One of the most popular discussions in the world of digital marketing is: “What exactly are recruiters and employers looking for from today’s digital marketing professional?”
I’ve blogged on this subject area a number of times in the past which you can read here and here, So to get a different perspective, I spoke with an exciting Manchester based start-up, Hiring Hub, who operate in the digital marketing recruitment sector – a sector that has grown exponentially due to the demands in specialist skills around digital as more and more companies begin to wake up to the benefits and opportunities digital provides to their organisation.
For this article, I wasn’t interested in interviewing yet another, run of the mill digital recruitment company, I wanted to speak with a company that exemplifies the traits an individual needs to provide to his/her company in order to stand out, so that’s why I chose Hiring Hub a company founded by (another!) Simon Swan and is re-defining the way recruitment works by preparing to rip up the instruction manual and set out a new path to success, creating a niche all by itself.
As you’ll find out in the interview below, these are all skills we should all be developing and providing to the organisation you work for or as a freelance consultant. So welcome to Danielle Whitehead from Hiring-Hub
“As my boss passed the desk he told me that he’d just forwarded me an email that was asking whether we would be able to provide an article for someone’s blog. Looking down at my mailbox I noticed that it was in fact true, I did have a new message, and it was from him. After reading it, however, I was extremely puzzled. I thought it was an elaborate joke. The message was from Simon Swan to Simon Swan, requesting Simon Swan to write some material for Simon Swan’s blog.
Now my boss, Simon, is quite prone to eccentricity, and I wouldn’t have put it passed him to make such a request of me. So imagine my surprise when he tells me that it’s not a joke, there just happens to be another Simon Swan in the world (scary thought ay).
The reason I’m telling you this story is that it is very relevant to the topic I’ve been asked to write about today: how can candidates make themselves stand out to employers? (No, I’m not suggesting that jobseekers target employers with the same name as them, but I am saying that this particular sequence of events sparked my interest.)
What do employers require in prospective employees?
Simon Swan, owner of this blog, works in the world of digital marketing, and he said that the desire for this article came from the fact that he gets quite a bit of feedback from recent graduates and people looking to move into the industry wanting to know what is expected from recruiters.
After having made the transition recently, and successfully, myself I can tell you exactly what they want.
What they said they were looking for at interview (ranked in order of importance):
•Above all, someone they can trust. Digital marketing often involves acting as the voice of the company online. Therefore employers have to like and trust your voice. Joining a start-up business also means that employers are under pressure to get the right person the first time round because hiring the wrong person can bust the business. So if you’re putting yourself forward for a job at a start-up you have to be extra-special and very trustworthy.
•Enthusiasm. Joining a start-up business means that you have to be a self-starter too. You have to be able to accept certain amounts of chaos and just get on with the job at hand with no loss of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is also an important catalyst for thinking up great ideas.
•Someone who is not afraid to say what they think. We run a disruptive business, and we want to make innovation a part of our company’s culture. We think disruptive employees are valuable. All employees at Hiring-Hub.com have to do a psychometric test as part of their recruitment process. It measures attitude. (See below.)
•Attitude. One of our most fervent beliefs as employers at Hiring-Hub.com is that we should hire for attitude. Attitude is more important than experience to us. As employers, experience is the one thing that we can give to employees, attitude isn’t. After all, how often do companies fire staff for not having the right attitude?
•Having said that, experience is still important. I think a lot of recent graduates get obsessed with the conundrum of: how can they actually get the experience that employers want if employers don’t give them the opportunity to gain it? Well, the trick is to not wait around for employers to give you the opportunity to learn. Instead, just go ahead and learn the skills you need for yourself. Particularly with digital marketing, there are so many online resources to learn from, and it’s easy to set up your own blog or website to put what you learn into practice. An employer will be super impressed that you took the initiative to do this.
•Self-taught. The ability to self-teach is highly desirable, especially in an industry that is continuously innovating. If you are able to keep picking up skills, without being prompted, then you will have no problem securing work in this industry. It is important to remember that you have to be able to contribute something to the company you are wishing to join. You have to be able to bring something valuable, or new, to the table. That quality makes you desirable.
•Be different. This ties into all of the above points, but still bares saying: dare to be different. Do you know how many dull CVs and cover letters employers get on a daily basis? 10 page resumes of waffle with no point. Your CV and cover letter need to make the employer think “YES PLEASE”… and if you’re looking to join a company as disruptive as mine you’ll need to make it punchy too.
•Thou shalt know that content is king. If you’re trying to get into digital marketing, or are an employer hiring staff within this area, then you ought to know that content is king. Content marketing is the buzz term du jour. Social media, blogging and interacting with people online, particularly in the age of Web 2.0, are must-have skills”.