Cosmetics is one of the most competitive industries that exist. You have a number of multinational conglomerate like L’Oréal, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Shishedo and Estée Lauder alongside startups such as Glossier competing for customers. Social media like TikTok have completely transformed the landscape.
ACCUR Recruiting Services is often tasked with recruiting for the beauty and cosmetics industry. Here are some of the criteria we think about when we recruit executives for this industry.
An Ability to Innovate Around New Product Categories and Audiences
While the cosmetics industry is dominated by well-established players, that’s not to say there isn’t room for upstarts. Two new brands that have come onto the market in the past decade that come to mind are Glossier, a retail juggernaut that has transformed the industry through “experiential” stores and Jones Road Beauty, a new brand by makeup maven Bobbi Brown that is obsessed with natural formulations and has found a passionate audience among mature women.
To source executives who can work with such companies, we look for visionary leaders who possess the ability to foresee market trends, consumer preferences, and new innovations in formulations and package design. These executives must oversee products that not only fulfill current needs but also anticipate future desires.
Marketing and Branding Acumen, Including Social Media, Influencer Marketing and Social Selling
For executives tasked with launching a new brand, sophisticated branding and storytelling knowledge is a must, and expertise in social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram are a natural part of that process.
Brands like CeraVe, L’Oréal, Glossier, Estee Lauder, Neutrogena, and Dermalogica invest time and resources in making sure that their TikTok and Instagram presences are robust.
When we are recruiting for marketing candidates for beauty brands, we look for:
- Data driven candidates with a strong focus on revenue
- Individuals who have experience in building cross-channel campaigns
- Executives who can speak about campaigns in depth, from creative through execution through evaluation, along with all relevant metrics
Retail and Distribution Mastery, Including Amazon, Drugstores and DTC
The retail landscape in beauty today is complex, weaving together DTC brands with other important e-commerce outlets (like Amazon) all the way down to drugstores and supermarkets customers visit on a weekly basis. Walgreens is considered to the be the nation’s second largest beauty retailer, behind Walmart, with beauty sales accounting for 12 percent of all revenue, according to WWD. Other major beauty retailers in this universe include CVS and Target.
Executives launching new brands in this environment understand the importance of partnerships, negotiations, and logistics in ensuring a smooth flow from production to the consumer’s hands.
Working with Celebrity-Backed Skincare and Cosmetic Brands
As social media continues to dominate our lives, celebrity-owned makeup and skincare brands are attaining greater prominence, and a number of them have grown beyond the association of their famous founders and into multi-billion dollar brands. Consider the following brands:
- Fenty Beauty by Rihanna: This launch made waves in the beauty industry by offering a diverse range of foundation shades to cater to a wide variety of skin tones. Fenty Beauty’s inclusive approach to beauty was widely praised and contributed to its rapid success.
- Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner: Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics brand achieved rapid success, partially due to her massive social media following. The brand’s initial release of lip kits created a frenzy and paved the way for its expansion into a full cosmetics line.
- Haus Laboratories by Lady Gaga: Lady Gaga’s makeup brand, Haus Laboratories, focused on self-expression and creativity. The brand’s unique packaging and inclusive message contributed to its popularity.
How We Select and Interview Beauty and Cosmetics Executives
At ACCUR, we’ve developed a successful interviewing technique over time and we use it to help select beauty executives:
- Don’t talk first, leave space and time for the candidate to reveal themselves
- Ask open ended questions that invite the candidate to show their true colors
- Ask the candidate to talk you through the big picture view of companies they’ve worked for
- Dig deeply into a few questions, asking the same question different ways
Contact us for more help finding and interviewing beauty executive candidates.