The Future of Recruiting (Gregory Lewis Oct ’19) examined recruitment trends and concluded recruiters must understand and invest in technology and analytics; improving performance metrics such as quality of hire, effective sourcing and time to hire. We met Melvin Day CEO at Marketing Moves, marketing recruitment specialists for the technology sector, to discuss recruitment and future perspectives.
Who are Marketing Moves? We’re small, with a team of 10 (8 recruitment consultants). 80% of our business is UK led, with 10% respectively in European and North America. We recruit across the spectrum of marketing roles from PR and communications through to disciplines like events, field marketing, ABM, and product marketing as well as executive search.
Segmentation: Clients are primarily global brands and smaller clients from growth markets (like FinTech). Our customer base is 80:20 software vs. hardware with 80:20 B2B vs B2C. We segment clients by vertical or technology. Candidates range from senior management to those embarking on career paths. Hiring managers, are also future candidates. Sometimes with larger organisations, HR/Talent Acquisition are involved.
How we communicate: We maintain two distinct databases of client and candidates. Both are dynamic and in constant flux. We manage relationships with content and social media regardless of whether clients are hiring. We offer actionable insights for successful IT marketing and recruitment, creating a case study for each completed hire (with contributions from hiring manager and recruit). These reference tools are among our most powerful assets. We ABM techniques and face-to-face meetings are central to our model, differentiating us together with our IT marketing focus.
Digital Challenges: We activate ‘passive’ candidates and attract new applicants. Google is a good source of traffic to our website. Our main platform is LinkedIn where our challenge is stand-out and cut-through. We’re improving our Instagram presence (and investigating Snap Chat), as it’s a preferred channel for junior candidates (up to £40K).
The importance of the physical: The key to effective recruitment isn’t how many people you know, but how well you know people. We meet candidates and invest time understanding clients. We often spend a day or two at client premises experiencing the culture and ‘vibe’; assessing energy, atmosphere and pace of a client’s business. Our core strength is successfully matching candidates with cultures, achieving high placement rates (with 90% of those placed still in post after 2 years). This delivers repeat business – recruitment fundamentally is a referral business driven by trust and relationships. Our approach enables us to answer two universal questions: from candidates, “what’s it like there?” and from clients, “what he/she like as a person?”. It’s impossible to be effective without understanding these dimensions.
Thought Leadership: Consultants are goaled to be expert in recruitment trends (say the interim marketplace or day rates) or technology (say cyber security or 3D). We produce opinion pieces and insights on topics like, getting yourself noticed for promotion; how to secure a pay rise; how to stand out; how to identify high performers on your team; leading remotely; marketing in a recession. We also co-create with clients like Ring Central, shared across our sites and audiences. Thought leadership reinforces value, reassuring clients and candidates that we aren’t ‘fair weather friends’, we’re allies in times of crisis, when marketing is vulnerable.
Events: Industry events are important, we attend MWC, RSA and CES; obviously while physical events aren’t happening, we use ‘phone and video together with online posts. I’m adamant about adding value, and completely bored with offers to tell me about the ‘new normal’, a phrase I’ve come to detest. I question what will be different in future because the power of networking is unquestionable.
Has recruitment stopped? CV-19 slowed or stopped recruitment for most functions but hiring continues for digital marketing, ABM, marketing operations and product marketing (a resurgence in product marketing is noteworthy). Ironically several clients eliminated entire marketing teams and now, 4 months later are rehiring.
What implications does technology hold? I appreciate the AI promise. but I’m sceptical about its value for us. Experience tells me screening candidates by scanning keywords means missing thousands of great people. In most cases a CV doesn’t reflect the person and the person doesn’t reflect the CV (one or other may be terrible!). A CV is a backup tool it shouldn’t be the You. Marketing candidates are passionate and emotionally invested in their jobs, it helps to know them. Meanwhile the corporations we work with have powerful, distinctive cultures, whilst in smaller start-ups the founder is the dominant personality with strong opinions on ‘fit’.
What’s your advice for those recruiting? Articulate a clear brief. The key to client success is ruthless honesty about the opportunity, environment, culture, work ethic, expectations and goals. Candidates should save time and heartache by being transparent about skills, abilities, ambitions, limitations and ‘foibles’. The best time to seek new opportunity is when you’re doing well in your existing job, then you can be objective.
Analytics and tools have roles in candidate profiling and short-listing but doubt persists as to whether the human dimension can be replaced by technology for those seeking to fill more sophisticated vacancies.