When Amber Revoir, a senior recruiter at Portland-based agency Swift, was laid off a few weeks ago, she wanted to do her part to help others in her situation. So she created an online referral list to link people searching for work in advertising and marketing with available jobs.
What started as a Portland-area project quickly gained national traction. Her public Google Sheet now has more than 650 names of people looking for work across job levels and disciplines, complete with links to their LinkedIn profiles and portfolios. A separate tab features companies looking to fill positions.
Revoir’s list is just one example of a number of referral lists, public job boards and virtual networking opportunities being shared online among the marketing and advertising community. They stand as a welcome show of support in an otherwise bleak period.
Due to the prolonged economic strain of the coronavirus pandemic, the industry has been wrought with layoffs, hiring freezes and pay cuts from companies struggling to keep afloat. Yet, there are still plenty of open positions, and the marketing community is stepping up to spread the word and help those searching for work land on their feet.
“I believe people find comfort in knowing that there are opportunities out there, that they are being seen and their work is getting exposure,” says Revoir.
A number of other referral lists are making their way online, hoping that the talent presented in their cells lands in front of people who are hiring.
“People want to help and there’s this sense of community and caring, and you even see it from marketers,” says Kristian Schwartz, founder and partner of recruiting firm The Montgomery Group. “Where before, if you were laid off there was a perception that there was something wrong with you. Now it’s an acknowledgment that there are ups and downs.”
When Hilton announced it was furloughing employees towards the end of March, executives at the hotel chain began sharing with recruiters a list of marketers who were placed on leave (it’s unclear who began the list).
Freelance art director Aimee Brodbeck, copywriter Jeff Barry and producer Jess Ambrose created “The Avail List,” which spotlights ad talent, both freelance and full-time, ranging across account managers, creative, photography, production, digital, recruiting and strategy. It also stores resources for those looking for work.
Many emerging lists are focused on highlighting freelance talent, a segment of workers that has been hit hard. Freelance creative Andrew Cardenas built WFH Freelancer, an online list of art and copy freelancers affected by COVID-19—already 500 strong—along with resources they can turn to. He says he plans on partnering with recruiters to pass along “little black books” of available freelancers.
Yes, there are open jobs
The One Club, known for its awards program, created an online jobs board where companies can submit their open marketing and advertising positions. Since the resource was posted on March 30, at least 120 companies have listed more than 300 vacancies.
The posted jobs span a broad range of skills, expertise, locations and companies, including: independent creative agencies like Bakery Agency and Grow; holding company agencies like Grey and Havas, media agencies like MediaMonks and Just Media; public relations agencies like Edelman and Weber Shandwick; studios like Jam3 and Little Red Robot, media outlets like CNN; and brands such as Spotify, Target and Electronic Arts.
Interpublic’s FCB has the most posts, currently seeking to fill 25 open positions, such as Senior Strategic Planner, mid-level Social Manager and junior Digital Creative Director. Spotify has posted 12 available jobs, including Product Manager and Studios Marketing Lead. Independent agency Tombras has nine posts, including Associate Creative Director and Digital Media Planner. And Jam3 has seven, like Front End Developer and Senior Designer.
“The outpouring has been incredible,” says One Club CEO Kevin Swanepoel. “We’re all in this together. I’m a firm believer that we can help [people] find jobs, they just have to hang in there.”
Candor, an online resource for negotiating salaries in the tech industry, is keeping a user-generated list of companies (including agencies, brands and media outlets) that are hiring, placing hiring freezes or conducting layoffs. David Chouinard, co-founder of Candor, says more than 500,000 people have used the list, which is seeing one submission every minute. The company has added the ability to upload resumes so job seekers can now be contacted by recruiters.
“We've been overwhelmed emotionally to see how many people are taking their time to find and promote companies still hiring,” says Chouinard. “We're trying to do our part to redirect resources from struggling industries to those that can hire those affected.”
Executives and recruiters have also taken to LinkedIn more aggressively to post about openings at their respective companies. Jackson Jeyanayagam, vice president and general manager direct-to-consumer at The Clorox Company, for instance, has been posting about several marketing positions at Clorox, a company that is still doing well right now, unsurprisingly. LinkedIn employees are also giving away six-month LinkedIn Premium subscriptions.