Hiring Marketing Leaders - Our How to Guide for Success!
Hiring a marketing leader can be a big consideration. It is a big consideration for businesses that have done so previously and can be daunting for the first hire. But where do you start? Marketing as a skillset is very broad. There are a number of sub-specialisms, and there are a number of different approaches and backgrounds of marketers. For a non-specialist, there can be a lot to take in.
To help you in accessing a marketing hire for a Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing Director, or Head of Marketing we’ve set out below some core principles to guide you.
The biggest mistake that costs businesses when hiring a marketing leader is getting it wrong, and having to start the process again. It has been well documented that the tenure of senior marketers is the shortest on boards of businesses.
Ignoring titles, you might run a small business and want to hire a marketer, this guide should help you.
What does success look like?
Firstly, we would set out what success of a hire looks like to you.
We deem a successful hire to be, hiring an individual who will drive commercial value to your business, and be retained in your business for a decent period of time, likely 3-5 years, whilst developing a succession plan for when they move, as they will eventually.
Clearly, before you start your process having a clear idea of success is helpful too.
What is your business model and the associated marketing model?
Understanding how marketing feeds or works with the wider business is vital to the success of hiring a retaining a marketing leader.
What is the objective of the successful candidate?
We see a lot of businesses know that they need to appoint a marketing leader as part of their over business strategy. This strategy is different and unique for each business. But there are similarities and cross over with other businesses.
Knowing the strategic objectives for the business, it is important to consider the objective of the role. How does this tie into the business plan for the next 3-5 years?
What are the strategic challenges & opportunities facing the business? What are the targets for the business? This role?
Some of this might seem obvious, it might not. Whilst recruiting marketing leaders across multi-sectors we see businesses that have not put serious thought into the recruitment process and outcomes from the role.
Who you hire depends on what you are looking to achieve.
Reviewing the current status of marketing:
Reviewing current performance is crucial to making a success of a hire.
Do you need a turnaround specialist?
Do you need someone to start from scratch?
What are the resources available to the marketing leader? Either directly or indirectly. This will impact the type of marketer you hire.
Do you need the marketer to meet all of your requirements? What team or agency resource do you have?
Why is this important? Misalignment & lack of clarity here causes issues down the road and ultimately result in a senior marketing leader moving on. Clarity here saves you money & time long term.
Clearly any marketing leadership role is going to need to work with stakeholders, that goes without saying but important for marketing roles is the other roles you have people in from a product, operations, technology, digital, research and insight perspective.
Marketing being a broad skill-set means that marketers depending on business will have experience in a whole range of skills.
A marketer will want to understand your aspirations as a business, and part of this will be project-based. Where are you investing? Are you investing?
Some marketers move from business to business launching and implementing projects and that is what they thrive on, whereas others might prefer a role focused on marginal growth increases over time. There are a variety of considerations when looking to hire a marketing leader.
Based on the above we would then be putting a plan together to target the key areas of a candidate’s experience, reducing the luck of a hire and ensuring that there is alignment in what both parties are looking for.
Working out what is essential versus nice to have across skills, experience, team & leadership, & projects experience.
That is where we come in and what we’re specialists in.
How we work at The Hidden Market:
We work with a range of businesses in building marketing teams & have a range of products to support the varied and developing needs of businesses.
Proactive - We intentionally proactive, working to find and engage with passive talent, i.e. marketing talent that is not currently looking, and the benefit to our clients is that we are doing that across the board, across a range of businesses. Our focus is on building communities and driving engagement with marketing leaders which is achieved via relationships media and engagement. We also harness the power of technology to build better and deeper relationships with candidates so we can measure engagement and predict who is most likely ready for a move.
Process - Unfortunately, recruitment often is just the supply of a CV, and arranging an interview. We’re solving the recruitment problem with a superior human-led, data & tech facilitated solution. Candidates are matched on both quantitative and qualitative measures by both our matching model and us humans too! We work with clients in a variety of ways and put together plans on a case by case basis depending on client need.
Author: James Gilford - Founder of The Hidden Market.
James has significant experience in hiring & coaching marketing & digital leaders and building their teams across a range of sectors and business types from start-ups to corporates. After running recruitment teams for leading marketing recruitment agencies, James left to set up The Hidden Market in April 2020 with the core aim to improve the recruitment market and provide alternatives for candidates and clients equally.