market research hiring marketplace


Confessions of a Headhunter was presented at The Quirk’s Event by Smith Hanley Associates’ Market Research and Consumer Insights Executive Recruiters, Lindsey Bartlett and Daniel Wilberschied.  Daniel summarizes part of their presentation in this blog.

Generally what we are seeing in the marketplace is a highly competitive, active space. There is a large influx of top tier candidates both passively and actively pursuing roles for a growing number of opportunities in 2021. Here are our insights about the market research hiring marketplace.

Why is it competitive?

There is an abundance of really great candidates that are currently looking for roles due to Covid-19 layoffs or furloughs. These 2020 layoffs mean large numbers of very good candidates are competing for every available role. The good news though, is there are more roles opening up every day. It is a slow climb back to where we were in early 2020 but the direction, increasing growth, is a good one. We are also seeing a great deal of passive individuals looking for organizations with more stability, among other key factors like diversity and work life balance.

Who is hiring?

The most stable industries in the market research hiring marketplace currently are pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, technology and grocery. They are actively hiring and have been the least negatively impacted by the pandemic. Though every single company has and is experiencing something different from the pandemic, their individual situation has been dependent on factors like consumer purchasing, how adaptable their solutions are, and industry. The suppliers that are flourishing are the organizations that adapted quickly and provided Covid -19 solutions to their clients. Though some industries have been slower to rebound, we are seeing more firms getting back to “normalcy” over the end of 2020 and early 2021.


We are predicting a gradual stabilization in 2021 in the market research hiring marketplace, with a large percentage of those laid off landing in new positions. Many of the conversations we are having are with individuals considering multiple opportunities or who have recently accepted a new role. We are seeing the hiring marketplace become more closely aligned with how it was in early 2020.

What roles?

We are seeing a push for “doer roles” at the analyst to senior manager level. These doer roles are the most widely available while the senior strategic levels are currently less prevalent. The roles that are more focused on research or hands-on positions that are less strategy focused are hiring much more actively. We have also started to see an increase in “seller” positions across digital SaaS and analytical tools suppliers. Sales roles have begun to rebound and we see those beginning to pop up frequently in the market research hiring marketplace.

Want to know what your options could be in the market research hiring marketplace? Interesting in hiring? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Market Research and Consumer Insights Executive Recruiter, Daniel Wilberschied at


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