Survey Shows Beauty Industry Employees Seeking More

More than half of beauty professionals state that they are dissatisfied with the rate of advancement in their careers, according to the 2013 Salary and Job Market Report by 24 Seven Inc., an international search firm specializing in marketing, creative and digital talent. The survey was a collaboration with Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), and its participants cite lack of a clear career path as the most significant issue keeping them up at night, and rank opportunity for advancement as the number one unfulfilled expectation in their current positions.

“Attracting and retaining top talent continues to be a significant challenge for the beauty industry,” said Celeste Gudas, president of 24 Seven Inc. “In this highly competitive market, the winning companies will be those that focus on cultivating the skills and careers of their employees, rewarding them with compelling compensation packages, and providing benefit offerings that are aligned with the changing needs and values of today’s talent base.”

Carlotta Jacobson, president of CEW, said of the survey, “The groundbreaking findings from this report provide greater clarity on the different wants and needs across the multiple generations in our industry. It offers invaluable information on how to recruit and retain the best and the brightest talent as well as an understanding of the evolution of beauty job market, salary trends and the outlook for the future."

The first annual study surveyed nearly 900 beauty professionals, ranging from the executive suite to the beauty counter and across categories including skin care, color cosmetics, fragrance and retail. Key findings of the study include:

Rising demand for top talent: Job outlook in the beauty industry is rising, and so is the expectation to find and recruit top talent. The majority of executives (70%) reported that hiring rates are equal to or better than pre-recession days, and that open positions are being filled at rates equal to or faster than years past (63%). That said, 90% of executives say they feel pressure to identify and attract game-changing talent, while just 32% report their companies have a formalized strategy in place to identify high-potential talent.

Open to prettier opportunities: Although 80% of participants reported an increase in total compensation since 2012, job loyalty remains low, with 66% of beauty professionals saying they are open to making a career move within the next year. Salary tops the list of reasons to change jobs (74%), followed by better advancement opportunities (50%), better growth potential (48%) and improved quality of life (27%).

Freelance nation on the rise: Freelance talent is in high demand. In fact, 76% of managers say they plan to rely on freelancers the same or more than they did last year, most prevalently in the fragrance and color cosmetic categories. This growing need is encouraging to freelance talent, 90% of whom expect to increase or maintain their rates in 2013. While flexibility, a better work/life balance and control over career path are the top reasons they became freelancers, 40% say they would consider traditional employment.

Benefit offerings matter: The beauty industry and its talent are mostly aligned in terms of benefits, with medical insurance being the most offered by companies as well as the most desired by talent (71%). Beauty professionals also greatly value life balance benefits such as summer hours/comp days (50%) and flex time/telecommuting (21%). In fact, benefit offerings are so important that 77% of beauty professionals surveyed say a generous benefit package would influence their decision to switch employers.

For its 2013 Salary and Job Market Report, 24 Seven Inc. surveyed almost 900 beauty professionals around the world. The survey examined the current state and prevailing attitudes of the employment market in the beauty industry and the impact of compensation and benefits on overall job satisfaction. Of those surveyed, 90% were female, 10% were male and the median annual salary for the entire sample was $95,000; 47% of respondents worked for a company with over $500 million in sales, and 76% were GenXers. Furthermore, 45% of those surveyed held senior executive/management titles. Job functions of those surveyed included: marketing/creative; sales; production/sourcing; research and development; design and technical; store level and field; planning and merchandising; e-commerce; corporate retail; operations and IT; market research; advertising and wholesale. For a copy of the 2013 Salary and Job Market Report, visit

More in News