Marketing Skills vs Sector Experience: Which is Best?

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One tricky decision that employers face is whether a lot of industry experience is necessary for a marketing role, or if sufficient skills are enough to be successful. Marketing is a difficult industry to crack, so it’s understandable why you’d want to hire a tried and tested professional.

As recruitment specialists, we know the value of hiring a skilled individual who doesn’t necessarily have the experience to match. Experience is a valuable asset to have, but it’s impossible to gain this if you’re never hired due to being new in the field.

The best marketing teams are formed from a diverse workforce – an organisation of long-term employees alone won’t reach its full potential. Jobs in marketing require all ranges of experience levels and you should bear this in mind when hiring your team.

Advantages of Marketing Skills

An individual who has the skills needed for marketing is already in good stead to advance in their career and build a name for themselves in the marketing sector. As long as someone communicates effectively, speaks well in public, thinks analytically, has a creative mind, negotiates well, manages stress effectively, and has a solid grasp on technology, they’re well equipped to have a career in marketing.

Establishing these skills is the most difficult part of the process, so having them from the offset is a great start. Sector experience will inevitably come with time, but learning the correct marketing skills is not necessarily a given.

Disadvantages of Marketing Skills

The main disadvantage of marketing skills alone is that a prospective employee might not yet be equipped to deal with all manner of situations. Marketing is heavily driven by interpersonal communication, meaning it can be an unpredictable field. Effectively dealing with conflict or other complications is something that comes with experience, and a newbie might find themselves overwhelmed.

For a more advanced marketing role, you may opt for a more experienced individual as they will likely have dealt with the majority of complications that come with the sector. A new starter with the right skills can then acquaint themselves with problems they may encounter as they progress in their career.

Advantages of Sector Experience

The greatest advantage of sector experience is the abundance of knowledge that is gained from working in the industry for years. Highly experienced individuals know the most effective way of carrying out processes, dealing with problems, and adapting marketing techniques to the client. This knowledge isn’t something that’s learned overnight, so hiring someone with this experience can be a great timesaver when training employees.

Experience will show in how confidently someone carries out day-to-day tasks within the field. A confident execution allows for trust between the employer and employee, as well as between the company and client.

Disadvantages of Sector Experience

Though long-term knowledge can be beneficial to a marketing professional, it can also contribute to their downfall. Marketing is an ever-evolving field and, at times, old knowledge can’t be applied to new processes. Similarly, experienced professionals can often be set in their ways and not accepting of change, which can stunt the growth of your business.

In contrast, newbies with the right skills will often be more adaptable and accepting of guidance or criticism. This allows you to mould your new employee to the needs of your company.

The Verdict

Ultimately, the decision between marketing skills and sector experience falls to the needs of your company and the role at hand. Some positions will require a fresh, new stance, whereas others will demand a strong knowledge of the marketing sector.

For further advice and guidance in recruiting for the marketing sector, please contact us and we’ll be happy to lend a helping hand in renovating your hiring strategy.

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