Focus Global Talent Solutions, a leading specialized tech staffing & recruiting firm, have put together this salary guide for Adobe Experience Manager professionals.
Digital presence is important for many businesses; therefore having the right digital experience platform is imperative. Many organizations are looking for new ways to make their content look more appealing and drive traffic their way to increase sales, increase security and also improve efficiency.
One of the most well-known adopted and fastest-growing digital experience platforms is Adobe Experience Manager (AEM). The demand for Adobe Experience Manager professionals continues to increase as more organizations rely heavily on technology for the success of their business.
Table of Content:
Why is Adobe Experience Manager so popular?
Retaining employees in that market
Focus GTS Advice
In-demand skills for AEM
Benefits of working as an AEM Specialist
Contract vs. Permanent Employment
What is AEM?
Why is Adobe Experience Manager so popular?
The increase in demand for AEM experts is due to the tools and benefits that the software provides. AEM is popular in different sectors, making it very versatile; such the ecommerce, healthcare, finance and more. It is easily implemented and beneficial to nearly every industry or domain. Current companies such as Deloitte, Mastercard, Motorola, GSK, Samsung are managing multiple sites with AEM.
AEM contains specific tools and features which make it easier for you to manage your website from different regions and using different languages. You can control multiple sites from one location. This can also be applied to the marketing aspect of a business allowing you to roll out marketing campaigns over multiple sites.
SEO & user experience
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important process of improving the quality of your content whilst increasing the quantity of website traffic. This improves the user’s experience as well as driving sales for the business.
AEM has the great feature of being able to detect valuable information about your content and assigning them to metadata and applying tags to them. This makes your life easier if you have large volumes of content to manage, driving efficiency.
The best way to increase user experience is by providing personalized content, however, personalized content can be very time-consuming. AEM allows you to choose if you wish to personalize content, using analytical tools to measure the potential results and performance of personalized content.
These points help manage and improve your customer’s online experience. Companies have reported a 3x return on investment since adopting AEM Assets. The digital team saw a 19% increase in productivity, with users reporting that they were able to create assets 47% faster and deliver content 27% faster. AEM sites doing just as well, with the digital team seeing a 23% increase in productivity. Similarly, users reported a 64% decrease in the time it took to make minor changes and 66% faster delivery of new brands and websites.
Retaining employees in that market
AEM is just going to get better and better, therefore we need to meet the demand for AEM professionals. Looking at the figures, you can expect more and more people to adopt Adobe Experience Manager. Many organizations have recently transitioned from using platforms such as WordPress or legacy CMS to AEM. However, with products that see a continuous rise; there comes the demand for people who have the right skills and expertise.
AEM experts have skills that are in high demand, as their skills can be applied to different tasks. You can call them a jack of all trades. The skills can range from knowledge of programming languages such as Java, Apache Sling, etc.
When these experts apply their current skillset with AEM experience, they unlock a new door to producing effective results. Although the demand for this skillset continues to rise, many firms are facing the challenge of scarcity.
On the 16th of May, there were 5,813 results for Adobe experience managers in United States on LinkedIn. 764 being entry level, 2,498 being mid-senior level, and 274 of them being directors of executive roles.
The biggest problem the market is facing with retaining AEM experts is that existing programmers lack the experience required to carry out the skills and understanding of an AEM system.
These experts need to acquire and understand the best practices needed for the sector and how to incorporate them effectively using Advertising Cloud components to optimize the system. They want to ensure that the firm has employed the right person to optimize its digital marketing as the wrong person can prove to be costly!
Therefore, we now understand that AEM is an extremely niche skill set, making it more difficult to fill these roles. With the high demand for AEM specialists, you can imagine how many emails, LinkedIn messages, and calls they may receive about a potential opening. It is known that there is roughly 8 openings per 1 developer on the market.
You can imagine how the pandemic has made all of this much harder. According to LinkedIn, nearly 46% of hiring professionals believe that the pandemic has negatively affected candidate experience.
We have put together some information in terms of the interview and hiring process for AEM experts.
The typical hiring process for technology professionals include:
Offer – OFFER ACCEPTED!
This includes them finding more information about the candidate, such as their skillset, their educational background, their locations, doing further checks through social media such as LinkedIn as well as verifying a candidate’s legitimacy.
Pre-screening tech professionals can take up to 30 minutes per candidate. This might sound like the acceptable amount of time needed to get a greater understanding of each candidate. However, this can slowly add up. Pre-screening five candidates per day can take up to 2.5 hours, before an interview is even scheduled.
Once this process is done, and you have allocated a few candidates you wish to move onto the initial interview phase; this can then take up to 2 weeks to actually sit down with the potential candidate.
If the hiring process takes longer than 2 weeks, the candidate has most likely already been offered opportunities from multiple other companies due to the market being so fast moving.
This is the last part of the recruitment process. At this point, the hiring manager, the company and the candidate are at ease and are preparing for what’s to come. The recruiter has found their ideal candidate and to ensure they avoid losing the candidate to competing offers; the offer will be extended as soon as. An offer can be typically take up to 1-3 days between offer and acceptance.
If the offer process takes too long, theres a high chance that the candidate will land themself a better opportunity or get frustrated about the long-winded process. Especially with tech candidates, who are currently high in demand.
On average, a company with approximately 250 to 500 employees will make an offer to 22.78% of the candidates they interview.
Focus GTS Advice
To find the right AEM specialist for your team, we at Focus GTS advise you to take the next steps to improve your recruitment process.
A simple recruitment process
Complex recruitment processes normally scare a lot of candidates away or the process is too long that the candidate accepts competing offers. Many tech experts understand how long-winded a recruitment process can be, from initial interviews to take-home coding assessments, and in-office coding assessments.
We understand that all these measures are put in place to ensure that a firm hires the right person. However, not only does it scare many candidates away, the firm loses out on valuable time. Trying so hard to find the ‘perfect candidate’ can cause you to lose the right candidate that was right in front of your eyes.
60% quit job applicants that take too long
27% of recruiters say that a long hiring process heavily affects them when hiring a new candidate
Cutting down on the number of people involved in the hiring process can speed up and make the process much simpler. AEM talent should primarily be speaking with other AEM specialists, the development team, etc. These are the people they would typically work closely with and will have a greater understanding of the candidate’s expertise and what should be expected of them on the project.
Consider your recruiter
When trying to hire a niche role such as AEM talent, it would be more valuable to the organization as well as the candidate that the recruiter is someone who specializes in recruiting tech talent. General recruiters will not have the wherewithal to effectively screen the right candidate and ensure that the hired candidate provides immediate value upon joining.
Although they may have great experience in recruitment, they may not know anything about niche roles like AEM.
Using a specialized recruiter will save the organization a lot of time and money as the recruiter will know exactly who to move onto the next step and who may not fit the requirements. Neither the recruiter nor the candidate want to go through a long-winded process to realize that the candidate does not posses some required skills or that the role is not what the candidate expected.
Both of these processes will help you find the right candidate, as well as saving you time and resources. Processes can be done more effectively, they just need to be re-reviewed to figure out if that is the most effective process. Currently in the market, most successful companies in the AEM space are condensing their interview process to no more than 2 interviews with the aid of a thorough tech screen from a specialized recruiter.
This adds a 3rd layer of protection to the hiring process where the recruiter will provide up to 4 quality submissions of candidates that fit the description of what the project or company needs to be successful. This gives the company or client more control over which candidate will provide the most value and fit with their team and company the best.
Have your non-negotiables
Having non-negotiables is the art of setting rules which can save you time and money whilst increasing the accuracy in recruitment for AEM positions. Every company should have these to make their hiring process much easier. They should identify at least 3 “must-have” skills, expertise, or attributes that a candidate must possess.
This helps speed up your recruitment process, reducing time spent on sourcing candidates and the pre-screening phase.
You should also ensure that your job description is not a shopping list, not only does it scare candidates away but it also allows them to get a better understanding of what is expected and if they fit the role. Proviing an over detailed list of technologies will only take attention away from the most important skillsets needed for a candidate to be successful.
- Low Annual Salary: $148,000
- Average Annual Salary: $185,000
- High Annual Salary: $222,000
- Entry-level Annual Salary: ₤27,000
- Average Annual Salary: ₤38,558
- Experienced Salary: ₤54,000
- Entry-level Annual Salary: $24,000
- Average Annual Salary: $33,800
- Experienced Salary: $47,000
- Adobe AEM Sales Manager, $242K – $314K per year
- KPMG AEM Web Content Manager – Adobe Experience Manager, Estimated salary of $71K – $136K
In-demand skills for AEM
- Familiarity with Java Content Repository API
- AEM as a Cloud experience
- Full stack development ability
- Experience working on Headless Applications or Single Page Applications (SPA) using React or Angular
- Experience with AEM Developer tools such as Apache Sling
- Knowledge of OSGI and Declarative services
- Confident in building tools, such as Maven
- Knowledge of version control tools, such as Git
- Design and develop quality and clean code
- Pair programming and code reviews experience
- Experience with wiki-based documentation tools like Confluence
Benefits of working as an AEM Specialist
Due to AEM being a niche technology, there are not many people who know how to use it. It is a difficult skill to master, therefore you have a head start in the technology market. The demand for AEM talent will continue to rise, putting current AEM experts in a better position and freshers a great opportunity to advance their career faster than a Java Developer would.
Industry leading clients leverage AEM for content management, e-commerce integrations, high visibility websites and even forms and Campaigns. As the AEM space is still fairly new to the market, the position will definitely stand out on your resume. As a candidate you will get to work with some of the largest companies across the country and even globally, making you more desirable. Diversity of skills
As mentioned above, the AEM technology is fairly new and getting into the skills market earlier than others put’s you a step closer. You will have the ability to work with other technologies that integrate with AEM, which does not limit your ability to work on other technologies in the future. It is a Java based platform where you will continue to use the core fundamentals that your career is built on whilst adding new skills along the way.
The AEM space is seeing a continuous rise, with it being reflected on the pay. AEM specialists have a higher pay than most specialties in the market; with a variety of opening from Full time, contract and contract to hire opportunities.
With the rise in the technology field and more and more people entering it; job security maybe something on tech experts minds. As an AEM specialist there are typically 8 open jobs per 1 developer. Therefore, although you may be between projects; there is always a possibility that a recruiter may be interested in your services due to the demand.
Contract vs. Permanent Employment
In this section, we break down contract and permanent employment positions as an AEM expert.
Contract-based work is very high in demand, especially in the AEM world. The Adobe Experience Manager Platform is a large investment for a company, therefore most companies prefer to hire contract workers to be able to immediately join and add value to keep the project moving in the right direction. Most projects have strict timelines and the importance of keeping the platform running optimally can be the difference between a company having a good quarter, an amazing quarter and even a terrible quarter if deadlines are not met.
This allows for the flexibility in hiring professionals to take on a short-term project for a span of three months or longer, without having to commit to annual salaries with company benefits, training, self development etc.
The main benefit of hiring a contractor is the ability to fill a void on a team in less than 2 weeks with someone that can immediately pick up where someone else left off. Hiring a full-time candidate can take more than 4+ weeks to onboard resulting in massive losses or bigger issues due to falling behind in development or platforms not working altogether.
A permanent employee usually has a fixed salary in place and works a set of hours for the company. Permanent employees can also be ‘temporary’, meaning they are working a full-time role on a temporary basis, such as 9 months.
On the 16th of May, there are currently 517 results for AEM Experts in the United States on LinkedIn. There are 5,259 full-time permanent positions, and there are 18 temporary AEM jobs available. Due to the nature of contracting, few companies will advertise contract positions like they would for a permanent position.
This type of role is a contract role with the intention of becoming a full-time hire based on performance and need. This is most common for companies that have a large project needing to hire multiple developers across multiple teams. Hiring a contractor is much faster and using the contract to hire model will allow a company to bring on multiple developers or architects to kickstart a project while assessing if they are a proper fit for the position.
Candidates benefit from this by learning more about how the team and management operates and how the project will progress. As well as if the work environment truly matches what they would want to fully commit to which provides a “try before you buy” scenario.
Joining a project as a contractor will provide an hourly rate that is typically higher than an annual salary to accommodate for the benefits that may not be provided initially. After proving value to a company, a candidate can leverage their impact on the project to increase their salary and benefits package when the time comes to discuss compensations; making it a great way for a candidate to get a raise.
For the company hiring in this manner, they similarly get an opportunity to “try before you buy” as it is difficult to foresee that a candidate is going to properly deliver on all things promised in an interview. If a candidate turns out to be a high performer, a company may want to extend a permanent offer sooner to ensure they keep the good talent close by. Adversely, if a candidate is underperforming, they can be released from the project and a replacement can be found in 1-2 weeks rather than searching 4+ weeks for a permanent replacement.
“The position lasts anywhere from three months to a year, though some can go as long as three years,” writes FlexJobs.5
A contract-to-hire role should not be confused as a freelance position; however they are not permanent roles either.
Why tech industries are gearing towards contract-to-hire?
Although hiring contract and contract-to-hire employees is a fairly new trend, more and more tech companies are shifting to this hiring practice. It is happening for AWS, Data Science, and AEM experts and we believe that the trend will continue to dominate the industry for years to come.
Companies prefer to hire contractors instead of committing to full-time hires. They do not want to find out a few months down the line that the employee they hired was not a good fit. The risk drastically decreases when hiring contractors who can meet your high demand tech expectations.
Contract-to-hire roles save employers a lot of time and money, whilst providing them with profitability, productivity and flexibility. Hiring someone on an hourly basis makes negotiations very simple when an offer is extended as they only need to agree on payment terms and a rate in comparison to a complex compensation package. This can have a candidate accept a position in one day rather than needing 5+ days to compare and contrast compensation packages.
Fast offers and fast acceptances are the best way to have top talent work on a project in a high demand market allowing the space and conversation for compensation packages to be discussed months down the road. Not only has it helped employers, but it has also allows contractors have a better work-life balance.
What is AEM?
AEM is a comprehensive content management system (CMS) allowing your team to design, and manage digital experiences using simplified content authoring. Their easy-to-use interface allows you to interact with images, videos, and other forms of content.
Adobe Experience Manager has 4 main capabilities:
Content Management System
AEM’s content management system is powered by AI built on a cloud platform that is agile, secure, and scalable. This allows you with the basic foundations to build the best website to see a high return on investment. This tool allows you to reach your audience from any device.
Digital asset management
Digital experiences can become very difficult to manage, however, AEM has a solution for this challenge; Digital asset management. This allows you and your team to collaborate effectively in the cloud, increasing productivity. This ensures the business creates valuable content in order for them to scale, reducing time-consuming tasks such as tagging and cropping.
Digital enrollment and forms
Most successful e-commerce firms have is data collection. Data surrounding customers gives companies a competitive advantage. AEM’s digital enrollment and forms provide faster form rendering, automated updates, and automatic scaling. This allows for easy data collection surrounding customers and other areas without the team having to go and collect it themselves.
With security upgrades implemented, you can rest assure that all forms of data are secure.
This allows companies to deliver new forms and documents 63% faster than before. Companies using AEM forms see an ROI of 379% after 3 years.
In early 2020, Adobe Experience Manager moved to the Cloud and many companies reported that they had seen some great benefits. There was a 40% increase in administrative efficiencies and a 50% jump in processing speed.
Cloud services have a pre-configured security standard. Which gives you peace of mind that you are protected from potential risks. You can easily scale your business providing you with the right tools to guide you to manage and improve digital assets. The cloud service also allows for automatic updates to the platform, saving you a lot of time and money of upgrading systems.