The marketing space is growing in strength and size, with 153,000 people currently employed within the marketing and advertising industry – more than 70% of whom are graduates. No matter your industry or service offering, your marketing team will play a critical role – especially as you look to future-proof your business. Whether you’re currently looking to fill vacancies or you simply want to ensure your team is the best it can be moving forward, here are the top traits to look for when hiring marketing talent.
Collaborative working drives workplace performance, with companies that promote teamwork and collaboration five times more likely to be high performing. Luckily, good marketers should naturally be able to work cross-functionally, particularly when it comes to cohesive working with your sales people. Collaboration benefits the whole business as it promotes knowledge transfer between the two critical functions of sales and marketing, each of which holds vital information that can have a major impact on overall targets and KPIs. Customer data, behaviours and buying patterns can benefit the activities of both sales and marketing, resulting in better qualified leads and ultimately increased revenue. When hiring marketing talent, look for candidates who pride themselves on their organisational and delegation skills, as well as those who mention teamwork and an interest in other parts of the business.
It’s important to remember that collaborative working is only possible when you allow and promote it as a business. Systematic factors influence how your team members behave in the workplace – things such as information flow, decision making, how employees are measured and rewarded and even the physical layout of your workplace. As a manager, you should not only look to hire marketers who want to work collaboratively, but also promote a collaborative environment yourself.
Great marketers are storytellers who are capable of telling convincing, eye-opening stories. In fact, storytelling has been said to be one of the biggest business skills on the market. Content is king, consumers expect instant interaction and companies are trying harder than ever to target their audience in new and meaningful ways – which is where storytelling comes in.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to spot a good storyteller immediately. When you’re interviewing marketing candidates, ask open-ended questions that indicate you’re looking for descriptive responses, rather than just answers. Prompts like “Tell me how you came to be in this interview” and “How did you end up in marketing?” can help. Look out for candidates who are narratively efficient (i.e. they don’t ramble), are emotive in their stories and use resonance in their responses. A good storyteller is one who can tailor their tales to their audience.
The marketing world is ever evolving, which means talented marketers need to keep up with and adapt to emerging techniques and technologies. In order to maintain your competitive edge as a business, you need people who aren’t afraid to be constantly learning and upskilling. Curiosity is one of the most important soft skills you should be looking for when making a new hire, particularly in the technological age where the use of robotics and artificial intelligence is becoming more mainstream.
As well as looking for technological capability, seek out marketers who aren’t afraid of a challenge, have worked in different environments and are open to new approaches and techniques. Ask candidates what their experience of workplace education has been and what they read and engage with in their field. Positivity about upskilling and learning are among the top traits to look for when hiring marketing talent.
It goes without saying that marketers are innately creative, and the modern marketing workplace needs to be forward-thinking more than ever. Social sharing has halved since 2015, the volume of content published continues to increase and there are new tools and platforms making their way onto the market seemingly every day. That means as well as being adaptable, your marketing team needs to be creative and innovative when it comes to sharing messages and targeting your audience. Candidates should be big-picture thinkers who – crucially – can deliver on their promises.
Cultural fit should be as important to you as it is to your candidates, especially as 89% of hiring failures are due to a poor cultural fit. Cultural fit reduces company turnover, improves productivity and ensures your team can work collaboratively and in harmony, so it makes sense to look out for this at interview stage. Things to consider include a marketing candidate’s history and what they’re looking for in a new job – if they’ve exclusively worked in very corporate environments and respond best to KPIs and strict targets, a relaxed, informal group dynamic may not suit them. Ask how they work and if they’re comfortable as teams or individually, and what their preferred management style is. These can all signal how they might fit in with the rest of your business.
Let BMS help you hire the right marketers for your business
Our specialist marketing recruitment consultants can help you identify the top traits to look for when hiring marketing talent. We know the right marketing skills, experience and personality can make or break your team, and we’d love to help you find the perfect fit. Find out about our marketing recruitment process or read more of our insights here.
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