Employers are having a tough time staffing up across all industries. “A homebuilder related that a landscaper had hired 20 laborers in early February and none showed up for work,” the Fed’s latest beige book said. “One restaurant had begun offering $1,000 if workers stayed for at least 90 days.”
The story is similar in the marketing industry. There has been a rise in activity on marketing job boards, Slack groups and even on #MarketingTwitter –– often from companies jockeying to get in front of experienced candidates.
If you are feeling the crunch, unable to find qualified senior marketers, you aren’t alone. As with so many sectors, the pandemic caused a shift in marketing, making it harder than ever to hire experts right now. Here is what happened –– and what you can do about it.
Expert marketers have flocked to the creator economy.
Many marketers have been lured away from their full-time jobs by the creator economy, where they can directly make money from their social followers and professional networks. And many of those marketers refuse to go back to the 9-5 grind.
Why would they, when they can build a pipeline of high-paying consulting clients by selling online marketing courses and newsletter subscriptions? This creative economy playbook gives experts several lines of income, where they easily outearn their full-time positions while working less hours.
At least, that’s the dream. Several marketers have done it. Chase Dimond, for example, who has had thousands of people buy his online email marketing course in 2021 alone. He sells it for $749. Or, look at Louis Grenier, who was the former marketing lead for HotJar. He now runs a popular podcast called Everyone Hates Marketers and teaches other freelancers how to stand out.
The perils of the creator economy
For every Dimond out there, though, there are thousands of marketers struggling in the creator economy. In fact, according to The Harvard Business Review, the top 1% of creators earn 80% of income. Only 2% of creators on Patreon earn the federal minimum wage.
The creator economy is a grind all its own. You need a strong personal brand, which means being online constantly, posting and responding on social media and growing your audience.
Not all marketers want to do that –– nor do all marketers have that skill.
Marketing has several more technical disciplines within it, many of which require absolutely no expertise in audience-building.
“The very best technical marketers, from a Facebook and Google standpoint — they don’t like being stuck with one company,” former ZipRecruiter CMO Ed Fu told MarketerHire.
But, most PPC experts aren’t out there growing large social audiences. Instead, they pick up clients the old-fashioned way: fantastic work and word-of-mouth.
Many use MarketerHire, the leading digital marketing talent platform, which connects companies to expert digital marketers in as little as 48 hours. For expert marketing freelancers, the platform is an insurance program, protecting them from the times of famine infamous among freelancers.
Junior marketers are building massive audiences, but lack integrated experience.
Outside of the top 1% of marketing creators, there is another issue affecting how well companies can hire experts. This time, it isn’t about an expert marketer’s unwillingness to join a company full-time. Instead, it’s about the ability to even tell who is an expert and who is just gaming a social algorithm.
In 2020, marketers spent more time than ever on social platforms –– learning TikTok, testing out Clubhouse, and, for a lot of them, offering advice on LinkedIn and Twitter, and growing their audience.
Building an audience is a fast-track to marketing expertise, teaching you how to tell stories and honing your ability to understand and predict engagement trends.
But because there are no standardized ways to test for marketing expertise, companies looking to hire expert marketers have found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, asking a very important question:
How can you tell which marketers actually know how to do what they preach?
Marketing is far more, after all, than audience-building capabilities, especially at a senior level. Senior marketers or channel specialists need to know how to manage budgets, build strategies, grow teams, measure their impact and report it back to the larger company, and so much more.
And, now, many of them need to know how to do that in a remote work environment.
The power of pre-vetting
Premium talent platforms like MarketerHire strive to cut through that noise and provide a rigorous pre-vetting process to help companies hire the right person, at the right time, no matter their social clout.
Unlike talent platforms like Fiverr or UpWork, MarketerHire only accepts the top 5% of marketers into the network – testing marketer’s abilities and skills, and calling their references to make sure it was actually them who did the work.
Expert marketers interview and recruit other expert marketers – and companies are presented to only one expert at a time. This helps to reduce decision paralysis so companies can move faster with hiring the right marketing expert. It’s also just plain fair to the marketer.
Market leaders like HelloFresh to start-ups like House of Wise leverage MarketerHire to bring on the absolute best marketer for their projects — in under a week.
Marketing can be your strategic advantage
With tools like Shopify and no-code interfaces making it easier than ever to start a digital business, marketing strategy and expert execution have become the primary way to differentiate and grow.
It doesn’t have to take months to find those experts. You don’t have to spend a large sum of your bootstrapped budget or venture capital to recruit them, either.
All you need to be is flexible on your hiring terms. Do you really need that growth marketer in-house, or could they build a go-to-marketer strategy for your project, A/B test initiatives, and get you the numbers you need with only 20 hours a week of work?
The future of work is here –– and it’s heralded in by expert marketers choosing flexibility over full-time, whether they consider themselves creators or not. Companies can choose flexibility, too, with talent platforms like MarketerHire.