Hank Blank - Why Hiring Practices in the Marketing World Are Upside Down





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Published on Jun 3, 2016

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Why Hiring Practices in the Marketing World Are Upside Down

I have spent my entire working life in the Advertising world. When I started there were basically advertising agencies and PR agencies.

Today the marketing world is much more fragmented and segmented―as Marketers like to say.

Today advertising is also Digital Marketing, Social Media, Lead Gen, Analytics, SEO, Content Marketing and any other segment you work in and promote.

In the Old Normal my elevator speech would have been much shorter but life changed the course of the world that some companies can’t see.

Most companies look for talent using the marketing hiring practices of the old way. They model the future on the marketing hiring practices of the past when trying to attract their future. That’s how I was hired so let’s repeat it. In the New Normal, if you say that’s the way it’s always been done, you will be disrupted.

Today PPC (pay-per-click) people, SEO and SEM people, digital marketing people, analysts, data scientists, content writers, programmers―and I could go on―can work on either side of the street. Agencies want them, and clients want them, and they are very scarce.

There is more competition for talent.

And everybody wants young talent.

One rarely sees LinkedIn searches for an Account Supervisor.

The staffing hierarchy of today is senior people and junior people and few middle level people.

Companies post notices saying we want Rock Stars. Rock Stars today aren’t sitting around looking for company notices. They are creating their own worlds and may not even want a job.

I asked a 28-year-old with nine employees the other day how to find an entry Level PPC person today. And he said train them. He was right, but nobody trains these days.

Today you see ads that say Junior Strategist. Really. I thought that planning was heavy lifting and what agencies get the big bucks for.

You also see Account Coordinator, Entry Level Marketing Assistant, and Influencer Marketing Coordinator aplenty. Everybody is looking for the same entry level people.

When I see job postings for a Junior Digital Marketing Specialist I think how can you be a Junior Specialist?

When my network leads me into the recruiting space, companies tell me they only use outside resources to help them find senior talent and not junior talent, and yet junior talent is the hardest to find. It should be totally the other way around.

I was a judge recently at a local college that I like a lot. My daughter graduated from there. The students were from the advertising, creative, PR, social media worlds. These are the people that companies will want to hire in a year or two.

I followed up with them on LinkedIn and most didn’t have much game. I have seen this time and time again. Snap Chat for sure, Instagram, and Facebook as well.

Only 22% of LinkedIn users are between the ages of 18 and 29. Yet for most companies, it is their preferred method of recruiting. One size fits all. Most agencies and clients would say it is bad targeting.

That is why companies need to reinvent their marketing hiring practices and think of other ways to recruit their Rock Stars.


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