2016: Year in Review

It’s hard to believe 2016 is already coming to an end! Much has happened in the past 12 months, and we wanted to share with you some of our observations as we march forward into the new year. A quick look back on what mattered to you as you considered career moves this year:

Industries of Interest

Sales in the Digital Age.

As a recruitment and talent consulting firm that specializes primarily in b2b sales positions, it was perhaps unsurprising that the vast majority of our candidates were primarily interested in new business sales opportunities (compared to Account Management/Customer Success, Marketing/PR, or HR/Recruitment).

When it came to industry, 47% of you were primarily interested in digital media and digital advertising sales, compared to other industries including SaaS, Business Intelligence, and Traditional Media. This ratio reflects our client base this year, with the majority of our searches falling into digital advertising (both b2b and consumer media, cross platform, including mobile and video, as well as ad technology). Our second and third largest categories were SaaS/Platform Sales, and analytics/business intelligence, respectively.

We found that there continues to be a “war for talent" in the SaaS space. Individuals with experience in SaaS and AdTech were highly coveted, with companies offering higher than average compensation packages to bring them on board.

What this means for:

Hiring Managers: If you are one of the many seeking candidates with SaaS or AdTech experience, be aware that the market is saturated. The more personalized the approach, the more likely you are to hear back from a desirable candidate. With inflated compensation packages becoming the industry standard (at least for the moment), you’ll do well to make yourself competitive in the market (which may mean getting a little creative with the structure of your compensation plan).

Job Seekers: If you have several years of SaaS or AdTech experience, you can probably attest to the efforts other companies have made to recruit you! If you don’t have SaaS or AdTech experience but are looking to make a career transition, taking a step back to get into that industry could be a smart, strategic move for your future. The SaaS industry doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon, so gaining that experience now will help you further your career in the long run.

Describe your ideal next position. While the majority of you don’t have a preference on the size of the company you join (you were open to anything from a large, global, household name to a small start-up), there were some clear opinions on what qualities you consider when assessing your next position. Career Growth, Compensation, and Positive Corporate Culture were by far the most important aspects, making up the “Top 3” list for 58% of our applicants this year.

Top Qualities You Seek

Top 3 Quality Combinations

What this means for:

Hiring Managers: Good news for those of you who never had beer on tap anyway! And for those who do, now is a good time to highlight other aspects of your company has to offer (i.e., career growth and overall corporate environment). This trend could be due to a combination of factors, including the anticipated bust in the start-up environment (the breeding ground for the fully stocked kitchen, beer on tap, and in-office game room), and the commonality of such perks that they are no longer deemed special or exciting.

Job Seekers: Be honest with yourself about what’s a “need to have” versus a “nice to have”, and move forward accordingly. Once you establish the necessary qualities, make sure that you are asking the best questions to assess each opportunity. For example, if “career growth” is a “need to have” for you, you should walk away from an interview process knowing exactly where the position will lead you within the company, what percentage of employees have successfully moved through that path, and where this opportunity positions you within the industry and for your career long-term.

Your job search experience. When we inquired about the status of your search so far, we found that over 80% of you were not currently working with other recruiters. Regarding the challenges you’ve been facing, a range of responses emerged. The top 5 issues you’ve been dealing with as you explore other opportunities include finding the right overall fit, transitioning into a new industry or job function, balancing your job search with your full-time job, finding a company with the right culture, and finding an opportunity that allows for career growth. Among the “Other” category, we found that a number of you were grappling with explaining a jumpy resume, finding a position that offered the right compensation, and finding opportunities in general.

Challenges in Search

What this means for:

Hiring Managers: One thing we hear time and again is that you are looking for a candidate who is killing it in their current sales role. Be aware that successful sales people often have meetings pop up unexpectedly. While timeliness and reliability is key, it pays to be understanding when an interview has to get rescheduled last minute due to work related meetings. Just think: if you hire them, your company will be the beneficiary of their commitment, making you their top priority.

Job Seekers: You are not alone! The job search is overwhelming for everyone, so first and foremost, take a deep breath. Assess your challenges and strategize ways to overcome them accordingly. If making a career transition is your struggle, identify what enables you to make that transition, successes you've had in your previous role and tell your career narrative in a way that highlights those aspects. If timing is your trouble, be diligent—block out a chunk of time daily (more on the weekends), and stick with it. It’s as much about the efficiency of your search as it is about timing. 

Content you care about. We posted a record number of blogs for our boutique firm this past year, and we’ve been keeping an eye on the topics you’ve been most interested in reading. Of the content we published, the top 5 most viewed pieces covered subjects including Hiring, Training, Digital Media, Job Search, and Women’s Rights.

Going Forward.  First and foremost, thank you all for being such good friends to our firm. We will continue to ask questions regarding what matters to you, and will report back next year regarding how industry trends shifted or changed between 2016 and 2017. Whether you are a hiring manager or a candidate, if there is anything specific that you’d like for us to watch for in 2017, let us know! We want to be able to provide you with the most interesting, relevant, useful information as possible.

Cheers to a bright and prosperous New Year!