To get a grasp on what clients and job seekers can expect from the hiring market right now, we spoke with Shivani Sharma, Recruitment Team Lead, out of 24 Seven’s Portland office to hear her take from the front lines of hiring.
As a recruiter what are you seeing as we have progressed through the Pandemic?
Businesses are coming back full force, with an emphasis on Digital. With everyone increasingly at home, a lot of companies have had to rethink how they reach customers, and even expand their thinking of who may now be their customer. Maybe a product that was once just targeted to a stay-at-home mom has an opportunity to reach more people because everyone is home, working remotely. It’s a tremendous expansion of what marketing has to accomplish – not just who they are reaching but new channel opportunities as well.
Are companies hiring professionals in house to get this done?
Some companies are building out entire teams to focus on these new opportunities. In one case, a client needed to assemble talent around a new feature in an app. Companies are thinking about and leveraging freelancers in a more robust way. As a freelancer recruiter, I'm busier right now than I've ever been.
Is it more brands or agencies that are hiring?
I would say right now it is an even blend, but maybe a bit heavier on the agency side. The larger agencies that have made it through the crisis are booming and they urgently need to hire freelancers. Many have taken on projects that are robust. Some might have taken on work that may even be outside of the agency’s wheelhouse. So they are shoring up their knowledge and skill sets with niche freelance hires.
Are there particular hires that are in demand?
I am placing more strategists right now than I ever have ever. It seems like every company and agency is hiring one or two. And it’s every kind of strategist: overall digital, content, UX, paid media, paid social, and experts in social ad campaigns.
Besides strategists, what other roles are you searching for right now?
Typically, when a team is hiring a strategist, they will ask me to find a UX designer at the same time or soon after. UX research has been in high demand too. Another hire in the sequence would be digital marketing specialists and on the agency side account management support. The agencies are creating entire teams to implement projects and manage clients.
Why do you think companies are hiring freelancers?
When the pandemic hit, many brands and agencies cut their teams back, but now the work is ramping back up. And what they have left internally are the idea leaders and the project managers. But now they need the doers. And if the brands aren’t hiring agencies to hand off the project to, they need more hands internally. The employees who made it through the pandemic with their jobs are all wearing 10 hats now. That’s the trend that we're seeing – really big talent and skill gaps where both brands and agencies just need somebody to pick up the slack. Hiring freelancers is a great solution when the focus is on executing a project fast.
I feel the sense of urgency you mentioned. The pressure. Do you think clients are moving faster through projects than they did before?
Yes. On the agency side, there seems to such a race to the end right now on existing projects, to secure new business, and to impress clients to keep business. It’s rewarding for us because we are seeing our clients win business with the freelancers that we have found for them. And the best part is that companies are re-upping candidates as one project ends and another begins. We also love to see when freelancers convert to a full-time team member for one of clients. After last year, this feels like such an exciting time. The momentum out there keeps building, and it feels really optimistic for both our clients and for digital marketing candidates looking to great work.
Looking to add freelancers to your team? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Hiring Freelancers.