushed it tremendously. Early on, we saw an increasing demand for supply chain and digital, which is kind of obvious, and that continues to this day. We’ve seen a bit of an increase in demand for operations roles. But from a marketing perspective, we’re seeing the need for data and analytics. We’re seeing an increase in brand roles in general and with in-house media. Retail and other businesses are starting to bring these marketing roles more and more in-house.

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