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Recruiting in today’s candidate rich market: the challenges

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Recruiting in today’s candidate rich market: the challenges

Karen Lloyd coronavirus, employer, marketing recruitment...

Unsurprisingly the marketing recruitment market is a vastly different place to the one before COVID-19.

Instead of a candidate short market where employers were competing for the best in marketing talent, we find ourselves in a candidate rich market.

Thanks to redundancies and companies not having the resources to make it through, we are seeing a flood of talented marketing professionals competing for fewer jobs.

If you contemplating a marketing recruitment drive right now, you might think fantastic, my recruiting process should be easy!  In practice, unfortunately this is not the case.  Your goal is still to find the best marketing professional with the skills and experience needed for your role. 

But now you have to wade through possibly hundreds of CV’s to find them; it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack, without a magnet!


My advice for undertaking marketing recruitment in a candidate rich market


Plan, plan, plan!
Before you even start the process, you need a strong brief – know what you want.  If you are hazy on the details, you will take far longer to find the correct person.

  1. Drill down into the core marketing skills that are essential to the job.  Try to limit it to three or four.  For example, campaign experience, B2B marketing and use of an automation tool.

  2. Consider the soft skills – who is this person?  For me, attitude is top of the list.  I want a self-starter who can juggle lots of projects.  For you, it might be stake holder engagement, or leadership skills. 

To be honest, finding the person from the CV is difficult.  Most CV’s have a profile that tends to be either formulaic or have been written for the applicant.  Words don’t mean a lot unless someone can demonstrate them, so look between the lines when you are CV screening. 

Expect the process to be time consuming

You will have CV’s coming out of your ears.  It is perfectly possible to find yourself with upwards of 300 or even 400 CV’s to screen for a new marketing role.  This takes an inordinate amount of time, and you will have to fit it in around your day job.

  1. This is when your brief is useful; focus on screening for the core marketing skills.  However, there is no getting away from the fact it will take time to work through them all.

You will want to help

It is incredibly difficult to put your emotions aside when recruiting in this type of market.  You just want to help people who have had it tough.  

  1. Using a matrix to map out the marketing skills and experience you need and screening candidates against this will help you to set emotion aside.

  2. During an interview, this becomes more prevalent.  Check out our blog on taking emotion out of recruiting for some more in-depth advice.

Don’t assume the best candidates have applied 

Many fall into this trap, particularly for more senior roles.  Sometimes the best candidate is still out there and you need to go and look for them.  However, not all hiring managers have the time to proactively source, and even if you have an in-house talent team, they may not have the networks to reach those people.

  1. Consider where you might find the type of talent you need – can you reach them or do you need to engage with an external consultancy who can? 

Robust processes

Can your recruitment processes cope with an influx of candidates?  Can you keep moving through and manage your screening and interview process efficiently? 

It is easy to fall into a false sense of security that the candidate you want will still be available even if you keep them waiting weeks.  Other businesses are recruiting and the top talent will get snapped up, just make sure it is by you and not a competitor.

In a candidate rich market, it is tempting to think oh, I’ll just go the direct route, it will be easy to find a marketing professional for this role.  

In reality, this is a time when an external marketing recruitment consultancy can really add value to your process. 

They deal with the multitudes of applicants as well as tapping into their networks of passive job seekers.  You are then provided with a targeted short list of the top marketing talent that best suits the requirements of your role.  Just imagine what else you could get done with all that time you have saved!