Hiring Trends in 2010 for Internet Marketing and Interactive Jobs
Onward Search Career Cast, Episode #6
In this episode of Career Cast, we focus on how companies are approaching their hiring strategies during 2010. Internet and interactive marketers will find a changing market place as hiring companies begin to recover.
Ken and Josh from Onward Search discuss how the job market is turning around and what kind of opportunities SEO, IT and Creative types can expect to see during the rest of the year.
PUBLISHED ON MAY 19, 2010
Peter Clayton: This is Peter Clayton and I'd like to welcome back everyone to the Onward Search CareerCast. I'm joined today by Ken Clark, one of the cofounders of Onward Search, and Josh Gampel, vice president.
So guys, 2009 is over, thankfully, and since we just wrapped up the first quarter of 2010, I thought it would be an opportune time to check in with both Josh and Ken on what they're seeing in the job market for internet marketing and interactive professionals. So let's get started.
Ken, I think the first question on everyone's mind is how the job market is today and how was the first quarter. Are we in recovery or not?
Ken: It's safe to say that things are getting better, particularly in our market, Peter, as you know just from talking with us over last several months where we specialize is everything in the internet and web marketing world, and what has been very encouraging for us is really, even starting back in Q4 of last year, absolutely driving through into this first quarter job orders which is really how we can see demand in the economy within our business have been increasing dramatically. Particularly this quarter, I believe every month of Q1, January to February, February to March, our job orders have been increasing, and what we're really seeing is a lot of demand in the marketplace.
Why is that happening? Well, in a recession, usually the first jobs to come back are temporary jobs. And there was actually a report that came out about two weeks ago that couldn't have been more encouraging. What it showed was that in the last five months, the number of temporary jobs created in the economy basically was unparalleled over the last 20 years. And if I remember the stats exactly, in the last five months, the total number of temp jobs that were created equaled the number of temp jobs created in the last recession over, I think it was, a 24-month period. So what's happening is, luckily, these jobs are being created, the economy is moving, companies are starting to hire again. Why temp jobs are the first to recover typically are because companies are still being cautious with their money, and so they hire people on a temp basis.
Long answer, but things are looking very good for us; internet, interactive, anything in that space is hot. That's where folks are spending their money. We're pretty encouraged right now.
Peter: How about geography; are there any geographies that are particularly hot right now?
Ken: I would actually say if you look at, just mentally kind of take calculus of the ten big metro regions in the United States, that's where the jobs are. Not coincidentally, you know where our footprint is, we target our offices in the major metro regions of the country. That's where you're seeing a lot of job growth - New York, Boston, LA, Dallas, locations like that.
Peter: You just opened an office in Los Angeles, right?
Ken: We did. Actually, we're two weeks in, and we've got a terrific team there. We are super excited to have our first West Coast office. So yeah, things are going great so far.
Peter: Let's talk for a moment about the trends that you're seeing in the marketplace. I know we talked about this a couple of podcasts ago but it seems like everyone is going crazy now that the iPad is out and of course, just recently there was another Apple event where they talked about the new iPhone software 4.0 which is going to be doing multitasking, and also about the new iAd format which, I would guess, would create some real opportunities for some of your folks.
Ken: Yeah, absolutely. The whole iPad mania, frankly, over the last week or so I think is very good for the job market. I was one of the faithful, I bought my iPad on Saturday and it is just so cool to use. The interface is amazing. And when you use it, the applications style and application design of an iPad app is very unique compared to what you see in an iPhone. So it really is going to drive a lot of job growth.
The iAd feature of the 4.0 software is pretty interesting. There's a whole development, STK, I believe around that. And again, I think what we're going to see are companies insisting that they have iPhone/iPad platforms to access their aps, their sources, everything like that. So that is another space we operate in and demand, I'd say already we're getting phone calls about do we have iPad developers. So it's actually pretty cool.
Peter: Josh, let's talk a little bit about SEO -- search engine optimization. Is this still a hot place to be if I'm an Internet marketer?
Josh: Yeah, Peter. Absolutely. It's still a hot place to be for many reasons. Actually SEMPO - Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization - just released a study this past week that companies are overwhelmingly moving spend from print to online. A huge portion of that is in SEO. On top of that, of the SEMPO companies that were reported that are already spending money on the internet, almost 50% of them said they were going to increase spend. So just that alone as far as increasing spend into personnel to build your in house SEO team or with agencies, or on your page search, increasing the spend in internet marketing is going to be huge just in the dynamics for SEO.
Another statistic to look at is just the demand for SEO. A company called Conductor recently released a study stating that only about 25% of the Fortune 500's targeted paid keywords - meaning all of those keywords that they're spending money on, about $3.4 million a day actually - only 25% of those ranked in the top 50 natural search results. That's staggering, if you really think about the demand that's needed in the Fortune 500 for an SEO professional and the amount of money that's going to be spent across the board out of all these companies that are surveyed, that means the demand is very high, and we're seeing that reflected in the amount of jobs that we're getting as a company and the amount of candidates we're continuing to place.
Peter: And Josh, if you were to give me the top three professions that you are seeing the greatest demand for right now, what would they be?
Josh: SEO is one of them but another thing that I want to mention, social media. Social media is very hot right now. And it's not just about SEO; it's about maximizing your marketing strategy around all forms of online. Social media, it's predictably it's the new hot skill. It's really what SEO was three years ago. Three years ago if you could spell SEO, you were making a ton of money and you were getting a raise and you w ere getting offers all over the place.
There's actually a great website, just an interesting stat that came out - I love statistics - but naturalsearchblog.com, about three years ago, they announced some of the top in house SEOs. They just did a new posting - I think it was today - came out today, April 9th is when we're recording this - 46 of the people that were on the top in house SEO sheet moved, 22 stayed. There were 68 listed, 46 of them moved and they moved… if you look at the position titles, they were all an increase in title.
So, that's pretty interesting to show that online marketers have gotten an increase from three years ago where SEO was really the hottest item; they have all advanced in their career and social media is really where that is right now. Social media SEO, those are really the acquisition pieces.
The other high demand area is once the customer or the user gets to the site, it's about the experience. So we're doing a lot of work with information architecture and user experience. It's all about converting the customer once they get to the site. And that's very high in demand as well, as well as Flash. That goes with the user experience, but if you're a Flash developer, call us because we have jobs for you in every major metro.
Peter: There's something you brought up that I think is really interesting. There's a new job title, which is social media manager. Nobody had one of those a year ago, and now you go to these corporations and they've "got to somebody on this Twitter thing," you know. So, I think you're absolutely right; there's all of these interesting dynamics.
Ken, let's talk a little bit more about the economy and what tips you would give a job seeker today, given what you're seeing?
Ken: Probably the number one thing that you have to think about if you're looking for a job right now is that over the last 18 months, companies got a heck of a lot smarter. And what I mean by that is they got used to being in an environment where there was a lot more supply out there in terms of folks looking for jobs, and they got smarter on how specific and how high their standards are around hiring, and they are a lot more demanding.
So, when you're looking for a job right now, probably the number one pointer that I'd recommend is you have to be able to really effectively demonstrate how you bring an impact and you bring an ROI to an organization.
If you're going into an interview just trying to win it on your charming personality and smile with not a lot of meat behind it, it's going to be tough because over the last 18 months, there was such a high inventory of people in the marketplace, companies got really good at narrowing down to only the best of the best. That's number one of what I would say.
The second thing is, despite the optimism that, I think Josh and I have expressed in this podcast, you still have to realize that the economy is recovering, it's not recovered. And what that means is you need to be flexible, you need to be aggressive in your job search. The days of throwing in a resume or an email and waiting for phone callback are certainly not going to be here for awhile. So, you still have to attack it and have a strategy around it.
Peter: I think that's really important and to your point of showing an ROI because a lot of the people you deal with are creative professionals and they get really cranked up about this cool new thing they're able to do in Flash, but what they really have to do is demonstrate that as an ROI.
Ken: Absolutely, and on the creative side in particular, and luckily, most Flash developers do a great job of this, but you have to have a really winning portfolio to get the job that you want.
Josh: Yeah, Ken hit it on the head with the winning portfolio. Differentiate yourself somehow. If you're a jobseeker right now and you're looking for your next new role, differentiate yourself in the channels that the hiring manager lives in. Do something on your blog that's creative. But then you've got to get your blog in front of him. How are you going to do that? Don't just send it to him in an email; send it to him, phone call, send a handwritten note, go knock on the door if you have to. You definitely have to differentiate yourself, but don't just do it the old school way by phone call and a handwritten note. Do something online in one of these new media formats that is going to grab somebody's attention.
Create an iPhone application if you have some time. If you're a developer, create an iPhone application about finding a job and send it to everybody. It might not necessarily get published but you can maybe have a demo version out there. Do something different.
The final part is network, network, and network. Don't be afraid to network. There are events. If you go to meetup.com or if you go to LinkedIn, there's networking meet-up groups for every single discipline out there right now. So go to those groups, network online and in person. That would be one of my biggest suggestions.
Peter: Okay, so let's talk about some hot jobs that you have right now, Josh. You mentioned that you're really looking for Flash developers. Can you give us some real specifics on some really hot jobs that you are looking to place right now?
Josh: Yeah, I mean, Flash developers everywhere. Every single market of ours is looking for Flash designers and developers. Some specifics - we have VP group account director, social and mobile for a major agency in New York City. That's a hot opening that we're working on. Also in the city, we're working for a web developer, web master for a large financial services organization. We're looking for information architects in Boston across agencies and on the financial services side.
Interactive designers are also needed everywhere on the agency and corporate side. I would say the financial services world; if you have financial services experience on the creative side, give us a call because that's an area that they're all making money again. The gloom and doom for them is way over and they're back to making the big bucks, and they're spending it too. So, give us a call because they are all redesigning their websites and they're doing great iPhone applications and it's all around the user experience.
And then search marketers, like we kicked off this conversation, every single company needs a search engine marketer of some form - SEO, PPC or also social media.
If you go to our website jobs.onwardsearch.com, you could see a list of all the active openings that we have right now, or follow us on Twitter, you get all of our most recent updates.
Peter: Josh and Ken, thanks so much for taking time to speak with us again. Great information and great advice.
Ken: Thanks Peter, we enjoyed it.
Thank you for tuning in to Onward Search CareerCast. For more information on the career opportunities available through Onward Search, you should visit us online at onwardsearch.com or call 1-800-829-0072 and speak with an experienced recruiter. And you should also follow Onward Search on Twitter at twitter.com/onwardsearchtwitter.com/onwardsearch.