Can a job market be both hot and cold at the same time? This certainly seems to be the case for Phoenix, which boasts a low unemployment rate but slower job growth, especially for professional and business service jobs.

A strong private sector, affordable cost of living and low tax environment continue to drive Phoenix relocations. Tech companies like Uber, Shutterfly and Yelp have all opened Phoenix-based offices. Last year, Farmers Insurance announced plans to significantly expand its north Phoenix operations center by hiring more than 1,000 skilled professionals.

Phoenix closed out 2016 with an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent for the metro region, besting the statewide rate of 4.7 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics reported by the Phoenix Business Journal. However, professional and business services created just 1,000 jobs between December 2015 and December 2016. This stagnant job creation means marketing and sales professionals relocating to Phoenix may face a longer search for their ideal position.

Are you making the move to Phoenix in 2017? Here’s what you need to know to position yourself for professional success:

Fortune 500 companies consider Phoenix to be a “second tier” market.
Many Fortune 500 companies have smaller satellite offices in Phoenix or no office at all, preferring to fly in from their Los Angeles-based office for the occasional sales meeting. This limits the number of Phoenix-based mid and senior-level sales positions. It’s much easier to find a sales position with a $50,000 salary than a six-figure salary. While you’ll find that the majority of open sales jobs are affiliated with call centers or entry-level positions, it’s still possible to find higher-paying positions– these openings are just less frequent.

Mid-level marketing positions are easier to find than upper management.
While experienced marketers can find positions paying in the low six-figures at mid-sized and boutique agencies, larger agencies have a limited presence in Phoenix – or no presence at all. Consequently, it is extremely difficult (or downright impossible) to find positions paying in the $200,000 to $300,000 range. In fact, it’s not unusual for Phoenix-based elite marketing talent to work for companies based in Los Angeles or New York, flying to the office as needed and otherwise working from home.

Patience pays off in the job search.
While new Phoenix residents may not find their dream job overnight, patience will pay off in the long run. If you’re struggling to get your foot in the door with companies, one option is to work with an executive recruiter. Most top sales and marketing positions are never posted to a job board. These searches are typically more discreet and conducted through an executive recruiting agency. As the Managing Partner for Sales & Marketing recruitment here in Phoenix, I find that a consultative approach delivers the best results for both job candidates and hiring companies.

As a long-time Phoenix resident, I love the city’s incredible quality of life. With an attractive business climate and highly educated workforce, I’m confident that the greater Phoenix area will continue to be a hot spot for businesses looking to scale their operations in 2017.

For more information on Phoenix job opportunities and in-demand skill sets, contact me at CNeese@lucasgroup.com.