Feb 9, 2023 - Economy

What communication recruiters want

Illustration of a mechanical arm holding a hiring sign

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The U.S. unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in half a century, but there's still an undercurrent of unease among communications and marketing professionals.

By the numbers: According to Indeed data shared with Axios, job postings for marketing and communication roles are down 31% since last year.

  • Yes, but: According to a LinkedIn search, there are currently 3.7 million active postings with "communications" in the job title.
  • Plus, LinkedIn reports that soft skills are in high demand across all industries, with 45% of jobs naming communication as a required skill.

The big picture: "Skills in employee communications, executive communications and CEO advisory, and financial and investor relations are coming to the top in the current market," says Jessamyn Katz, president and client partner at Heyman Associates.

Zoom in: Although comms roles within big tech are getting hit hardest, there are still many opportunities within very technical, early-stage companies — think B2B, artificial intelligence, sustainability, robotics and cyber security.

  • For example, climate intelligence company Tomorrow.io is looking to hire an AI marketer.

What they're saying: These early-stage companies are looking for innovators, says Brooke Kruger, founder of KC Partners, a communications recruiting firm known for its startup and tech placements.

  • There's a need for "true storytellers and builders — someone who can build not just teams and strategic roadmaps, but build a company ... and with limited resources," Kruger told Axios.
  • Kruger also says some bigger companies are still looking for communication talent at the manager and senior manager level — those with seven to 12 years of experience.

🥊 Reality check: If you want to secure the job, you have to move fast. Comms roles are being filled within two to four weeks on average, says Kruger.

  • And Kruger's biggest piece of advice before applying to a job: "Do your research ahead of time and fine-tune your pitch. Preparation is key in this market."

What we're watching: A lot of communicators in leadership roles will wait until the end of the first quarter (January – March) to get their bonuses before quitting or moving on to the next role. That means more high-level opportunities may start popping up soon.

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