How the Potential Recession is Already Impacting Hiring Plans in Marketing [New Data]

Early this year, conversations surrounding an upcoming recession started making headlines. Then, we saw mass layoffs and hiring freezes happening, particularly in the tech world.

According to our 2023 Marketing Strategy Report, 48% of global marketers say the potential for an economic downturn or recession has affected their company’s hiring plans in 2022.

The report also suggests that this impact will continue into 2023. In this article, we’ll cover:

How the Recession Has Impacted Hiring So Far
How the Recession Will Impact Hiring in 2023
Which Roles Remain Popular & Which Ones Have Lower Demand
Which Companies and Industries Are Most Impacted

How The Recession Has Impacted Hiring So Far

Based on our report, we know that nearly half of marketers globally say the current economy has impacted their hiring plans for the year. The question is how.

The report suggests that marketers already struggle with hiring top talent, with 47% of respondents saying it’s one of their biggest challenges. More specifically, respondents say the biggest roadblocks are finding candidates with the right skill set and meeting salary expectations.

The recession has only exacerbated an existing issue. Here are some standout figures:

35% of respondents say they had to slow down or pause hiring efforts.
27% of respondents say their company had to fire or lay off employees.
26% of respondents say their company had to rescind offers made to prospective employees.

When asked in the Fall of 2022, “How long do you expect hiring efforts to be slowed or paused at your company?” 43% estimated four to six months while 27% said over seven months.

This indicates that many companies will be experiencing hiring freezes well into the new year.

It’s worth noting though that the recession hasn’t impacted all companies in the same way. The report shows that some companies actually increased hiring, according to 34% of marketers surveyed.

One interesting finding is that companies that describe their marketing strategy as effective are nearly 20% more likely to increase their hiring efforts in 2023.

How The Recession Will Impact Hiring in 2023

According to our report, 10% of marketers still anticipate struggling with hiring top talent in 2023. And 42% of respondents say the recession will affect their hiring plans next year.

How exactly? 35% say they will have to slow or pause hiring efforts. In addition, 24% of respondents say their companies plan to fire or lay off employees.

However, mirroring the 2022 outlook, many companies – 48% –plan on increasing hiring efforts, suggesting that not all industries are being impacted negatively by the economic downturn.

Which marketing roles will be impacted by a potential recession in 2023?

Every company weighs roles differently. Depending on their business goals, companies will place more importance on some roles versus others.

We were interested in finding out if there was a lot of overlap across industries with the roles they chose to invest in most or least in 2023.

Here’s what we found out: Two roles for which companies plan to decrease their recruitment efforts the most are: General marketing managers and acquisition marketing managers.

Given the economic climate, companies may be focused more on retention rather than acquisition, explaining the shift away from this role. As for the general marketing manager role, one theory is that companies rather invest in specialized roles that can offer quicker results.

Conversely, when asked about which roles they plan to increase their increase efforts, the top three were:

SEO strategist
Marketing data analyst
Creative director

Which companies and industries will be most impacted?

We’ve mentioned throughout this article that no two companies are impacted the same way during an economic downturn.

Our report shows that companies in the Media and Entertainment industry are most likely to decrease hiring efforts in 2023, 13% more than other industries.

83% of respondents in that category say that the potential for an economic downturn or recession will lead to a decrease in hiring efforts in 2023. Among those surveyed, those working in government and ecommerce show the lowest potential for a decrease in hiring efforts.

Meanwhile, we’re seeing the highest numbers for increases in hiring efforts in these five industries:

Defense and aeronautics
Government
eCommerce
Chemicals and metals
Advertising or marketing

There also seems to be a correlation between a company’s size and its hiring plans. According to our report, companies with large marketing teams (201 to 500 marketers) are 20% more likely to increase their hiring efforts in 2023.

There’s still so much unknown surrounding the current economy. However, our report suggests that many companies are taking a conservative approach to hiring in 2023 in preparation for difficult financial times.

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