As the Beauty industry continues to ride a wave of growth and investment, three key trends will drive access to top talent.
1. YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION MATTERS
In the past, when a candidate considered making a change from their current employer, they would ask industry friends for an inside scoop on potential employers: how well do they treat their employees, what kind of opportunities for advancement do they offer, how much work/life balance can an employee expect. Today, candidates have access to much more information than ever before. Portals like Glassdoor give employees a platform to express their personal experience with an employer, including hashing out grievances anonymously. The result has been increased transparency on a company’s work environment. Whether a job seeker knows someone at a company or not, they can access intel much more readily. Companies that create a happy, supportive, and fun environment will naturally win over those who seemingly struggle to create a good company culture.
Similarly, as consumers demand more transparency in advertising and product ingredients, a bend towards Clean Beauty has emerged, which also impacts the relevancy of brands to Beauty industry professionals. Brands who have lagged behind in updating formulas and ingredient stories are seen as old-fashioned. Top performing Beauty leaders want to stay ahead of the ingredient curve and work for brands that push the envelope. Think of Youth to the People, ILIA Beauty, and Kopari, to name a few.
Watchdog accounts such as Estée Laundry, which describes itself as “a small beauty collective devoted to bringing transparency, honesty and equality” to the beauty industry, also play an important role in building up or tearing down a company’s online reputation. Brand missteps can cause a company to lose out on not only consumer dollars but also candidate interest. Other online controversies that blow up out on Social Media, like Dramageddon that played out between multiple YouTube Beauty Vloggers, can also ensnare brands. If a brand is a story that’s always being told, it’s easier to read between the lines today than ever before. Ensuring your company responds to employee and consumer feedback in a caring and honest way will pay dividends as you continue to compete for talent.
2. HIRING INSIDE THE BOX
More than many other industries, companies in Beauty tend to hire candidates from direct competitors. With speed to market increasingly important, leadership wants to hire talent who will proverbially hit the ground running and never look back. This means companies expect candidates to have both channel and category specific experience. If a color cosmetics brand is sold at Sephora, they will only consider hiring talent, especially for Marketing, Sales and Product Development roles, from other color cosmetics brands sold at Sephora.
The challenge becomes that with more and more brands on the market, access to top performers dwindles. This has caused salaries to inflate rather quickly and for positions to remain vacant longer. For example, five years ago Brand Managers with 5-7 years Beauty experience could expect a salary of $65,000 - $70,000. Today, that number has jumped to about $85,000. Some top performing Brand Managers would expect $100,000+ to consider making a change.
A few disruptors who eschew traditional Beauty versus other experience have already started hiring Executives from outside the industry. For instance, Glossier recently hired a former Amazon exec to become their COO. In this hyper-competitive job market, Beauty companies that figure out a formula to hire talent from outside the industry will benefit, as will those who even slightly lessen their requirements.
3. NEW BEAUTY CATEGORIES STRAIN TALENT POOL
With so much innovation coming into Beauty, what defines a product as being part of the industry continues to expand into what may now be called Lifestyle. For example, what once was niche, CBD has become so mainstream that entire lines of skin and body care sold at specialty Beauty retailers are based on this hero ingredient including Saint Jane Beauty and Lord Jones. Moon Juice, which is an ingestible beauty from within line, focuses on plant-based nutrition and is sold in traditional Beauty retailers, along with vitamin companies like Hum Nutrition and Love Wellness. Luxury feminine care products like Perfect V and Queen V have come on the scene as have brands like The Good Patch that truly blur the lines between Beauty, Health, and Wellness.
A number of these rising-star Lifestyle brands have been founded by or are led by former Beauty Executives, and they are doing so with great success. These Executives can take all they have learned from building a profitable Beauty brand in a very competitive marketplace and apply those learnings in new ways to create Lifestyle brands. These Executives have also quickly adopted the practice of looking outside of direct competitors for talent, because often, they are a maverick of their category. The challenge becomes that for more traditional Beauty brands, who have a pattern of hiring candidates with a very narrow target list, they now compete for talent with these new categories of Beauty, again driving up the salaries and time to fill vacancies.
The fluid notion of what Beauty means to consumers and the continued investment and innovation coming onto the market signals more changes and challenges for this dynamic industry.
For more information on how to stay ahead of the game by hiring exceptional talent, reach out to Mazur Group by visiting its website at www.mazurgroupla.com or calling (424) 280-4390.
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