The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Can You Tell the Difference in Digital Marketing Candidates?


Whether you’re adding a digital marketing specialist to your team or developing an entire new division in order to meet your increasing need for digital talent, finding the right candidates is critical. But will you know them when you see them?

It’s a seller’s market out there – which means that there are tons of social media, content marketing, analytics and email marketing “professionals” out there who may not be all that they are cracked up to be. They are entering the marketing, or creatively fluffing up their resumes to fill the huge talent gap.

New research from OMI showed that 71% of companies feel that their current marketing team has some significant gaps in their digital marketing knowledge. While they may be strong in some digital marketing areas, there are mediocre and weak areas that need to be addressed by new employees.

When companies are too eager to accept digital marketing candidates, they may completely overlook warning signs.

In the same research, 30% of large companies and 23% of agencies confessed that they were unable to adequately tell if a candidate had the skills needed for digital marketing performance. Since many digital marketing skills are so new, and are rapidly changing, they simply don’t know what to look for.

That’s why it’s so important to take on responsibility as a recruiter. You need to clearly understand what you’re looking for in a digital marketing hire. Get specific on what tasks, platforms and programs you’ll want your new hire to run. Then identify the best practices for the role, and create a detailed description of the position that can weed out the dabblers.

You should also arm your HR department with information they need. Digital marketing is full of slang and technical terms that your HR department might not be familiar with. Have a marketing professional give them a crash course or cheat sheet of terms to empower them during the interview process. This way they know how to spot fluffed up jargon-filled answers that don’t mean much.

If you’re not confident in your ability to tell the difference between the good, the bad and the ugly, get help. Work with a marketing recruiter that has specific experience in hiring for digital marketing. They’ll be able to tell right away which candidates should be ignored and which will make a great addition to your team.

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