Richard has been fascinated by what it takes to run a successful business ever since he wore velcro shoes. Having worked in the wonderful world of recruitment since 2005, he is currently improving the service provided by a Recruitment Consultant.
How Do You Improve Marketing Within Your Organisation
Let us start by looking at what a typical business does when they realise that they could be better at marketing, and really feel they are of a size where they want that to come in the form of an in-house role.
You are running a successful business - one that provides a living for a few employees and has a set of happy customers, oh, and earns you a living too!
Things are good, but as you know in business, they can always be better.
You identify that your weakest link is currently your marketing (or lack of it).
So, you start by asking around your network to find someone who knows about improving marketing in a business like yours. This draws a blank more often than not.
You ponder what to do next: do you learn all about marketing yourself? do you use an external marketing consultant?
You sigh as you realise that you might have to place a job advert or seek the services of a recruitment consultant.
Starting The Recruitment Process
Now upon deciding this course of action, you will probably go outside of your close network and "put your neck on the line". You know that you must become 100% familiar with who you want and what they will do for your organisation.
You double down on "learning marketing", understand from peers about their experience and peruse job boards or employment sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to see what other organisations are asking for and offering.
It is a daunting task.
It is a risk to your business and cash reserves, so you had better get this right.
Even an off-the-record phone call to a good recruitment consultant in your network leaves you with more questions than answers:
- What do you want this person to do in marketing?
- Who will they be working with in the business?
- Will they be client-facing or not?
- Will this be a strategic or operational role, and at what mix?
- What are the priorities for marketing in your business?
- What are you going to pay them?
After all this, you muster up the guts to progress and you produce a job description for your new "Marketing Executive" - having considered calling them a Marketing Manager (that sounded too Senior). Digital Marketer (that sounded too focused). And Marketing Analyst (that sounded like what you need, but you weren't sure if they are too expensive).
"Marketing Executive" sounds about right and the Board is in agreement.
Moreover, a salary of £30k to £40k is palatable from a risk perspective and it looks like a good income for a professional person (it is by the way).
As you continue into the recruitment process, you think it is fairly easy to convey to a recruiter who it is you are looking for - after all, this must be a run of the mill type role for them.
You think to yourself "The recruiter will surely pick up any of the slack with their expertise in hiring for marketing roles".
Bring on the interviews you are ready to meet your potential Marketing Executives, all of whom are likely more junior (in business) than you.
You should be able to question them thoroughly and tackle any "difficult" questions they throw back across the desk. After all, who knows your business better than you?
Sound familiar so far?
The Hard Work Doesn't Stop After You Hire
If not, thank you for reading to here, but the rest won't resonate with you.
Your shiny new Marketing Executive, all bushy-tailed, begins working in your organisation in marketing.
And slowly the realisation that can all to often occur:
- All the marketing decisions are coming back to me, I am now busier than ever!
- Are we definitely covering all the areas of marketing that we need to?
- My marketing budget, including salary costs, is escalating - what is the return that I am getting?
Amongst a whole host of other questions - which results in you challenging your decision to hire this role.
Let's Go Back A Step
OK, let's go right back to the start and replay this another way to see if we can improve the outcome and your organisation's opportunity to become a marketing supremo in your industry.
How would we do that?
First, let's consider the phrase "cart before the horse".
Quite often when we realise that our organisation could be better at something e.g. marketing, the ultimate goal is that we work towards the recruitment of our own in-house resource who can help us excel in that area.
We might go directly to that goal or we might take the long way around via external agencies who are experts in that area or consultants who specialise in that field. Or we might even consider temporary support from the likes of a summer intern.
The problem is not in any of the above routes, or indeed in the ultimate goal of hiring our own person or team. The challenge is what we have been led to believe what "recruitment" means to us.
Things like this can ring true when we think about using recruitment as a tool to achieve our ultimate goal:
- I need to know all about the role that I am hiring for, tasks, expectations, salary and more.
- If I don't know all about the discipline that I am hiring for, I can lean on an expert recruitment consultant.
- Multiple candidates enable me to compare and contrast who is available in order to aid the decision process.
- I need to be on my A-game at the interview because candidates come prepared and ready to "sell me the dream".
Without having you reach for your pillow as you drift off, let's say that much of what recruitment represents is based on a time when it became mainstream through the Industrial Revolution and popularised by "modern" consultants of the post-war 1900s.
The New Way Of Recruiting
So far, we have negated the introduction of new and more efficient ways of engagement that today's world offers us and the opportunity that this represents for our growing businesses.
You have a worldwide network at your fingertips, so why not use that to your advantage.
Let's go back to the scenario of improving the marketing within our organisation.
Forget sitting behind a closed door with your Board members and even with a Recruitment Consultant, where you speculate on a requirement, the outputs and what you must pay.
Instead, utilise the power of the Internet and speak to those who can move you towards your ultimate goal. I guarantee, when done properly, these conversations and engagements will prove far more productive and informative than any one-sided learning process or deliberation around a boardroom table.
As an example, who said you need to know what salary (bracket) you will offer?
What will this be based on?
- A candidate's current salary?
- An online salary survey?
- The salary your pal's company pays for the "same role"?
- What you believe the task-in-hand is?
- What your budget is for the PERCEIVED outcome?
Almost always, the salary in a recruitment model, fit for a bygone era, will not be based on the reality of the role, the person doing the role or a value proposition created from this.
And it's in situations like this that mean when you start to consider strengthening the marketing within your business, you get a shiver down your spine and a clammy forehead.
In my opinion, it is completely understandable - as someone somewhere has taken the fun and usefulness out of recruitment!
Before You Go
I am Richard Mackie a co-founder at Bullion. We are on a mission to demonstrate an improved model for hiring in business. A model that puts growth back in the hands of the organisation's we work with so that they have a positive feeling towards the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Oh, and it's a model that doesn't depend on generating our income from a candidate placement, sometimes e.g. in the example above, an external marketing expert is the best foot forward, especially when you realise the opportunity Bullion presents to achieve your end goal.
One last thing before you go, I would be eternally grateful if you would share my post with your network.
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