The digital marketing industry is growing, and with it are the number of employment opportunities available. However, while there are more roles to fill than ever before, brands and agencies are only hiring the best candidates. As such it has never been more important for candidates to be equipped with the relevant knowledge and skills to be successful in their next interview, role or promotion meeting.
Arisara Quinn, HR & Talent Acquisition Manager at leading digital marketing agency, Search Laboratory, offers expert advice on how to ensure your next candidate is destined for success in securing a progressive career in digital marketing.
1. Knowledge of the latest industry news and trends is crucial
The digital marketing industry is fast-paced and a major part of staying ahead of the game is to live and breathe the field in which you want to grow and develop., Making sure candidates are following suit and can demonstrate their knowledge of current trends and the latest news is a key aspect of helping them to secure a new role.
Encourage candidates to proactively read industry publications and keep on top of news relating to the wider field of digital as part of the recruitment process to help them shine through in interviews. This is particularly important for those looking to kickstart their career in digital, as they are not keeping up with trends as part of their day to day career. Sharing across industry publications such as The Drum and Search Engine Land so they can brush up on their knowledge may be the difference between getting an entry-level job, and not.
2. Put data in the driving seat
Being able to analyze and interpret data is one of the most important skills to master in digital marketing in general, but particularly so for paid media roles. If you are advising graduates at the very start of their digital marketing careers or working with those looking to move into paid media after a career elsewhere, it’s vital to make sure that they can demonstrate their analytical skills.
Have your candidate prepare real-life examples of where they have analyzed large data sets to solve solutions for their interviews, as this will help hiring managers to assess their ability to work with data and encourage them to show initiative by identifying how they would use data to improve a current problem the recruiting company or industry has.
3. Get industry-specific training and qualifications
Having industry qualifications is a big tick for hiring managers, and getting the right qualifications will set your candidate apart from others in the application process. First-time or entry-level candidates can complete online courses and take exams, some of which are completely free and widely recognized.
It’s all about your candidate showing commitment to their career, and by taking qualifications outside of their day-to-day remit they undoubtedly demonstrate their keen interest and dedication to the industry. Google has free short courses so candidates can become certified in Google Analytics, a platform that applies to almost all areas of digital marketing, and Google Ads which is extremely relevant for paid media.
Other platforms like Digital Garage, which offer digital skills tutorials for all levels, can help candidates to understand digital solutions, which may help during the interview process.
4. Find and engage with digital influencers
There are more influencers in the world than the Kardashians, and it pays for your candidates to be following, engaging with, and sharing content from digital marketing influencers. Not only can this broaden their knowledge of the industry and help them keep on top of trends, actively engaging and sharing their own take on news and insights shows genuine interest in the field and helps them to build their online thought leadership profile. Some good profiles to follow include:
- John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google
- Mary Haynes, Owner of Mary Haynes Consulting and expert on E-A-T in SEO (Expertise, Authoritativeness & Trustworthiness)
- Barry Schwartz, Owner of Search Engine Roundtable.
5. Demonstrate an ability to deal with difficult situations
Being an effective problem solver is a sought-after trait in many industries, yet few are able to thoroughly illustrate how they fit this skill set in an interview situation. Ensure your candidates are well versed in being able to relay multiple situations where they have faced a tricky problem and were able to successfully overcome it. Digital agencies are fast-paced and those working in digital marketing need to be able to communicate and build relationships with multiple internal and external stakeholders of all seniorities. Candidates who can eloquently demonstrate their client-handling and rapport building skills will be looked more favorably upon by hiring managers than those who cannot.
Working in digital is an exciting place to grow a career as it is an ever-changing landscape with constant updates, new methodologies and evermore streamlined ways of working. Although there are more jobs available than ever, standards are high, and competition is stiff. Helping your candidate to sell their experience and skills in a relevant way will ensure they are successful in securing that role and prospering in their careers.
About the author: Arisara Quinn, is an HR & Talent Acquisition Manager for Search Laboratory. Arisara is responsible for finding and recruiting new team members for both the Leeds and New York offices.