Often when companies look to hire a marketer or recruit a marketing team, they are immediately drawn to candidates who have studied marketing or business degrees.
We always encourage clients to be open-minded and speak to graduates who have studied a whole variety of degree subjects. Many will have transferrable skills that can be applied to a marketing role. Look out for the extra-curricular activities that candidates have organised or engaged with.
So, what skills are needed when hiring a marketing person? Here is a breakdown of some of the key skills to look out for in a marketing employee…
General skills for companies looking to hire marketing teams:
Good teamwork skills – it is often that marketing personnel will need to work alongside other teams in a business; for example, the sales and operations teams. It is vital that you hire an individual who has the ability to work well in a team.
Strong attention to detail – good attention to detail is important in all areas of marketing, not just for an analytical marketing position. Marketers represent your brand, whether that be in the messages they put out on social media, or the content they write for your website.
Key skills if you’re looking to hire Content Marketers:
Writing skills – now this is an obvious one: why hire a content writer if they can’t write? We suggest you give candidates a writing task at interview stage, like writing a short blog post.
Creativity – when thinking about how to hire a content writer, you should also look out for someone with a generally creative mind and way of thinking.
Content SEO skills – nowadays it’s more important than ever to hire content writers with some knowledge of search engine optimisation. Being able to write effectively is one thing, but you should also look to invest in training your new hire to write SEO-tailored content.
Social Media Marketing hiring – skills to watch out for:
Adaptability – if you’re looking to hire social media specialists, they need to have the ability to keep up with the latest social media trends, as well as some knowledge of digital graphics is useful.
Social platforms & PPC – a solid understanding of all social platforms and how pay-per-click works across these channels is also a great skill to look out for when hiring a social media specialist. These can always be trained on the job if you choose to hire junior talent.
Good organisation and planning skills – this is particularly important if you are looking to hire a Social Media Manager. They will need to liaise with different teams in the business and come up with a social media content plan and different engagement strategies.
Key skills when looking for Marketing Managers:
Commercial awareness – they need to have the ability to think about how their activities are beneficial to the bottom line. The whole point of marketing is to help drive new business and revenue.
Leadership skills – it is vital that when recruiting Marketing Managers you ensure that candidates have what it takes to motivate and lead a team efficiently and confidently.
Drive to succeed – in any management position, the individual needs to have the passion and mindset to drive the business forwards and help meet the company’s targets.
Communication skills – this is important when managing a team.
Skills for hiring Digital Marketers:
Numerical skills – looking to hire a Digital Marketer or hire an Analyst? This of course requires working with numbers and data, and so sound knowledge of mathematics and statistical analysis is a must.
Excellent IT skills – when you’re looking to hire Digital Marketing employees, IT skills are vital. This can be difficult to measure at interview stages, so we suggest setting a task to test how computer-literate candidates are.
Technical SEO skills – this is something that can be trained on the job, but is a very sought after skill to have.
Curiosity – The digital marketing sector is always growing and evolving. Marketers never know what new platform or trends they may going to find next week: a new technology, a meme that goes viral, an update to Google’s algorithm…
Skills advertising recruitment companies should look out for when hiring:
Innovation – it’s about thinking outside the box! Look out for a candidate with unusual but fantastic ideas.
Visual editing – you’d expect the candidate to have a good eye for detail and at least know the basics of video and image editing, which is a key part of a brand’s communication.
Project management – as well as being able to manage multiple projects, having some experience in business relationships or partnerships development is also a key skill to have in an advertising role.
Any marketing staffing agency would agree that having experience in extracurricular activities can be as useful and relevant as having a marketing degree alone.
For example, when hiring marketing staff for a content writing role, look to recruit marketing professionals with experience in journalism or blogging regardless of whether they have an academic background in marketing.
A candidate who studies History but runs their own blog separate from their studies could be a great candidate. If they demonstrate a real creative flair in their writing, they could be the future talent to drive your website blog forward.