New Year, New Job? What Creatives Need to Know

By Paul Flaharty, executive director of the marketing and creative practice at global talent solutions firm Robert Half which connects professionals with companies hiring in marketing, creative, digital, advertising and public relations. His primary responsibility is to develop and oversee the growth strategy for the company’s marketing and creative contract talent solutions teams across the United States. 


Will 2023 be a hot job market for creatives and marketers? It’s a question we talent solutions professionals ask ourselves all the time. Luckily for job seekers, analysis of salary and survey data from the new 2023 Salary Guide From Robert Half  suggests the new year may be a great one for a career move.

Even in the face of growing economic uncertainty, hiring for creative roles is still happening in today’s market and is in companies’ plans for 2023. Research from Robert Half shows 59% of creative and marketing managers are hiring for new roles in the first half of the year and an additional 33% are hiring for vacated roles, making it a good time to evaluate your career and explore new opportunities if you’re not happy in your current role. If you have the talent, there’s a hiring manager out there who wants to meet you.

To help you succeed in your search, here are some of the top trends for 2023, as identified by research for the Salary Guide.


1. Salaries Are Trending Upward

The combination of a cutthroat job market and rising inflation means that sought-after candidates are holding out for higher salaries — and in most cases, they’re getting them.

Data from the Salary Guide shows that salary hikes are the most common way creative and marketing leaders entice skilled professionals to join or stay with them. To break this down further:

  • 40% of managers are increasing starting salaries to attract new hires
  • 52% are giving raises to keep current employees and reduce turnover
  • 54% of marketing and creative professionals have received a raise in the last year

Bottom line? If you’re unhappy with your first offer, there’s likely room to negotiate. And if your manager rebuffs your request for a salary boost in your current position, it could be time to move on.

The Salary Guide lists projected average national starting salary ranges for more than 80 creative and marketing roles. And by using Robert Half’s 2023 Salary Calculator, you can enter your city or the one nearest you to find location-specific salary ranges.


2. Benefits And Perks Matter More Than Ever

Employee priorities for perks and benefits have changed since the pandemic hit. With a renewed focus on their quality of life and work-life balance, employees are giving added weight to non-traditional perks like home office stipends, mental health resources and remote work opportunities — and employers are finding ways to deliver. In fact, 83% of HR managers report that their companies have added perks in response to the current hiring market. Don’t forget that you can negotiate many benefits and perks as part of a job offer.


3. Purposeful Work Ranks High On Professionals’ Priority List

Our research found that 71% of employees would leave a company whose values don’t align with their own. This is often the case for creatives, as their work directly connects with consumers to tell a story about a brand, product, service, or idea. Additionally, 80% of professionals said a company’s DEI efforts are an important consideration when deciding to take a job. In turn, employers are responding to this shift by embodying principles like fairness and inclusion in how they operate and taking actionable steps to address DEI. If you seek an organization that aligns with your values and emphasizes belonging and community, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the company’s culture to help you evaluate if it’s the right work environment for you.


4. Contract Roles Will Be In High Demand

If you haven’t considered a contract design role before, now could be a good time. These positions will be in high demand in 2023 – 63% of marketing managers plan to increase their hiring of contract employees in their departments. Many employers bring on interim staff to help with significant project peaks, support core teams, or when they need specialized skills.

Contract design positions are a great way to build your portfolio and experience, and they may also come with more schedule flexibility depending on the role and company. Additionally, many employers bring in interim professionals with an eye on their potential for joining the team in a permanent role. You never know, it could lead to a great next step in your career.


5. Flexible Working Is Here To Stay

The COVID-19 pandemic permanently changed the way we work. Flexible work options are no longer a perk — they’re an expectation.

Across all fields, 41% of senior managers said they’ve seen employees quit rather than return to the office full-time. Employers are listening — and learning. Almost three-quarters (74%) of senior managers said their departments offered remote working options, and 86% reported that this strategy had enabled them to hire top talent. If you’re a skilled creative with a track record of working productively from home, you’ll find plenty of opportunities that don’t require you to return to the office.

Creative and marketing professionals have many reasons to feel good about their prospects in 2023. There are numerous opportunities to land a new and improved position or to advance in your current role. For more on trends in these fields, download the 2023 Salary Guide From Robert Half.