Whether you’re a dedicated HR representative at your company or an industry leader specializing in the vast, creative, and consumer-centric world of marketing, finding the best people is probably at the forefront of your mind.
In these unprecedented times — from COVID-19 to the Great Resignation — a simple bachelor’s degree is probably not the only criteria that pops jazz-handedly out of a candidate’s resume to grab an employer’s attention.
Not to mention, in a sea of candidates (literally, colleges across the country are still floundering while juggling a rigorous course load, part-time work, and passion projects), employers may not know where to start recruiting.
Aside from internal referrals via a company-wide email or Slack message, it’s in an employer’s best interest to promote a job posting page such as ZipRecruiter.
With ZipRecruiter, companies can hire employees for free (one of the best ways to find employees)! Also, employers can effectively curate their job postings to target the exact candidate they are looking for.
But back to marketing. Contestants arrive on a Cheesecake Factory-sized menu, with personalities, expertise, and qualifications all baked differently. Some may be more interested in the creative side – the brand strategy, the campaigns – while others are more sales-oriented, analytical and trend forecasting. Some can be both.
We turned to Stacy Schwartz, MBAAssistant Professor of Digital Practice at Rutgers Business School and Founding Director of the university’s Master of Science program in Digital Marketing to discuss what employers can look for when hiring the best candidate for them.
Schwartz told the Post she’s been in the digital marketing industry “since she was born” — when she was hired as the 11th employee at internet advertising pioneer DoubleClick in 1996.
Find ahead of time all the considerations you should take into account if you are currently searching for a marketing candidate to join your team or are just researching the possibility of opening a new position. Also, don’t forget to check out ZipRecruiter as a board for your job advertisement.
Marketing candidates must focus on the customer’s needs
You’ve heard it before–“the customer is always right.” For a marketer, however, this is a crucial quality: keeping the holistic values of your brand in mind. Whether you work for a social media agency or a sales department for a global brand, building and maintaining these relationships is vital.
“Marketing majors are very customer-centric; they are taught that sustained business growth and long-term success requires a relentless focus on customers’ needs and wants,” Schwartz told the Post. “They remain attuned to the market to anticipate changes in those needs and wants, giving the company the opportunity to change market offerings accordingly.”
Marketing candidates need to be versatile when learning the industry
Without a doubt, marketing is a constantly evolving field. Just look at social media: vertical video is now doing better than traditional horizontal video on social media, and is opening up micro-influencers as a key marketing tool. However, the employee you hire must be both scientific and vigilant and the art of marketing.
Additionally, the undergraduate marketing curriculum is both quantitative and qualitative, so those with a concrete marketing degree may come to your company with a 360-degree lens of the entire industry. “Students learn the ‘science’ of marketing, including topics related to marketing analytics, customer insights, consumer behavior, pricing and artificial intelligence,” Schwartz said. “You’ll also learn the ‘art’ of marketing through courses on advertising, social media and multicultural approaches to marketing.”
Interestingly, according to Schwartz, science and art “meet” in marketing strategy and branding courses. “If they come out of a business school, they need to take core business courses like finance, accounting, supply chain, management and business analytics.”
Marketing candidates must be data-savvy
OK, while Excel can sometimes be the bane of our existence, a good working knowledge is a crucial metric to consider when hiring a marketing candidate, Schwartz says.
“In our increasingly digital world, the volume and variety of ways to collect customer data can be overwhelming,” Schwartz said. “Marketing majors are taught to measure what matters and how to develop meaningful customer insights in a noisy environment.”
Marketing candidates must be flexible, creative problem solvers
Looking at trends, Schwartz believes the ideal is to stay on top of new devices and new ways of planning, sharing and accelerating your brand’s content and vision.
Not to mention that creativity and data skills go hand in hand. “They use data to solve problems, but creativity to break through the clutter and get their message heard,” Schwartz said.
Marketing candidates must demonstrate practical experience
According to Schwartz, even a young professional should be able to demonstrate a certain amount of practical marketing experience by leafing through a tower of applications. This can be accomplished through a formal internship, co-op, or part-time job, although this is not the only way candidates can market themselves.
“Students may present a marketing plan they developed for a real-world client as part of a classroom project, or perhaps results of their marketing efforts to sell tickets to an on-campus event or registrations for a student club,” Schwartz said. “Students can also earn industry certifications (free or low-cost) from leading digital marketing companies like Google, Meta, HubSpot and Hootsuite.”
Most of these virtual certifications are coupled with free online courses that prepare them to use these tools in the real world, and can be featured on a candidate’s resume when uploaded to a job posting page such as ZipRecruiter.
Marketing candidates need to pivot when they hit an obstacle
While this tidbit is great in a variety of industries, Schwartz believes it’s particularly applicable in the field of marketing.
“Additionally, a good salesperson should be passionate about building collaborative relationships with their prospects and be resilient when faced with rejection,” Schwartz said. “Like any strategic marketer, a sales-focused position must pivot (with enthusiasm!) when it encounters an obstacle.”
Additionally, a good salesperson should not only understand the product they are selling, but the entire ecosystem in which they are selling. “If the prospect isn’t buying from you, what else could they be doing with that budget?” Schwartz pointed out. “It may not be your direct competitor, but a completely different solution.”
In order to fully empathize with your customer, your marketer needs to have a basic knowledge of possible solutions to meet your brand’s needs.
Marketing candidates need to keep an eye on trends
In our transcending digital world, creative marketing positions require a deep understanding of data and targeting, not just content and design. After all, what is good creative design without an audience?
Media consumption today is fragmented and controlled by the customer. “Viewers can be marketed, and it’s harder than ever for marketers to create compelling, relevant content that sufficiently captures even 15 seconds of their audience’s attention,” Schwartz said. “So marketers should spend as much time producing quality content as they spend deciding where to live and how to surface to be seen.”
Marketing candidates must be experts at building partnerships
If you’re a business journalist with an organized spreadsheet of brand contacts and emails, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re a wedding planning company that gets annual reports on the latest bridal trends, you’re a diamond in the rough too.
“It’s a great idea to network and keep an active contact list as the industry is always changing,” Schwartz said. “There are many creative partnerships between media companies and vendor platforms that help our marketing programs succeed.” Also, companies merge and acquire, and you may be working with unexpected people you’ve met before.
However, a Rolodex with connections isn’t much of a deal breaker, especially for an entry-level contender. “We use sponsored stories and advertorials to ensure our content has a chance to be seen,” she added. “We also use tactics like brand ambassadors and influencer marketing programs to generate ‘earned’ media (powered by paid) that breaks the clutter.”
The final result
Marketing candidates are some of the most intrinsically motivated industry leaders you can hire. From creative to analytical, your next candidate will surely wear many hats. To maximize your pool of soon-to-be hires, look around ZipRecruiter to start preparing your job posting.
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https://nypost.com/2022/03/09/how-to-find-the-best-employees-in-the-marketing-industry/ How to find the best people in the marketing industry