It was very common for previous generations in the workforce to hold down jobs with the same company for decades at a time. That's just not the case anymore, especially in marketing roles and/or agency settings.
Turnover in the Professional Services Industry
As the Great Resignation ensues, yet the steep number of voluntary exits are leveling out in other industries, the professional services sector saw a rising tide in ‘quits’ (as the Bureau of Labor and Statics qualifies voluntary exits) between end of year 2020 to mid-year 2021 from half a million to three quarters of a million ‘quits’ a month, with those numbers still holding steady going into 2022.
When it comes to digital marketing professionals, the average age of mid-to-senior level specialists is 38 years old across the U.S. who are within the generational bracket that’s only averaging ~four years per role since 2014, and recently in some sectors we’re seeing that timeframe declining to as low as 1.8 years.
Why? Many factors, but mostly because of the fast paced shift in tech and employees like yourself considering what they want most out of life and work. Most agency-based marketers and/or digital marketers refer to their years of experience as ‘dog years’. So if this is you, then you’re not alone. With the ever-changing landscape of tech stacks, having to keep up with the increased skill demand, fast turn times, and constant deadlines, time feel expansive.
So if you’re keeping up with the hustle, and excelling in your craft, it’s okay to analyze what you’re looking for in your employer of choice.
How to Evaluate What Matters Most to You
Whether you are evaluating your current role, or looking to the future, the more you know about what will keep you engaged at an organization, the happier you'll be throughout your career. If you’re looking for your next role, think about what's important to you in your search so that you stay at your next job for years, not the marketing average of 1-4 years. If you’re sticking around, we also hope this starts a positive conversation within your company so that you can affect more positive change within your organization.
If you’re specialized in your skill set, and seasoned, remember your value. Know your worth and what you want out for your career. Whether you put your current employer through these filters due to looming burnout, or utilize them to make a “pro/con” list on which company to go with during your next search, here are the most modern factors of the Employee Experience (EX) we’re seeing offered by companies with high satisfaction and engagement rates.
Your Employee Experience-Focused Company Checklist
Vetting an organization with this list will address the four main components of EX - people, place, product, and process. What is most important to note is of these eight ways to earn your tenure, what matters most to you? What we want is to help you identify what matters most of the company you'll be working at for a year, 5 years, or 10 years down the road.
Now remember this: there's no hard and fast rule for how many ‘yeses’ you should end up with, or grading rubric, but know that if a company answers yes to more than half of the below checklist, that's a progressive environment.
Pro tip: If you’re in the middle of a job search, be sure to use this question set to inspire your conversations on the culture and company. And remember what matters most to you; aim to seek confirmation of those factors.
- Do they provide mental health benefits and support? After a challenging few years, mental health is a growing focus in our culture in the U.S. Seek an employer who provides benefits such as competitive PTO for work life balance, tenure-based sabbaticals, or simply encourages a safe space to discuss mental health and mindfulness. Other things to analyze are mental health benefits since mental health is oftentimes not covered under medical insurance. If not, are stipends offered or discounts for apps like Headspace or Talkspace? Does the employer at least offer an Employee Assistance Program?
- Do they pay market rate salaries? With the standard of living on a steep increase, and organizations halting raises the past few cycles, a competitive company needs to be paying market rates. You may be used to saying, “I’m willing to take a percent cut for the right opportunity and culture,” but in today’s candidate market, that's not necessary.
- Do they offer cutting-edge benefits or the average table stakes? Progressive businesses are looking beyond table stakes benefits such as healthcare coverage with high premiums, a common 401k match, and a casual dress code. Explore the full benefits package, and look for things like discount marketplaces to save you money, parental leave, stipends for common expenses, commuter benefits, flexible childcare spending accounts, competitive healthcare premium contributions, and rewards platforms that offer day-to-day lifestyle services that remove the friction from your life.
- Do they provide the tools and environment(s) you need to do your job well? In a post-pandemic culture, remote work or flexible work options are likely on your list of must-haves. Ensure you also have the tools and/or reimbursement support to help offset the costs of creating an ergonomic remote work set-up. If you’re still in office, or at a hybrid organization, are the tools to do your job present? Are there onsite perks that save you time and money like in office gyms or cafes? And beyond the physical environment, do you have the technology needed to do your job such as communication tools, and tech stack investments?
- Do they empower their people, and is the team-dynamic healthy? How are people celebrated in the organization? Are they offered autonomy, allowed to experiment, and supported in their efforts to innovate and network? How are they supported or coached when they fail? Audit the dynamics of middle management, leadership, and how effective the company is on communicating change, and encouraging transparent communication. How siloed or effective are the teams? Don’t just look at company culture, but team culture, and health.
- Do they invest in your growth and development? Companies that deserve your tenure support a mutually beneficial growth trajectory. As a company grows, so should its team and opportunities. Are there intentional touch-points for performance reviews? Are there career path conversations? Matrices on how you can improve in a certain role to level-up? Is there a budget for professional development, or, better yet a growing investment? Company time allocated to learning? Does excelling at your role open up new promotions, or does it lock you into your specialist role because ‘that's where you are needed’?"
- Does the work stimulate you and utilize your skills? Beyond aligning with the job description at hand, does the product, and the impact speak to you? Are you inspired by the work, and do you get to stretch the majority of your mental muscles; practice your full range of skills?
- Do they embrace change, community, diversity and inclusion? Last but certainly not least, a progressive company should crave change and innovation. It should celebrate a diverse workforce, bringing multiple cultures and perspectives in to help grow its organization. It should want to toss what’s not working, improve and innovate. And what an absolute bonus if a company has a social responsibility and community impact component intentionally worked into the practice of its business. They don’t have to be a B-Corp, but focused on how they impact change, now that’s a company you can stick with for some time.
Deciphering Where to Spend Your Time
Now, this is a progressive list, and by no means is every company here today, which is why you should evaluate based on how many of these factors are currently in place in ratio to how many are important to you.
The key to all of this is that you feel like a company is investing in its people as much as its people invest in them.
At the end of the day, we aren't trying to get you to leave where you are today - quite the opposite. We hope this checklist helps more people create a dialog with their leadership team to increase retention, address your concerns, and provide ideas for an employee-centric working environment in the digital marketing space.
But if you are in fact ready for your next adventure, and looking for help getting started, we are here.
Be sure to join our candidate network, and know market rates for your role and experience by downloading our 2021-2022 HubSpot Ecosystem Salary Guide below: