Sales and marketing half year recruitment market update


Consumer and B2B marketers were both in significant demand during the first half of 2016, with professionals who have the ability to directly drive revenue the most in demand.

Despite some uncertainty from investors and a reduction in investment across many sectors, demand for marketing professionals in the consumer and B2B sectors remained strong during the first half of 2016.

“The B2B recruitment market has been driven by the prioritization of revenue rather than the ‘growth first and monetize later’ approach of the last few years,” said Julia Horiuchi, manager of B2B recruitment at Robert Walters.

“Companies have been taking a more thoughtful approach to hiring, looking to build sales and marketing teams with individuals who have complementary skills, and have tried to avoid some of the over-hiring that occurred in 2015.”

Salaries remain stable

While hiring in the consumer market remained active despite the increased uncertainty of the market, salary offers were more reasonable in comparison to previous years. There were also some notable downsizes, especially in Q1, with companies focusing more on burnt rate, revenue figures and overall profitability.

In the B2B sector, marketing functions that drive direct revenue remain in highest demand. Both sales and marketing professionals are expected to understand their customer and how to drive them down the sales and marketing funnel.

"In the B2B sector, marketing functions that drive direct revenue remain in highest demand."

Inbound marketers and technical sales professionals remain in high demand across industries.

Key skills in demand

On the consumer side, performance marketers/UA professionals continue to be in high demand, as well as organic growth marketers and retention marketing specialists. PR/brand marketing hiring was more subdued. Business development and sales leadership hiring was also less active than in previous years.

On the B2B side, there was growth in the developer tools and API markets resulting in an increased demand for candidates with specific experience marketing and selling to developers.

As in 2015, there was a shift of traditional products and services onto the cloud or marketplace model. Specifically technology start-ups disrupting the traditional financial services, insurance and healthcare sectors have all been on the rise in 2016.

In terms of consumer verticals, the gaming and ad-tech vertical remained quiet, but there is a noticeable increase in interest and awareness in the VR/AR space. E-commerce, retail and productivity services are seeing growth in marketing hiring.

Marketplaces and on-demand services remain popular with candidates looking to make a change, but companies in this space are running into more challenges related to their margins and how they can scale effectively.

Outlook for second half of 2016

Early 2016 had its fair share of news about the decline in business investment, a number of high profile layoffs and general uncertainty about the market. By the start of the second quarter, active hiring had resumed across both the consumer and B2B sectors, but with a focus on high value, high priority positions.

As the second half of 2016 continues, we expect this trend to follow through with companies making market-appropriate offers rather than relying on high salaries or bonuses to acquire talent.

For more information, please contact:
Debbie Zhao, Manager, Consumer
T: +1 415 549 2009

Julia Horiuchi, Manager, B2B
T: +1 415 549 2006

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