Marketers seek career opportunities fit for post-pandemic future

New research conducted at the end of last year by recruitment firm Hays alongside the Chartered Institute of Marketing, has provided new insights into marketers’ views towards the workplace and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research finds that six in 10 marketers (60%) plan to change jobs within the year, with 38% anticipating they would make the move before May 2021. Appetite that is mirrored by industry demand, with 67% of marketing employers planning to hire in 2021.

The data suggests that marketers’ expectations have changed; seeking roles and career opportunities that reflect fundamental shifts brought about by the pandemic.

Even those not looking for new jobs are looking for workplace changes. Half of marketers said that they were considering career changes in the next year as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Of those marketers:

  • 61% said that they planned to make changes to their working practices and find a new role that is more of a mix of hybrid working. 17% said they planned to find a new role based completely remotely.

  • 42% said they planned to make changes to their skills and prioritise upskilling in their current profession.

  • And 22% said they planned to make changes to their career paths entirely, and find a role with a greater purpose.

Chris Daly, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Marketing commented: “It’s clear that as lockdown eases, and the roadmap to recovery providing further clarity to brands and their marketing activities for the year ahead, that marketers are looking to new beginnings. Whether that be investing in their professional development, an increased focus on well-being or a change in the way they work moving forward, 2020 has given them a period on which to reflect and rethink.”

Pandemic has had a significant impact on marketers’ job satisfaction

2020 has seen job satisfaction for marketers significantly impacted as a result of the pandemic. The research showed:

  • A third (33%) of respondents rated their current job satisfaction as dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. Marketers identified a lack of career progression (50%), a lack of career development opportunities (45%) and a lack of job security (44%) as the top reasons for their dissatisfaction.

  • 35% of marketers said that their job satisfaction had worsened during the pandemic.

  • And 81% identified some level of concern about the wider economic climate and the employment opportunities it may or may not create in the next 2-5 years.

Yet marketers also recognised that the pandemic year had associated benefits. The majority of marketers that have needed to work from home in 2020 rated their experience positively; 65% rated the impact of remote working on their organisation as positive.

Which also explains why marketers view hybrid working as a fundamental shift within their workplace. Only 4% of respondents said that they would prefer to work fully from the office in the next year, while 42% said they wanted the majority to be remote with some in the office and 26% opted for a 50/50 split spending half the week in the office, and half remotely.

Previous research by Hays and CIM conducted in August 2020 found that 55% of marketers planned to request to continue working remotely once lockdown ended, and clearly the desire for flexible working as restrictions ease is growing more important.

Daly continued: “Without a doubt, marketing professionals have been tested to their limits as the pandemic saw brands and consumer priorities change overnight. But what is clear is that marketers’ ability to adapt in challenging circumstances has highlighted their resilience. Marketers will still face challenges in 2021, budgets are still in decline and the landscape for some sectors remains uncertain, but this research shows that marketers are eager to evolve and create changes that help them to succeed.”

The research also captured views on the role of the physical workspace. 74% of those surveyed said that their workplace would not return to the way it was before the Covid-19 pandemic. When discussing the workplace changes required once restrictions ease, 45% of marketers believed their existing office space was not fit for purpose and would need reconfiguring, while 32% say that improved access to technology would be necessary.

Clare Kemsley, Managing Director of Hays Marketing, said: “We’ve seen increased opportunity for marketing professionals since the start of 2021 – and mirroring our research the intention is there to hire for employers. Technical marketing skills are high in demand, such as CRM, UX and data analytics as employers look to increase their teams and re-start projects as restrictions continue to ease across the UK. 

“For professionals looking for a new job, it’s wise to stay ahead of what skills employers are looking for and what skills will help you to get your next job. Consider how you can articulate these in both the application and interview process. Soft skills are important, and even more sought after now. 

“The next step for employers is to develop a competitive recruitment strategy. Today’s job seeker is very different to just six months ago. It’s vital therefore that employers appreciate how the pandemic has changed job seekers’ priorities and refresh their hiring strategy. Doing this will help them draw in the talent they need to put their organisation on the road to recovery.” 

To download the full Hays report click here.

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