The Challenging World of Marketing Recruitment

Author Jimmy Bower

Marketing Vacancies

​On a day to day basis in the recruitment world we face a multitude of people, job roles and sectors, all of which encompass their own responsibilities, quirks and trials. With our various divisions here at Certus Recruitment Group – including Sales, Marketing, IT and an extensive graduate program – I find it interesting to wander the office and drop in on the different discussions from each team as to the progress they’re making and challenges they’re up against in finding the best candidates.

There’s one sector of recruitment which, to this day after having spent more than 20 years doing the job, poses more difficulties than the others in securing that stellar placement – and that’s the wonderful world of marketing.

But why, you ask?

First, let’s consider what someone who works in marketing actually does.

It starts with an idea – you’re able to brainstorm and use your mind to create new concepts whether it be a design, advertising campaign or otherwise. You’re likely to be spending hours at a screen researching, scouring the web for information, ideas, facts and figures to determine where you’re going with this. This info then needs to be collated clearly into a tangible “this is what we should do” format. Strategy needs to be drawn and goals set. And, eventually, you’d better be ready to present your idea to the board/team/person who holds your budget, to get them onside.

Now, let’s consider the skills necessary to complete the tasks mentioned above.

Creativity. Research. Statistics. Articulation. Personality. Communication. Sales.

So, what we’re looking for here essentially is a switched-on, free-thinking, numbers-savvy creative who knows their way around a spreadsheet, isn’t afraid of public speaking, ‘gets’ business and, at the end of it all, has personality enough that you’d happily go for a beer with them at the end of a long day.

AKA, to use a recruitment term, a unicorn.

It’s the scope of a marketing role which makes it one of the hardest to fill.

Of course, it may be broken down into different levels and roles; that is to say, not every single position out there encompasses all of these responsibilities. Your Marketing Exec might come in at a graduate level to do the base layer of research – but why hire someone within whom you don’t see all of the above traits, so that they might progress within the business one day? There are also myriad marketing channels, so one person may not be managing everything at once; but still, there’s a standard of hoping to find someone who could, if they needed to, be on top of the lot.

The true ‘plate spinners’ of the business world, marketeers must hold such a plethora of both hard and soft skills – so it’s no wonder they post a unique, but not insurmountable, test to recruiters such as we.

As with anything, there is no such thing as a golden goose – employers understand that you might not find the whole package, and that’s okay.

In a sector which encompasses aspects of so many others, and for all of the reasons above, this is why we meet each candidate we work with. We want to be able to tell our clients, with confidence, that she’s got just enough techy about her, but came across as lively and passionate, too; he knew his numbers inside out, and was extremely agile when it came to talk about innovating. We like to meet these people, shake their hand, get to know them – in the same way we do the employers they’re going to be interviewing with.

Marketing is a hybrid role of many others, and it takes a certain type. With so many moving parts, the process from screening to interview to potentially placing someone in their next marketing job is a long one, potentially in time and always in effort.

We’re not quite chasing waterfalls – but, even if we were, who doesn’t love a challenge?