If you as a hiring manager or your organization as a whole drag your feet when the time comes to select a candidate for a key marketing position, don’t be surprised if your window of opportunity closes and you’re left to pick from a lower-quality talent pool.
Decisiveness in matters of recruitment and staffing is one of the simplest ways to improve the competitiveness and productivity of the marketing department. Whether you’re participating in a critically important Chief Marketing Officer executive search, or simply finding marketing contractors to support your team, it pays to make the call when the time comes.
The Causes of Talent Acquisition Delays
Hiring delays vary heavily in severity and cause. However, we consistently see a few culprits that are responsible for the majority of holdups.
- Organizational issues. Sometimes the hiring process stalls out at this point due to the structure of an organization’s hiring process. Corporate bureaucracy and internal politics can put the brakes on any business initiative. It’s easy for an approval to get stuck at a bottleneck or lost in multiple layers of approval.
- Holding out for a better candidate. No one is completely perfect for any job, especially not in the dynamic world of marketing. But if you are working with a marketing recruiter that you trust, you should have no problem getting exceptional candidates that are close talent and culture matches. Holding out for a perfect fit is like looking for a mythical creature. Don’t pass up a thoroughbred racehorse in search of a unicorn.
- Unrealistic expectations. A lot of factors influence the caliber of talent your organization can bring in: compensation, employment brand, location, job title, candidate experience, etc. If you’re not competitive on all those fronts, you can’t expect to have a long line of world-class A-players knocking on your door and fighting for a job.
- Stalled negotiations. Sometimes a finalized hire is put off because you are having a hard time settling on terms. This can be a frustrating scenario, especially when your organizational processes (see above) make it difficult to respond quickly with counteroffers. Depending on how bad your hiring need is, it may be more cost effective to make minor concessions than to risk losing the candidate’s interest and having to turn to the next-best person.
These are complex issues that most businesses won’t be able to just wave away. But with strong leadership, proper organization of priorities, and an excellent Chief Marketing Officer executive search firm or similar recruitment specialist at your side, they are challenges that can and must be overcome.
How Your Business Benefits
Keeping Pace with Top Talent
Great marketing is absolutely critical for maintaining business growth in today’s business environment. And great marketing can only happen when it is strategized and executed by brilliant, innovative professionals.
We often stress to marketing professionals how important it is to act quickly when a good job opportunity comes their way, so they don’t lose a job offer or turn off the employer. Companies should feel a similar level of urgency in making a hire when a strong candidate comes along.
Most of the best marketing contractors and full-time talent is extremely busy with personal and professional obligations. They hold themselves accountable to tight schedules, and expect the same from others.
A lethargic recruitment process could make your organization look inefficient or indecisive–not the kind of place top talent wants to work. A prolonged recruitment or marketing executive search can mean that the candidate loses interest (or worse, gets snapped up by a fast-acting competitor). Go into the recruitment with an idea of exactly what the job is supposed to accomplish, and the kind of person you need to fulfill that mission.
Building and Retaining a Competitive Edge
If there’s one thing that can be said about every aspect of marketing right now, it’s that speed has never been more essential to staying on top of a market.
Consumers expect constant communication and instant responses. New technology is constantly emerging that could completely transform your strategy. Competitors are capable of lightning-fast surprise moves that demand instant adjustments.
Agility and fast reflexes are as essential to marketing departments as they are to an NFL linebacker. Marketing leaders need to be able to swiftly assemble new teams through marketing staffing, start new campaigns when opportunities present themselves, and bring in new expertise as needed to handle unexpected challenges.
A slow recruitment process and talent selection means missed opportunities and getting left in the dust of more nimble competition. Remember; every day without a marketing genius in a key position at your organization is a day of lost ROI.
Balancing the Burden on Your Busy Team
If you’re considering adding another marketer to your team, it’s probably because there’s some more work that needs to be done, or a key expertise missing. That’s putting an extra day-to-day burden on your current staff, who are no doubt already quite busy with their own responsibilities.
Perhaps a former employee recently left for a new job, and your team had to pick up the slack. Or maybe your business is seeing growth and more duties are being placed on the marketing department as a result.
In today’s busy, competitive marketing environment there’s usually not much wiggle room available in terms of capacity. The longer you wait to make a needed hire, the more stress is put on your team by that undistributed responsibility. That leads to burnout, which results in lower-quality work, more mistakes, and higher turnover.
Practicing Trigger Discipline
All this advice is not to say you should shoot first, and ask questions later. In fact, you should take great care to do exactly the opposite; ask specially-designed interview questions, vet candidates carefully on qualification and culture fit, and evaluate their references.
Hiring hastily is just as dangerous as hiring slowly–if not more so. The costs of a mediocre individual taking an essential spot in strategy and decision making are many.
Free Download: The Hidden Costs of a Mediocre Marketing Executive
And the process of cutting an underperforming marketing professional from the team and replacing them is complicated and expensive.
It’s best to approach marketing recruitment with a “measure twice, cut once” mentality. Take the necessary time to avoid obvious mistakes and make the right call. But once an excellent option is laid out before you, don’t agonize over every tiny detail and fret over all things that could go wrong. Make your decision, and move forward with urgency.