Quest for Better Compensation, Career Potential, and Quality of Life Drive Beauty Talent Flight

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New survey from 24 Seven and Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) finds increasingly confident talent willing to make a job.

Sixty-five percent of beauty professionals report that they are planning a job move within the year, according to the 2014 Salary and Job Market Report, Beauty Edition released by 24 Seven Inc., the fastest growing international search firm specializing in Beauty, Fashion, Retail, Marketing, Digital, and Design, in partnership with the non-profit professional organization, Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW). The report also finds that restless job seekers in beauty are confident about their chances, with an increasing number (67 percent) stating that they feel their skills are in demand in the marketplace.

Driving career wanderlust is the desire for a higher base salary, career advancement concerns, and hope for a better quality of life. While 59 percent are satisfied with their job, most beauty professionals surveyed are disillusioned, with only 39 percent stating that their current role exceeds expectations.

Hiring and Salaries Are on the Rise, but Raises Are Lower

The number of executives reporting that hiring is the same or higher this year is up significantly from 2013 (84 percent versus 70 percent). Seventy-seven percent of professionals reported an increase in total compensation, but by a modest average of 4 percent (down from 5.5 percent last year). With compensation being the top reason to switch jobs, conservative salary increases may incent talent to seek greener pastures elsewhere. Their timing may be just right, as 80 percent of respondents reported being approached with job opportunities in the last year – 40 percent of those were approached more frequently than the year before.

“The pool of top talent seems to be shrinking in beauty, especially in Sales, Marketing, Design & Creative, Operations, and Digital – as executives reported these as the areas hardest to recruit,” said Celeste Gudas, CEO and founder of 24 Seven Inc. “Companies who will win the war for the most-highly sought candidates are taking a holistic approach to luring them, making sure that competitive compensation, benefits, work/life balance, and career cultivation round out an irresistible package for top performers. Our study shows that beauty executives are under mounting pressure to attract and retain game changers. So along with salary and monetary bonuses, the top talent lures include some type of time benefit (whether flex time, telecommuting, summer hours or comp days) and clearly defined professional growth opportunities.”

The second annual study, co-sponsored with CEW, surveyed nearly 800 beauty professionals, ranging from the executive suite to the beauty counter, across all beauty industry segments. “The findings from this report provide greater clarity on the wants and needs across different job functions in the beauty industry," says Carlotta Jacobson, President of CEW. “It provides proprietary information on how to attract and retain the best talent, as well as insight into compensation trends and the general mood in the job market. It is a vital tool for both hiring managers and employees alike.”

Key findings of the study include:

  •     77% of beauty professionals reported an increase in total compensation, averaging 4%;
  •     84% of executives report hiring is the same or higher than last year;
  •     39% of executives expect their reliance on freelancers to stay the same or increase;
  •     80% of talent reported being approached with job opportunities last year, 40% of those were approached more frequently than the year ago;
  •     Beauty executives report that Sales, Marketing, Design & Creative, Operations, and Digital talent is hardest to recruit;
  •     91% of executives report being under the same or more pressure to attract talent and 86% said they were under the same or more pressure to retain talent. Yet, companies are not supportive: only 28% of executives said their company actively assesses the talent bench versus the rapidly evolving business climate; 40% said their company has a formalized strategy to identify and groom top performers; and about a third (31 percent) believe the company invests enough in talent acquisition;
  •     Job loyalty remains low, as 65% of talent is planning a job move;
  •     Salary tops the list of reasons to change jobs followed by better advancement opportunities, better growth potential, and improved quality of life;
  •     67% report a good work/life balance, with flexible hours having the biggest impact on talent’s sense of balance;
  •     Medical insurance remains the most valued benefit, but then non-traditional benefits of time are the next most valued – these are reported to come in the form of flex time, telecommuting, summer hours, comp days and/or a combination of any of these;
  •     Only 54% of talent reported being truly engaged at work. The study found that an increase talent engagement correlates to positive employee loyalty, job satisfaction, perception of career outlook at company, and reduced attrition.

Notes on Survey Methodology and Analysis

24 Seven Inc. surveyed almost 800 beauty professionals around the world. The survey examined the current state and prevailing attitudes of the employment market in the beauty industry. Of those surveyed, 90 percent were female, 10 percent were male; 43 percent of respondents worked for a company with over $500 million in sales, and 70 percent were GenXers. Furthermore, 45 percent of those surveyed were non-managerial talent, 32 percent were manager level, and 13 percent were executives (with a title of Vice President and above). For a copy of the 2014 Salary and Job Market Report, Beauty Edition, please visit

About 24 Seven Inc.:

As a strategic resource for talent management, 24 Seven Inc. helps creatively driven global brands identify, recruit, and secure game changing talent. Our innovative approach combines global reach, industry expertise, and market intelligence to deliver top performers that advance the unique business goals of our clients. We are the go-to talent source supporting the world’s top teams in Fashion, Retail, Marketing, Advertising, Interactive/Digital, E-commerce, Design, Beauty, Events, and Sports/Lifestyle. Our strategic recruiting professionals have either personally worked in or recruited exclusively for the industry practice they serve. Their hands-on experience makes them experts at perfectly matching candidates to clients. For more information, visit

About CEW:

Cosmetic Executive Women, Inc. (CEW) is a nonprofit, professional organization, with more than 6,000 members, both men and women, from over 1,700 companies in the beauty and related industries. CEW brings the beauty community together, at every stage of their careers, from every facet of the industry. CEW leads the conversation in beauty, addressing topics that are shaping the future of the industry and provides unparalleled access to industry influencers and thought leaders. CEW provides the connections, tools, and leadership development resources to move careers forward, and recognizes professional achievement and innovation in the industry to inspire the next generation of leaders. CEW is based in New York City, and also hosts events for the beauty community in Los Angeles. Additionally, CEW has associated organizations in France and the United Kingdom. The CEW Foundation supports Cancer and Careers, a comprehensive program for people balancing work and cancer. For more information, visit

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Shaun Kelleher
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