How to Attract Top Marketing Talent in an Increasingly Competitive Market

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CMOs and marketing leaders across all industries are determined to recruit only the best to stay ahead. With the current unemployment rate hitting the lowest it’s been in 18 years, finding A-level marketers to bring onto your team is becoming increasingly challenging. It’s a candidates’ market and when it comes to finding the right people for your organization; the war for talent is back in 2018 and this time, it will be around for a while.

You need to find a marketer who’s going to be able to drive ROI and show a return on marketing dollars. However, you are most likely recruiting backward. Most organizations are so focused on finding candidates that they’re failing to “sell” themselves and prioritize the talent’s needs. As a marketing recruitment firm, we know this is a big mistake. Just as much as you’re vetting for the right talent, candidates are also evaluating how enticing your organization is as an employer. In this market, you need to be able to lead with what makes your company great.

Candidates have way more power than they did just a year ago. And if you’re interviewing top talent, you are or quickly will be competing with several other organizations. That’s why you must peak your ideal candidates’ interest and persuade them that your organization is the right next step to grow their career. If you are not willing to put in the extra effort, you will find yourself looking for a long period of time.

The candidate starts to form an impression of your organization as soon as they get a call from you or your executive search partner. Presenting your company in the best light throughout the entire hiring process from the first point of contact is vital. We believe 51% of the interview should be focused on the employer and 49% on the talent – a major shift from what it used to be. In short, the interview process must be informative and valuable for both you and the candidate in order to find the best person possible for the position.

What’s the ROI Difference Between A and A+ Marketing Talent?

A Marketing Recruitment Firm’s Advice on How to Hire Great Marketing Talent

So, how do you make your workplace the most attractive option? Let’s take a look at the best practices on how to hire great marketing talent:

A Quicker Interview Process

If you aren’t able to recruit the marketing talent you need, your interview process may not be the problem but rather the length of time in between steps. The hiring speed at which you operated a year ago isn’t fast enough anymore. For instance, if you put a week in between each round of interviews, you are moving too slow.

From the time you identify the perfect candidate, you need to set up a phone interview within 48 hours. If you’re working with an experienced marketing recruitment firm and directly scheduling in-person interviews, you don’t need to worry about this step since you’re getting the best talent delivered to you.

The entire process should move as follows: phone interview within 48 hours of finding the candidate you want, an on-site interview within a week, a final interview within another week, and a decision and offer sent out before the end of that week. This applies to roles at all levels – from Director to CMO, and everything in between.

A brisk interview process shows that you are eager and committed to bringing the right marketer onboard as soon as possible. If you move too slow, you will lose your top candidates to competitors vying for their attention.

A More Mindful Interview Process

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A faulty interview can run the risk of hiring the wrong person or losing them to a competitor. Other than a major loss in the risk of high turnover and onboarding costs, other damages to your company include a loss of time, a loss of productivity, and decreased employee morale.

As the speed of the interview process is critical to how the candidate perceives you, every interaction and every touchpoint they have with your company is equally important. The people within your organization that candidates meet and interact with all leave a significant impression. These interactions rely heavily on how each member mindfully presents themselves as a representation of your company and the best practices you put in place to attract top talent.

From follow-ups to responding to thank you notes that let candidates know how much you enjoyed meeting them – these little things matter. Every personalized message shows them a higher level of touch and interest. When they get to the end of the process where they’re presented with multiple offers, the little impressions are what matter and go a long way.

Make sure you show that you genuinely care about them as a person, not just another employee. Discuss relocation, understand what their family situation is, and how you can accommodate their transition. The relationship you build with a potential employee doesn’t start when they officially start their first day; it starts with the interview process. The candidate will remember every interaction up to the day that they start.

Offer an Appealing Value Proposition

There’s a big difference between the impact a top-level marketer is going to have on your team and the results they’re going to drive versus a B-player.

Compensation is going up as a result of low unemployment and a low supply of skilled marketers in the digital age. If you want top talent, you’re going to have to adjust your salary band. However, it’s not just about compensation.

In order to make your organization your top candidate’s employer of choice, you have to set yourself apart from competitors.  Candidates should understand the value they get in return from working for your company throughout every step in the interview process. Show that you can provide other meaningful, intangible value like helping them advance their career and how fulfilling and exciting the role would be. Demonstrating that you recognize the importance of company culture, benefits and work-life balance are all things candidates consider when it comes to a new opportunity.


The war for top talent leaves no room for organizations who aren’t willing to commit to improving the speed and quality of the interview process. If candidates that you find or a marketing recruitment firm presents to you aren’t getting a valuable experience out of each touchpoint through the journey, you’re failing to attract the best talent to join your team.

Today, candidates choose to work for companies they see are the best fit for their personal career advancement. Don’t let the outdated ways of how recruiting top talent used to work blind you from what you need to do now. To attract and hire the right marketers you need to truly drive a return on your bottom line, you must offer valuable benefits, position your organization as the best place to work, and closely attend to the hiring process.

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