How to hire the right marketers in a shallow talent pool

Business leaders and senior marketers rely too strongly on word-of-mouth when hiring marketing talent. Lee Martin Seymour offers some help to stay afloat.

Lee Martin Seymour 150 BWDeloitte Access Economics and RMIT predicted that by 2021, there’ll be enough demand for more than 300,000 marketers in Australia. Marketing is booming! And with more emphasis being placed on marketing-driven business strategies, it’s important for businesses of all sizes to know that they are recruiting the right marketing talent for the job, every time they make a new hire.

But how can they be confident in their hiring decisions? By investing in the recruitment process – not just financially but with the thought and resources to make the process quick, insightful and more effective in the long run.

Moving beyond word of mouth

It’s become clear that the Australian marketing and advertising industry has quite an informal recruitment culture – with word of mouth referrals often taking the place of more formalised processes. It seems like everyone knows everyone but it is important for senior marketers to dedicate some time to ensuring their hiring process is robust when growing their teams.

It’s survival of the fittest and with the talent pool getting smaller daily, smart marketers need to look beyond word of mouth when hiring. While a recommendation might get an applicant through the door for an interview, it’s a candidate’s market, and recruiters can’t afford to take everything their candidates say at face value. There needs to be better due diligence to ensure that potential new recruits can actually ‘do’ the job required.

We’ll often turn to employees to recommend friends, former teammates and industry acquaintances — however, it’s always difficult to be sure that these referrals will be the right fit or have the right skills for the role.

Investing in a recruitment process that leverages HR technologies is a good way for businesses and senior marketers within organisations to create an efficient, insightful and tailored hiring journey that’s relevant to the specific role for which they’re hiring. It will also help to bring the right people on board, reducing the chance of potential candidate fraud while making business leaders confident in their hiring decisions.

The war for talent

While it is positive that the industry is booming, it has created a so-called war for talent. Marketers, hiring managers and businesses know they need to snap up talent quickly, especially as candidates are often fielding multiple offers at the same time.

In addition to the growth of the marketing demand, Australian businesses are also battling against a national skills shortage. We know that most businesses are feeling the urge to hire quickly, but quality should be a key priority too. This need for speed when hiring can often lead to corner-cutting and important details being missed. Businesses must implement data-led processes to avoid this.

Knowing the talent pool is becoming increasingly shallow, a key priority for recruitment teams who are hiring marketers is making quick but informed hires. Time wasted chasing references, particularly if the candidate in question has nominated referees that are interstate or overseas, is not ideal — especially if they have multiple offers on the table.

How technology can help

Technology can help senior marketers make smarter, more confident hiring decisions. One of the biggest issues when hiring to build out a marketing team, regardless of the size of the business, is the legwork needed to manage the process, from an initial interview to sending through a contract. The battle for high-quality talent means that efficiency is key, and recruiters should look to automate aspects of the process, such as conducting references.

We know that bad hires based on word-of-mouth recommendations are a massive issue but technology can help remove this level of subjectivity, helping to analyse both quantitative and qualitative insights, so businesses can ensure they are hiring the right marketers every time.

Lee Martin Seymour is CEO and co-founder at Xref.

Further reading

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