25 March 2020

The hardest digital marketing roles to hire, continued

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Last week we outlined some of the hardest digital profiles to hire for--plus why they're so difficult. The list continues, and learn how to better organize before beginning your search for the best results.

If you missed the first part of the toughest jobs to hire for in digital marketing, it's a good place to start. Go back and check it out!

The hardest digital marketing roles to hire for, continued

3. Marketing automation and email experts

There are tons of popular marketing automation platforms; we get requests for experts in HubSpot, Salesforce, Selligent, Marketo, Eloqua… you get it. But therein lies the challenge. The common situation is that a company has the platform in place, and needs the expert to run it: for example, a company using Marketo doesn’t look for a marketing automation expert, but rather a Marketo expert.

Now this is logical, but it’s not always wise. Many of these tools have only existed for a few years, which means that candidates with many years of experience in a specific tool are rare. Ariad Business Manager Michel Verbiest explains, “Of course, having experience with the target platform is a huge plus, but it’s smart to widen your search to marketing automation experts who have specialized in other platforms as well. Demonstration of optimizing any similar marketing automation platform to boost digital marketing performance is just as valuable or potentially even more valuable than experience alone in a single tool.” Understanding the greater requirements of a role and soft skills needed, like problem-solving or fast learning abilities, can many times dictate future success just as much as platform-specific experience.

4. Project managers and product owners

Across industries, work is becoming more project based. Thanks to rapid developing technologies, evolving customer expectations, and the complexity of international operations, skilled project managers can many times mark the difference between success and failure. Companies understand this, and these roles are growing in demand.

Finding a skilled, available project manager, however, is not easy. More and more companies want to hire these specialists, and they are relatively scarce. Knowing how to get in touch with a project manager with the right experience, and know when they are available, requires active community building. Michel explains: “We especially see this with companies when they want to hire project managers on a permanent basis. Most of these professionals currently are freelance consultants, but companies need this talent all the time. Companies are shocked at how long the search can take when they work alone. If the real requirements of the role are not set, and you don’t have the network and know-how to reach your candidates, or the understanding of how to really evaluate a candidate, companies see that the process can take an extremely long time.”

Steps to a successful hiring search


One of the keys to finding the right digital marketing expert fast is having a clear understanding of the needs of your company or department, the core responsibilities of the role, and realistic expectations about the market--before you even begin your search. Our Business manager Michel suggests some items to clarify from the beginning in order to find the right talent fast.

What to consider before stating your digital marketing hiring search

  • In Belgium, be clear about what languages you need the candidate to speak! A lot of the time this isn’t mentioned in a job description. A common trend now is to ask for English and then either Dutch or French, but it completely depends on your company, clients, team and the position itself.

  • Be aware that different locations have different challenges. For example, a seemingly competitive salary in one region might not be enough to entice top talent to work there, when they can earn a lot more in another part of the country. “If you want champions league players, you need champions league benefits.” Research and get expert insight so that you can offer the appropriate compensation and benefits.
  • When you consider the responsibilities of a role, consider skill sets. For example, Senior UX Recruiter Javier Cuadra uses this competency framework to evaluate the real needs of the position, and therefore which candidates to search for. Be open to candidates with different experiences.

  • Don’t forget that your job description is written for the candidate. Include the information that they want to know! Different professionals have different interests, but most candidates will want to know details about the team they will join, what specific projects they will work on, and what tools they will be using.

  • Set up a clear calendar and process. That means having a system for sourcing, evaluating, interviewing, and communicating with candidates. It’s important to know this process before you begin, so that nothing slips through the cracks. To really stand out, consider both your company and team needs as well as candidates needs when you design your system.

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