Spring is still the big time for digital recruiting. Many company companies bonus in February and March, especially those looking at their holiday sales, which means no one likes to leave with $30,000 on the table.
Hiring is slightly up for companies who don't depend on 4Q, and movement by candidates in companies where the bonus isn't assured is always a risk.
Below are my notes for October's calls - if they're useful to you, consider sharing it to your network.
1) Companies are taking too long to hire
Check this article out from Harvard Business Review. It's happening, and getting worse. Basic premise is there's a lot of risk in hiring, and execs/managers/companies are nervous about it. Companies need to improve their process, and recruiters need to address concerns on both sides. There's a lot of wasted time that occurs because "top talent" likes to be courted, but isn't honest about what they want and need.
My rule of thumb is 30 days. You have 30 days from the day the candidate feels like they are a candidate to hire. After that, not only do offers fail, but performance and retention are affected as well.
And if you're company that has a critical digital management position open for over six months, Beware! I've seen a number of companies hollowed out when management positions aren't filled.
2) Salaries about to explode in the social commerce space for the right people.
This is happening in a lot of tight areas, and nothing is tigher than social commerce right now. There are only 50 companies on the Social Media 500 with revenues over $1MM tracked to social media channels. There are 100 companies that want that, and they want it today. I anticipate Sr Manager and Director level positions rising dramatically by June of next year. At the same time, I anticipate much shorter leashes for those jobs. If they boost your salary by $20,000, you may have only a quarter to show results.
3) Salary matters less then budget and authority
The really competent in this space range from the technical to the analytic to super managers. In the last month, I've heard dozens of times that salary is less important than budget commitment and authority. Salary still matters, but a big bump in pay is less important than infrastructure and marketing department integration. Great social and digital leaders need senior level executive champions who commit to letting them create working campaigns. It's not about a $10MM ad campaign. It can be $100,000, as long as you get the full amount and are allowed to complete the campaign.
4) Telecommuting is a huge unmet need
Big Brand experience can be important in this space. Apple is not the same as Pete's Apple Emporium. But the number of large firms with a big digital presence can be very limited in a single city that isn't San Francicso or New York or Dallas. There are some very talented people who can't uproot their families, but would travel or take telecommuting jobs with large brands.
Companies don't like this, of course. They want to see if you make it before they let you work remotely, so there's a tension there that should be interesting. The companies that figure out telecommuting or commit to remote teams are going to be big winners, or...candidates will just have to move for new jobs. Hard to tell where in the cycle we are.
5) 1 out of 5 of you has what it takes
When I first committed to social media headhunting in 2008, 80% of the people I spoke with had never taken a check for what they claimed they could do. Now, most people get checks, but they're wildly optimistic about their impact on the company.
Well, social is now a preference layer instead of a skillset, so integration with the company is a must. It's fascinating, because social piggybacked on the old fight between Digital and Print (or Creative or Traditional), and now, full integration really is a powerful tool. Combining Direct Mail with Television with Email with Social with Sales is hard to do, but many of you are getting good at it. 1 out of 5 that I talk to understand it and have done it.
That's good news for companies, who now are told "this person exists," instead of "um, let me look around."
About These Reports
These reports are going to start coming monthly, as a way for me to keep notes and track trends while I'm on the phone. Expect to see more writing here as I'm now focused 100% on the recruiting side of the house for Brandstorming, and am no longer taking marketing or outsourcing contracts.
Our sweet spot is going to be executive search in Digital/Social/Web/Content/Email/Analytics in the 100-180K salary range in the US, focusing on the South, Midwest, Mountain West, and Southern California.
If we're not connected, do so now. Go ahead and call me a friend to connect. You're reading, the blog, right?
If you follow me on Twitter, RT or favorite something I write, and I'll follow back so you can do a confidential DM. I don't live tweet to people who may be looking.