5 Challenges of Hiring Digital Marketing Talent

Have you been looking for experienced applicants in digital (online) marketing to build, manage, and market your website, mobile, email, newsletter, social media, SEO, SEM, etc?? You are not alone!? With the rapid growth of online marketing, finding experienced individuals can be a very difficult challenge for hiring managers in both the digital agency side and the client side.? With the relative newness of digital marketing (only about 20 years old, with mobile marketing closer to 5 to 8 years), and the relatively lack of digital marketing curriculum in our colleges and universities, the talent gap is growing.?? According to the Online Marketing Institute?s State of Digital Marketing Talent report, 36% of companies claim that recent graduates do not have enough experience to fill open positions. In addition, Hoovers says that traditional marketers do not have the technology skills for digital marketing, and many times marketing agencies and marketing departments are ?blindly throwing their staff into the digital world without training.?

So what can you do? Understanding the challenges before jumping into the hiring process can be very helpful first step.

Challenge #1

Should you outsource or hire internally?? The answer may depend on the size of your company, your current and planned online initiatives, and costs.? Many companies find they actually need a combination of both, with a digital marketing agency to develop and deploy their projects and strategies and an internal staff for on-going maintenance.

Challenge #2

How strong is the competition for digital talent in your area?? Keep in mind that because of the gap in supply and demand, you may be competing with large marketing agencies and large corporations with in-house marketing.? In some areas you may also be competing for talent with very large online retailers as well as companies like Google and Facebook, which may offer perks and salaries that may be out of reach for some. ?That doesn?t mean you won?t find good talent, but you may need to be a bit creative in finding and hiring strong talent.

Challenge #3

What does in-house digital talent cost? ?Many applicants in digital marketing look beyond salary in deciding where to work.? They may want to negotiate for bonuses, additional vacation time, flexible schedules and even working remotely.? You will also find that in most all areas the price tag for experienced talent will be higher than you might expect.? For example, an interactive creative director with 8+ years experience in digital marketing will command between $100,000 and $180,000 per year ? more if they have mobile marketing experience.? An entry level front-end web developer can bring in $50,000 to $72,000.? The salary for a web designer with 5 years experience can be $80,000 on the low end and over $110,000 on the high end.? User Experience (UX) directors receive up to $178,000 and a UX designer can also be above the $100,000 mark. ?It is important to have a realistic expectation for the salary/experience ratio so as not to waste a lot of time looking for an employee that doesn?t really exist.

Challenge #4

How can you evaluate applicants?? With the serious outlay of cash needed for this talent, companies cannot afford to make a bad hiring decision.? Unfortunately, many companies do not have the knowledge and expertise to determine which candidates are most likely to fill their needs.? The Online Marketing Institute says that ?30% of large companies and 24% of agencies are unable to adequately distinguish between individuals with the right skills and those without.?? ?However, there are some things you can do to help evaluate applicants. Evaluations may include reviewing portfolios and asking for case studies in addition to reviewing resumes.? When reviewing portfolios, make sure you know exactly what they contributed to each project.? Since a typical digital marketing initiative will have multiple facets, determining the applicant?s contribution will be paramount in evaluating ??You will want to make sure they have the technical aptitude but also the business acumen to address measurable goals and results.? The candidate should show a desire to stay current with the ever-changing landscape as well as have good time management skills for managing multiple projects, and good communication and interpersonal skills.

Challenge #5

Where can you find good talent?? This may be the biggest challenge of all.? Hoovers said more than 1/3 of companies have not hired because they simply do not know where to go to find good digital talent!? Although you can start your search with online resources such as Career Builder, Monster, Indeed or even LinkedIn, unless you, or someone on your staff, has the acumen for evaluating the skill level of the applicants, chances are you will spend a lot of time interviewing the wrong candidates or hiring the wrong talent.? These positions, more than others, may be better left to the recruiting experts.? ?It is important to find a recruiter that has the knowledgeable staff to not only find, but to also evaluate the best candidates.

About Brenda and Regal Personnel

Brenda Molloy, former owner of a Dallas digital advertising agency, has been hiring digital talent for over 20 years.? Her vast experience in finding, evaluating and hiring all aspects of digital marketing means Regal Personnel can find the right talent for their clients.? Regal personnel, founded in 1980, is a woman-owned business that works closely with companies and candidates to make the perfect match based on the specific needs and culture of each company.? You can reach Brenda at Brenda@regal-dallas.com or by calling (972) 788-0355.


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