“Why is it so hard to find good marketing talent?” is the question asked far-and-wide by frustrated C-level executives across almost every industry. In this two-part series, we’ll take a look at why employers struggle to source, recruit and retain great marketers, as well as what marketing candidates need to consider when committing to this career choice. We can’t be gentle with you on this one so please don’t be offended by our Jersey-speak. Employers: wake up. You allocate millions of dollars each year for your marketing budget. You buy the latest and greatest analytics tools and have a monthly subscription to the coolest lead nurturing system. And then you try to hire on the cheap by giving senior-level responsibilities to inexperienced professionals who are struggling to learn the business world on the watch or hire someone part-time who’s not able to provide the level of support the demands require. Get real. If you want world-class marketing results, budget and staff accordingly. Don’t think that technology can bridge the gap or that tactics will mask a lack of strategy.
Secondly, when hiring a marketing person, you’re really looking to hire multiple people in one body. Think Sybil on steroids: a project manager, a great writer, a terrific presenter and a friend to all, able to interact with your leadership team and set plus oversee short- and long-term objectives. Marketing is unlike any other discipline – you’re not looking for someone who has a predictable existence; in fact, quite the opposite. Plus, the corresponding job description should clearly convey your expectations and requirements as not all marketing roles are exactly the same. Despite what you’ve heard, sourcing business-to-business marketing talent from the consumer packaged goods industry isn’t a good idea.
We won’t bore you by perpetuating the nature versus nurture discussion in this context. The bottom line is that few children tell their kindergarten teacher that they want to go into marketing as a career. Great marketers are just that because of their experience. However, marketing requires enthusiasm, creativity and passion. Marketing superstars put a lot into their jobs and tend to burn out if not properly managed and engaged.
So, why is it hard to find marketing talent? Because it is. Don’t put your energies into fighting it; otherwise, to your competition the great talent will go.