By Sophie O'Sullivan & Michael Corso

The following report aims to highlight several of the major trends witnessed first-hand in the recruitment processes of Q1 2022 and provide insight on future developments within the Investment Management Marketing space.

This should be a useful tool to guide our clients in best practice and to help attract, secure, and onboard high-quality candidates.

Market Overview

While we may have seen growth stagnate throughout 2020 and early 2021, within the Investment Management Marketing Industry we have witnessed a significant surge in hiring activity and we, as specialist recruiters in this space, remain cautiously optimistic this growth is here to stay for the remainder of 2022. As companies quickly bounce back post-pandemic, there has emerged a clear desire for new growth and innovation at every level. For many of our clients, a strong marketing strategy is at the crux of future growth plans, as the presence of a robust marketing strategy signals that a firm remains a forward-looking, industry leader.

With increasing recognition of the importance of the Marketing function for market players, both small and large, we have seen a significant increase in the recruitment for the following roles:

  • Marketing Executives
  • Marketing Managers
  • Communications Managers
  • RFP Writers/Managers
  • Product Marketing Specialists

For each of these positions, demand continues to outpace the available candidate pool, resulting in a highly competitive market and an even greater need to employ the services of specialist recruiters with a diverse network and access to so-called ‘passive’ candidates in the market.

For our clients, it is now crucial to fully understand and appreciate firstly, how best to attract talent and then how best to run processes in order to secure said talent.
Attracting the Talent

Career Progression

The question “Where do they envision this role being in a year?” is one that remains at the forefront of every candidate’s mind. There is a common misconception that salaries are the number one determining factor behind a candidate’s decision to explore new opportunities. While a competitive salary or potential uplift in compensation may initially spark interest in a vacancy, we have seen that career progression and a strong developmental plan can really enhance our client’s ability to secure top talent without breaking the bank.

As the UK’s cost-of-living remains on the rise and companies are looking to reintegrate their employees back into the office environment, it is crucial that employers highlight and emphasise the long-term benefits available to candidates and how the businesses can offer opportunities to improve future financial position within realistic and achievable timelines.
We understand that budgets are set, and it is often difficult to entertain candidates who fall outside of the range, however providing a plan to a candidate on how the business can support them to achieving that financial goal in the future may develop confidence in your brand and culture and in turn lead to mutually beneficial arrangements for both parties.

Furthermore, providing candidates with the ability to carve out their own career path is fundamental to attracting junior marketers, many of whom are cautious of pigeon-holing themselves into one specific discipline of the marketing function. Clients that can offer broader scope in terms of role remit and progression are likely to attract the strongest candidates on the market in 2022.

Salary Landscape

Understanding salaries and benchmarking is a pivotal part of the life of a recruiter. We are your eyes and ears in the market, speaking with candidates each day to understand exactly what they are earning and how they are positioning themselves in the market. Such insights can prove vital for our clients, who can use the information to confidently evaluate whether the internal budgets are in line with the market expectations and whether they are setting themselves up for success by taking a vacancy to market in the correct way.

Too often we see roles advertised with a considerable disparity between the desired level of seniority and the salary on offer and as a result, the market penetration that follows is minimal. Prior to taking your role to market, it is important to make sure the salary offer is not falling far below the standard market rate as it may discourage candidates from throwing their hat in the race from the outset.

In order to attract the right quality of candidates, clients must be flexible in terms of not only their salary offerings, but also in terms their working model, bonuses, or stock options. In cases where we have seen packages that have been lacklustre or below market rate, jobs have remained open for a lengthy period with little traction and engagement from candidates.Branding &
Reputation

It is crucial for firms to fully realise the implications of competing with a vast array of other competitors for the attention of candidates, and with the market as competitive as this, your firm’s reputation matters. In this space, a positive reputation has the potential to position your heads and shoulders above your competitors in attracting good talent.

Often only a whisper of a negative experience from a colleague is enough to close off large swathes of the candidate pool from your brand. The key to having the right candidates applying to your roles will require strong reputational management and the discovery of a strong visual identity – a feature these marketing gurus will be keenly aware of.

ESG

Sustainable investing and investing in progress is an industry-wide hot topic at the moment. Employers who recognise sustainability and weave those considerations into the investment portfolios are better positioned to access talent who are aligned with these values.
Throughout Q1, we have not only seen an increase in mandates focusing on ESG, but also requests on the candidate side for more information on how clients are approaching the broader ESG issue, as well as opportunities to gain exposure through education or working on ESG related projects.

Top tier candidates are highly malleable and shift with industry expectations. As such, providing exposure to the ESG landscape is highly advised. However, what is greatly valued by our candidates is a firm that publicly and clearly prides itself as a market leader within this space, a firm that backs up rhetoric with concrete action.

Managing Hiring Processes

Navigating through a candidate driven market

Undoubtedly, 2022 can be declared the ‘Year of the Candidate’ – particularly within the marketing sector, where many candidates we speak to report back feelings of facing a ‘choice paralysis’. Power has truly shifted away from the employer and candidates are privy to this fact.

Given this, candidates are less likely to ‘settle’ for what they perceive to be ‘second best’ opportunities, they now have a wealth of career opportunities at their doorstep and, for perhaps the first time, the salary offering is not necessarily the driving factor behind their decision. In a market where candidates can afford to be selective in their applications and processes, the onus is on firms to run effective and efficient processes.

Too often this quarter we have seen clients miss out on an opportunity to secure stellar talent due to failure to keep pace with the speed of the hiring market when it comes to arranging interviews, progressing strong candidates, and delivering offers.

In this hyperactive market, running processes effectively and efficiently remains a top priority for any firm keen to secure high-quality talent. All too often, we see firms disengage with candidates for several weeks due to extended internal deliberations. However, this disengagement is a two-way street, and delays in your processes ultimately leave candidates feeling disregarded and create chances for them to explore and secure opportunities elsewhere.

Diversity & Inclusion

At Goodman Masson, our approach to D&I has fundamentally changed the way the company is behaving and the way our people understand and think about equality. 2022 has seen a heightened requirement for diverse shortlists. Internally, our approach is split into 4 networks:

Unity – Supporting a race inclusive culture.
Pride – Providing a support network for LGTBQ+ employees.
Balance – Creating a more balanced gender representation across all levels.
Access – The network aims to ensure all employees who are disabled are supported and accommodated.

Within talent acquisition, there has been a drive to recruit and attract more diverse talent within the investment management marketing industry. Our clients are echoing these values and constantly striving for more diversified and inclusive shortlists.
Q2 & Beyond

There is one thing that is certain regarding the future of the market and that is that remote working and the hybrid working model is here to stay. Flexibility is at the forefront of every candidate’s mind and the ability of the client to facilitate remote working is a basic prerequisite for any role in marketing.

Digital, digital, digital! New ways to deliver a client’s value proposition through new digital platforms will continue to emerge. Month on month we are witnessing huge players in the market recognising the need for a strong digital team within the marketing function.

As recruiters, we can approach Q2 of 2022 with cautious optimism and hope the busy market is here to stay.

Please reach out if you would like to discuss the market update in more detail or have any plans to hire in this space in 2022.

Sophie O’ Sullivan
sophie.osullivan@goodmanmasson.com

Michael Corso
Michael.corso@goodmanmasson.com

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