MarCast welcomes Sholto Douglas-Home, global CMO at Hays

For the latest episode of MarCast, we welcomed Sholto Douglas-Home to the studio, to discuss growing the global marketing function at Hays, the ‘find and engage’ business model and how marketers must learn to communicate in non-marketing environments.

As part of our podcast partnership with Hays, we were lucky enough to host Hays’ global CMO, Sholto Douglas-Home in the MarCast studio, during his recent visit to Australia from the UK. Douglas-Home fills us in on his role in the boardroom and managing the brand and its function in global markets, how he professionalised and grew the Hays marketing team and how Hays builds and enhances its customer insights.


Wrap your ears around it today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Play. Here are some highlights:

What is Hays’ approach to marketing?

“I often get asked – by non-marketers – that question. I answer it with three words: awareness, engagement and acquisition. There is nothing that marketing does at Hays that doesn’t fall into one, or two, or three of those buckets. ‘Awareness’ obviously, it’s our job to build awareness of the brand and the services we provide. ‘Engagement’ means building and nurturing long term relationships with our clients and candidates. Third is acquisition, and that’s the pointy end of performance marketing in terms of helping our business acquire jobs to fill on behalf of organisations and acquiring new talent to feed into our talent ecosystem.”

On gathering customer insight

“The scale of data available now to a global recruitment firm is phenomenal. It goes way beyond the traditional candidate CV; it touches into huge swathes of recruitment data, economic trends, social media activity and our own ability to map and predict recruiting requirements or recruiting trends by different sector or seasonality. But as we know, big data can actually be too big and can make decision making even harder. So, where today a recruiter has access to a huge amount of data points and powerful analytics tools and technology and we need to generate a high quality shortlist as quickly as possible, we’ve created our own algorithm called the approachability index.”

On how marketers should communicate customer insights to management and leadership

“That touches into an area that I’m really passionate about. That is: how does marketing communicate in a non-marketing environment in a company? It’s something that I’ve learned over the last decade or so, and that is not to bring to an executive board discussion, the same language or the same material that you might have in your own team meetings. Data has to be presented in an operational, clearly relevant business language way. It’s not as if ‘marketing is bringing these great words of wisdom!’, it’s about sharing the insight that you can bring, within the context and language of the rest of the business.”

Wrap your ears around it today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Play.

MarCast is made possible by Hays marketing and digital. The recruiting experts in marketing and digital roles across Australia, for a wide range of industries and job functions. For the latest insights on what it takes to be a marketing director, download Hays’ ‘DNA of a Marketing Director‘ report.

Photo by Max Wolfs on Unsplash