In a recent survey of 400 marketing executives, 52 percent of respondents said it was challenging to find top-skilled professionals in the current market.

As the economy turns around, the increasing trend is that top-level marketing talent is not just looking for a job. They’re seeking opportunities to stretch their capabilities, play an integral role in business decision making, and enjoy the right organizational fit.

Here are some tips for landing marketing superstars:

Make a Cultural Match

To build a competitive advantage, you’re looking for candidates who will make a real business difference and embrace challenges and opportunities with enthusiasm. If the cultural fit is right, this is more likely to happen.

  • You’re hiring more than just a skill set. You’re hiring a mindset. Look carefully at how candidates would fit into the work environment, mood and personality of your company. Envision how they would handle their job duties, their peers, your processes and protocols, and of course your customers. Has a candidate thrived in a similar workplace scenario? If not, you may want to reconsider.

Three Key Attributes

These three qualities are “must haves” when hiring marketing talent:

  • Courage: Effective marketing requires decisiveness, problem solving and the ability to show leadership, without being tempted by opportunities to compromise on quality or personal standards.
  • Curiosity: People with natural inquisitiveness and the tenacity to find answers typically have the energy and passion needed for early-adopter work common in the marketing field.
  • Persuasiveness: This powerful communication skill cuts across all others when presenting a business case and ultimately sealing the deal.

More Talent Magnets

When a marketing position open, pause and evaluate whether it’s time for a directional change. Maybe it’s a good opportunity to shake things up a bit. At any rate, keep in mind:

  • Talent is attracted to talent. Show candidates your best players. Both parties want to know they’re part of a winning team.
  • It’s all about selling. Have an effective, well-rounded selling strategy for every search. Include a detailed, compelling job description and a plan for the entire hiring process.
  • Understand candidates’ influencers. Dig deep to find the unseen emotional factors related to an individual’s job choice, such as relocation, travel, flexibility of hours, and work/life balance.

Tap Into References

Ask references to rate marketing candidates and project them into situations they will likely encounter at your company. Engaging references early on can create opportunities for greater discussions with candidates as needed.

  • Cast a wide net. In addition to references provided, turn to your own network of contacts. Include your existing marketing professionals and their networks on that list. And of course, make LinkedIn and other social sites part of the plan.

Working with a specialized search partner can be key to accessing and hiring top marketing talent. To learn more, read our related posts or contact an expert recruiter at BrainWorks today.

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