Much has been written about “The Great Resignation”, so we’re going to pile on with some observations of our own.

It’s been reported that nearly half of all full-time employees are either actively looking for or considering a new job search. As the leading chief marketing officer executive search firm, we would agree that within executive marketing ranks there is a lot of movement. From our vantage point, here’s what we are seeing and how companies should react.

Chief Marketing Officer Executive Search Firm States “It’s Not So Much of A Resignation As It Is A Realignment of Priorities”.

The quarantines of 2020 and subsequent disruptions in a normal work routine have caused employees to re-evaluate their work/life balance. For many executives, personal satisfaction is taking priority over a ‘job at all costs’ mentality. It’s a candidate-driven market to be sure, so what are the implications for companies?

Executives want flexibility. The pandemic has demonstrated to most companies that employees can be effective working remotely without being present in the office every day. At the executive levels, our C-Suite placements know that face-to-face interaction is critical with their peers, their CEO, and their teams — and they value that interaction. But for many employees, they are no longer willing to sacrifice family/life opportunities to be present in-person in the office when they can still meet the demands of the job.

Expectations for executives haven’t changed and the need to perform is as real as ever– but effective CEOs realize that balance is needed for maximum employee satisfaction and performance. With WFH, the pressure valve has been released so that executives feel ‘less guilty’ about prioritizing a child’s sporting event, as an example, versus work that he/she can do after hours or on another day.

Creating a work environment that celebrates this re-prioritization and considers the general well-being of the whole employee is becoming more the expectation among top performers.

Executives want growth. The successful top marketers want to create value for the company as well as participate financially in the growth that they create. These are driven individuals who help transform a business and are energized by that challenge and opportunity.

If the growth and financial opportunity are lacking, they tend to be more open to looking around for a company that will reward them for their skill and expertise. If you are not providing upward mobility and long-term incentives, you may be falling behind. In today’s marketplace, candidates realize that there are other options available to them.

Previously, individuals who have no intention of relocation were restricted to their target companies based on a reasonable commute. Now with so many companies offering remote and hybrid roles, these executives have no geographical restrictions to their job opportunities. Your competition just expanded to the entire country. The blinders are off as this has opened a world of possibilities; from the companies they could work for to the industries that they might explore.

Recently, we placed a remote CMO with a company that had a travel requirement to spend one week per month at HQ. To get the top-level candidate they wanted in this marketing executive search, they hired an individual 2,000 miles away. The company was thrilled with their new CMO, and the candidate was excited that we brought an opportunity to him that wasn’t anywhere in his consideration set. This type of arrangement is becoming more common.

Companies need to understand that the marketplace has changed.

It’s a supply and demand world and, for now, demand for talent has never been greater. Salaries are increasing quickly. Expectations are changing. Competition is increasing. And opportunities for marketing executives are expanding.

Now is a good time to evaluate how you stack up. You may not be able to offer a fully remote role or unlimited PTO—and that might not be realistic for your business— but you should know where you stand. Ensuring that you are paying a competitive rate and giving your top marketers a reason to stay through long-term incentives will help your retention rate.

Strong marketers, marketers who can fundamentally change the trajectory of your business, know their market value. Make sure that you know it as well before you start your marketing executive search or be at risk for “The Great Resignation” coming to your company.


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