Finding the Star Factor- 8 Important Things to Remember when Hiring Marketing Talent

By Ken Schmitt and Vicky Willenberg

Business leaders are heavily relying on their rock star marketing department to drive and execute memorable and “sticky” branding campaigns. Prior to the Great Recession of 2007, the typical marketing department in a mid-large company consisted of a VP Marketing or CMO, Product Marketing leaders, Brand leaders, Marketing Managers, Graphic Designers and Marketing Specialists or Coordinators. In some very large companies, this team also included a Public Relations and Communications leader as well. Digital marketing, social media and mobile were only beginning to emerge as the future of marketing during the pre-recession days.

However, as the economy was emerging from the recession- circa late 2009/2010- the focus on digital, social media and mobile began to take hold. Marketing departments no longer relied solely on banner ads and eyeballs to gauge their success. Instead, they added the growth of “likes”, “follows”, and “shares” to their tracking. As the landscape evolved and the economy showed signs of a sustained recovery in late 2012 & 2013, business leaders began to review the makeup of their marketing teams. Companies of all sizes started rehiring some of the positions that had been eliminated 5 years prior. Currently, there are three open positions for every marketing professional changing jobs.

If your company is one of the many looking to hire Marketing Talent, here are some key factors to consider:

1. The number of direct reports- Will the position be a “1-man shop” or will there be other resources and staff to leverage?
2. The need to establish or simply manage a marketing strategy- Is this position a “build it” or “maintain it” scenario?
3. The complexity of the business and its focus on traditional marketing, digital marketing or a combination of the two
4. The current state of the brand and product in the marketplace, along with the product development pipeline
5. The existence of metrics to track the volume, quality and outcome of leads, along with the projected growth in volume, sources, and quality of lead flow
6. The departmental budget
7. The internal dynamic between marketing and sales and the degree of flexibility in the position (e.g. work from home, travel to trade shows, etc.)
8. Is the title and compensation aligned with the breadth and depth of responsibilities

We address the issue of title & compensation alignment, along with additional market trends and metrics, in our latest Quarterly Report.


About the Authors
Ken Schmitt is the President and Founder of TurningPoint Executive Search and the Sales Leadership Alliance. Specializing in placing sales, marketing and operations professionals across the country, Ken’s 16 years of recruiting experience have equipped him with the knowledge to serve as a thought partner to his clients for all recruiting, hiring and human capital-related initiatives. Ken sits on the board of Junior Achievement, the American Marketing Association, the San Diego HR Roundtable and is an Advisory Board Member for San Diego Sports Innovators (SDSI).

Vicky Willenberg has served as the Social Media Manager for TurningPoint since 2011. In 2014, she was elevated to Digital Marketing Manager, broadening her participation across all things digital for the firm. A former teacher with a Masters in Education, Vicky is an active and published blogger at The Pursuit of Normaland a marketing professional. She has her finger on the pulse of the latest trends in the recruiting, hiring and leadership sectors.

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