Have you ever come across an employer’s LinkedIn job posting and you immediately think “this sounds perfect for me, and I can totally do this?” Then, you get to the interview and the skills or qualifications they are looking for are entirely different than the ones you read on the job description prior to the interview? Yeah, me too. It turns out to be a complete waste of your time and the employers’. Instead of stopping to think about what they are really looking for in a candidate, they rely on someone in HR to copy/paste a job description they discovered online. The description comes across as very broad, generic, or vague, when in fact, they probably need someone with a more niche skill set but don’t know how to communicate those skill sets needed. Trust me when I say I know this happens on a recurring basis because I am guilty of doing so myself with a company I worked for a few years back.
Here’s how it usually pans out. The CEO has probably reached panic mode to please the company’s Board of Directors (B of D), venture capitalists (VCs), angel investors or what have you, to scale growth of the company, and FAST. So, the CEO immediately looks to the marketing team. The CEO may determine the marketing department has some loopholes or not performing up to expectations and the company needs to bring in an expert that can perform miracles (which is unrealistic, as we know greatness takes time, nothing happens overnight). So this person goes to HR and says, “we need all hands on deck to find a marketing director/senior digital marketing manager/digital marketing manager” (yes there can often be 3 titles in one job posting). It’s like “ok do you want director level, senior level or mid-level?” Make up your mind!
But the truth is they don’t know. Or they simply don’t stop to analyze their current marketing efforts and where they fall short. After working with several CEOs I will say more often than not, they are so focused on hitting their NUMBERS and dealing with their bosses they have to answer to, they fail to examine everything else going on. For instance, perhaps the team is too lean and they’re doing a little bit of everything and barely scratching the surface as to what they can accomplish. If so, maybe it’s time to consider divvying up the workload evenly based on each person’s capabilities and strong suits. Or at this point, hire more people. But before you hire, you need to determine what the current team infrastructure is like or what it should look like in order to achieve your short-term and long-term goals. I.e. this person will handle the social media marketing, the other person the email marketing and customer acquisition efforts, and that person paid search, while this person will assume a more overarching role to streamline the digital marketing strategy across all channels for each of these individual efforts. Or look at what the team is already doing and analyze what’s missing. Okay, they’re performing excellent in A, B, C areas but we need to bring in someone that has more experience in D. So, then you determine the digital marketing efforts are pretty solid, but we really need an SEO strategist. Now you can publish not only a more accurate job description but determine a more qualified candidate that can deliver up to your performance expectations.
And for the business owners and CEOs who are simply numbers people and not marketing people, that is alright. But be realistic in your expectations and realize that you can’t point the blame at the marketing or sales team every time you don’t meet your projections. Stop to look at all customer touch points. What is your user experience (UX) like on your site? Is your site load speed time of 3 seconds or longer? Is it difficult for users to find what they’re looking for? Is the checkout or online account registration an exhaustive process? What is your community engagement or share of voice (SOV) like on social media? Are people talking about the brand and if not, why? If your engagement rate is 2.5% or below, you may want to rethink your content marketing strategy. What are your public reviews online like? Could there be some quality assurance (QA) issues in the product or lack of customer support? My point is: go in and analyze your business model, your brand DNA, your marketing efforts, and your product offerings with a fine-tooth comb to address any and all problem areas, before A) pointing the blame B) hiring blindly C) making any rash decisions that you may regret at a later time. And for goodness sakes, stop copying job descriptions you found online and take time to think about what you need from your hires. This will avoid setting you and the new hire up for failure, plus you’ll save yourself the headache and high turnover in the long run.
Questions or similar experiences you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them! Comment below.