Expert's Opinion

Beauty Industry Recruiting Trends for 2017 and Beyond

By Frances Z. Mazur | February 23, 2017

Demand continues to outpace supply.

For a company hoping to lure top-level talent to their roster or a candidate looking to take that next step of their career, it’s about staying competitive.  Part of staying competitive is learning as much as possible about the job market you’re currently in or plan to plunge into.  With that in mind, we’d like to share some of the trends we saw in our 2016 beauty industry recruiting.

The beauty industry continued its skyward trajectory and our area of expertise, the West Coast market, is booming.

Demand for motivated beauty executives continues to outpace supply. There’s a limited talent pool, and we’re seeing salaries rise across the board. With new companies popping up and established ones racing to get a foothold in the West, there’s incredibly fierce competition to hire top performers.

We saw a significant increase in overall investment from companies to secure talent. Of our placements, 63% in 2016 were “new headcount.” In 2016, 31% of our searches were at the Senior Vice President or Vice President level, up from 17% in 2015.  This shows an increased commitment to add “strategic headcount” to spark growth.  

With brand expansion and a growing number of startups, we’ve seen suppliers scrambling to bolster their West Coast sales presence and account management teams.  Surges were seen in both primary and secondary packaging and with contract manufacturers. This past year, 35% of our placements were in sales leadership, and that demand shows no signs of buckling.

Companies with overseas or East Coast headquarters are hiring more West Coast business development talent than ever before. They can’t afford not to have boots on the ground in this rapidly expanding market. Once unheard of, we’re seeing increases in high-level East Coast executives willing to relocate to the Golden State and receiving generous packages to help with the transition. 

We saw an influx of innovation and investment in the fast to consumer color category. Of our searches, 47% were in color cosmetics with more than half from fast to consumer brands like NYX, e.l.f., Pacifica and Lime Crime.

Our clients invested heavily in “pipeline innovation.” With this came substantial increases in Research and Development and Product Development searches.

Not everything we saw was palm trees and sunshine. In the declining nail care category, we had zero placements in 2016. Another discouraging trend was seeing open positions remain vacant for far too long. Some companies have unrealistic expectations of what makes a qualified candidate. Overly rigid thinking is the surefire way to drive high-level talent to competitors.  

Overall, our beauty industry recruiting trends are encouraging for 2017 and beyond. With the West Coast market thriving and competition on the rise, there’s more motivation than ever before for companies to find, hire and retain top performers.

More: See the infographic, A Breakdown of Jobs in the Beauty Industry.

Frances Z. Mazur is founder and CEO of Mazur Group, a search firm in Los Angeles that specializes in helping small to mid-size beauty companies make the strategic hires necessary to maintain, fuel and ignite growth.