Sales and Marketing trends and insights 2023

Sales & Marketing recruitment trends and insights 2023

Despite the likelihood of a continued softening in the market, we are feeling optimistic here at Hunter Campbell.

We’ve seen companies having to make some tough decisions around redundancies and restructures – however, we’re also seeing a lot of growth and diversification of products and services from our clients.

As your Sales and Marketing search and recruitment partners, we’re proud to be shaping the future of this space. We are actively involved in both the sales and marketing sectors; our ears are to the ground and our fingers are on the pulse. If there’s one thing we know for certain, there are enormous amounts of change in nearly every aspect of attracting, recruiting, and retaining sales and marketing talent in 2023.

A focus on Sales

We believe that the attributes and behaviours of successful sales teams – creativity, innovation, bravery, and resilience, will come to the fore in this challenging economic climate. It makes sense then, that these are the behaviours you need to look for when hiring.

Accurate budget setting, forecasting and planning in this uncertain environment is likely to put pressure on sales leaders this year. Along with an expectation of empathy, a sales leader’s commercial acumen will be vital for success.

Given the changing environment, we’re seeing many sales leaders taking the opportunity to refresh and refine internal processes and the structure of their teams. We’re noticing that support roles are broader and often wearing multiple hats – including lead generation, invoicing, quoting, out-bound calling: and customer service. We’re seeing clients invest in training and development of existing employees to create a talent pipeline of future sales staff. This is a clever way to retain IP, and reward high-performers.

For many companies, investment in sales tools and technology is needed. However, given the economic outlook, we believe  this investment will be slow due to more cautious spending by finance leaders.

It’s pleasing to see that recruitment activity remains strong, however, the recruitment process itself is taking longer, with more scrutiny during hiring. Sales leaders have taken on board lessons learnt in the last two years of hiring staff. Shortcuts in recruitment processes to secure sought after talent have decreased.

A focus on Marketing

Increased investment in Employer Value Proposition (EVP) development and Employer Branding, job ads on social media, the use of AI, and virtual hiring are all trends occurring within the evolving marketing sector.


Marketing professionals are no strangers to the concept of customer experience (CX). CX has a direct impact on customer loyalty, retention, and revenue that cannot be ignored. Right now, there’s another CX in town, candidate experience. A positive candidate experience influences your reputation as an employer, and therefore your ability to attract the best talent.

We’re working with many businesses to improve their candidate experience. This includes understanding where candidates are open to receiving recruitment messages; Seek and LinkedIn are still important, but we’re also having success with ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Niche industry job boards, as well as Maori and Pacific job sites are proving beneficial for targeted and diverse shortlisting.

Having a clear picture of what your marketing candidates are looking for in a role is crucial. We’re seeing that offering the highest dollar does not guarantee securing the best people. Today’s candidate wants to understand your culture, whether your values align with theirs, and your commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion.

Marketing candidates also have an ongoing expectation of hybrid working arrangements.

A well-defined and communicated EVP and Employer Brand is also essential for a positive candidate experience. Candidates want to know ‘what’s in it for me if I work here?’ Creating an aspirational and authentic brand is key to inspiring the best candidates to want to work for you.

Effective, regular, and consistent communication around the application, interview and selection process is an important component of your candidate experience. This is especially true with an emerging phenomenon of the ‘apply anyway’ culture – candidates applying even when they know they don’t meet the requirements of the role.

This is impacting hiring speed because of the increased volume of applications to screen. We know that top talent does not wait around. Hiring teams are racing around the clock to identify high-quality candidates before they’re grabbed elsewhere. Ensuring that you’re keeping the best candidates engaged in the process through regular updates on the status of their application, and making sure they understand the timeframes and the steps involved, is critical.

In a hangover from the pandemic related lockdowns, we’re seeing a marked increase in video interviewing and virtual hiring in general – making the process as streamlined and convenient as possible for all parties.


After a definite period of wage inflation across both sales and marketing, it appears that salaries have plateaued. Employers who have struggled to meet market salary demands have been refining their packages and getting more creative with their offer.

We’re seeing medical and wellness packages, birthday leave, paid parental leave, partnership discounts and increased annual leave days. Flexible working arrangements – including the ability to work remotely, are also being used to secure the best talent. And, it’s working. Many of these non-cash perks are increasingly attractive to today’s candidates. There’s been a definite shift, and lifestyle is becoming a top priority for many.

Marketing – a focus on Retention. 

Many employees are more interested in mastering their skills than career progression. It’s vital to give your teams the opportunity for mastery. In a skill short market, retaining your existing employees will ensure your business continues to thrive. A stable, energised, and motivated marketing team will set you apart from your competition.

It is our job to understand what candidates are looking for, it’s equally important to understand what is important to your own employees – and, whether you’re meeting these needs.

In the conversations we’re having with top sales and marketing talent, good leadership is paramount. Employees are looking for leaders who communicate effectively and can inspire them to perform at their best. Being managed is no longer enough – employees want to be ‘led’.

Regular, honest, and constructive feedback on performance is also important. In fact, we note that many employees are more interested in mastering their skills than career progression. It’s vital to give your teams the opportunity for mastery; space to learn, investment in skill set learning and development to master their trade. Creating an environment that fosters this can go a long way to keeping people engaged

For more insights from our Sales and Marketing recruitment specialists download our 2023 Market Insights:


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