The New Competition
The “recession” is long over as far as the digital marketing talent space is concerned. This is not the same employer’s choice market of yesteryear where the best search, social and Web analytics professionals are desperate to land jobs. Improved marketing budgets and more available positions mean companies like yours need to carefully plan how they approach candidates.
The biggest challenge has developed around the mid-level section of Internet marketers; those really valuable professionals who can design effective strategies, as well as implement them. They tend to earn salaries in the $60,000 to $100,000 range, plus their flexible and dynamic skill sets make them the most desired candidates in the industry. As a result, they can be difficult to hire because they regularly receive multiple job offers at once, as well as strong counteroffers.
So how can smart companies attract and secure these marketing superstars? All it takes is a little preparation and a solid plan to follow.
Finding the Talent
You won’t find the best Internet marketing candidates through job boards alone. You’ll need a diverse and active sourcing strategy that leverages employee referrals, social media presence and increased networking participation.
Have you reviewed your job descriptions lately? They are essential to attracting the right candidates. If your job descriptions don’t “sell” the work, describe the perfect person for the job and inspire the reader to apply immediately, start rewriting them with this question in mind; “If I was an active candidate in this job market, would I apply to this?”
Once your descriptions are reworked, get out from behind your desk and start pounding the pavement. Your next superstar hire is likely attending industry meetup groups, trade shows and local networking events. Find them where they live and you’ll far be ahead of your “job board only” competition.
Selling Your Company
Every stage of your hiring plan must highlight why working for your company is the best decision a candidate could ever make. Your value proposition is about much more than just salary and vacation time. You have to sell your team, the opportunity to accomplish great things, plus an environment that supports personal career goals. Don’t forget about all the past and future successes your company can boast. If you aren’t selling these parts of your company, you will have a harder time attracting and on-boarding the type of talent you really want.
Interview and Deliver
When that ideal candidate does apply, you only have a small window to convince them to join your team, so be ready to interview this candidate at a moment’s notice. This candidate might have a number of offers on the table and won’t wait around forever to make a decision.
Before the interview, take the time to understand the candidate’s motivations so you can present your company and the job in the most attractive light possible. Just don’t forget to keep the conversation balanced by setting the proper expectations throughout.
Once the interview is over, the real fun starts with delivering the offer and that requires just as much planning. Revisit your candidate’s original motivations to ensure your offer lines up. If you don’t, you may hire a great candidate who ends up leaving after three months, and no one wants that. Putting your best foot forward is key here so offer a salary that is appropriate, competitive, but still gives you room to negotiate.
The best Internet marketing candidates have the freedom to be much pickier with their job choices today than they have in years. If you create a competitive strategy, follow your plan to the T, and act quickly across the board, you’ll find, attract and hire the best Internet marketing talent in no time.
Josh Gampel is vice president at Internet marketing, recruiting and staffing firm Onward Search. Josh Gampel’s detailed PubCon speaker biography can be read here.