Why now is the time to start planning your growth in Sales and Marketing
- February 4, 2021
The 2020 job market was undeniably challenging with high levels of unemployment and a seismic shift to homeworking and virtual offices for many industries. And, whilst there is still much uncertainty as we look ahead – particularly amongst those industries hardest hit by the COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, a number of areas are gaining momentum once again with the proactive hiring of Sales and Marketing roles across multiple sectors in response to changing consumer behaviour and business needs.
According to the latest Bellwether Report from The IPA on marketing spend intentions and financial confidence, marketing budgets are still in negative territory as businesses continue to ride out the impacts of COVID as well as uncertainly in many sectors brought about by Brexit. However, there are signs of ‘green shoots ahead’ as 2021 picks up pace and companies recognise the importance of planning now and taking back market share through sales and marketing strategies.
In a special edition of their Emerging Jobs Report, LinkedIn reported on the roles experiencing the highest growth between April to October 2020, with a high % under the widely-cast net of Sales and Marketing including Digital Content Freelancers, Social Media and Digital Marketing specialists as well as other creative roles including screenwriters, illustrators and writers. And, whilst particular specialisms (and budgets) such as those in Event Management and PR are still in a state of flux, businesses with a back-to-basics acknowledgement that Sales and Marketing investment is key to long-term business success will surely reap the benefits as the economy, and society, start to recover.
Nevertheless, company budgets more generally will continue to be closely reviewed and justified, including those attributed to the recruitment of talent. Savvy business owners have long realised the value that they get from relationships and partnerships with Recruitment Agencies in attracting top-tier candidates, and even in tempestuous markets like these, nurturing those collaborations to drive business growth is demonstrably advantageous.
Admittedly, whilst it is our job to shout from the rooftops why businesses should use the services of a Recruitment Consultant to give them tangible competitive advantage, now more than ever, those who are tapping into sector expertise of agencies are reaping the benefits and bringing on board Sales and Marketing professionals that are highly skilled and actively looking for work.
Recruitment Consultants have a vested interest in understanding the sector in which you’re looking to recruit and because of the trusted position that they have with Candidates – both active and on a long-term basis, they will undoubtedly be able to offer you strategic insight around movement and activity they are experiencing in the market. Good agencies will have an in-depth knowledge of Marketing specialists that are in demand and a Consultant will be able to offer you impartial and professional guidance on the things like salary benchmarking and market mapping as part of a truly consultative relationship that ensures you are fully armed and aware of your options.
Time better invested
We know from talking to our Business Owners and professionals in Human Resources that homeworking, whilst necessary over the last year (and of value to many), has resulted in unintentional overtime as the office-commute is depleted and the lines between family and work life are increasingly blurred. Hours worked are increasing, and businesses are perhaps not only cash-poor, but time-poor too.
HR departments are often stretched with many other business priorities, and senior management are unlikely to find the time to dedicate to sifting through hundreds of CVs, shortlisting, interviewing and offer-negotiation. According to job board CV-Library, entry level vacancies attracted many thousands of applications back in August 2020 – a sign of the jobs market and associated redundancies no doubt, and whilst more niche roles may mean this volume is whittled down a little, it is certainly a big ask and expectation that a company undertakes this level of focus on top of the ‘day job’.
Even with the world of technology, multiple job boards and social media channels at your fingertips there is no doubt that a good Recruitment Consultant will want to take time to understand your business and hiring strategy inside out; your growth plans, your objectives for bringing other Sales and Marketing professionals in, and your ‘Employee Value Proposition’ that sets you apart as an employer – but this should be an investment that will pay dividends in better representing you in the market. Agencies that keep you updated on progress, whatever the outcome, are worth their weight in gold and should allow you to have confidence that they will search the market for Candidates that are a best fit on all fronts- freeing up time for you to focus on preparing for interviews and the sharper end of the process that will hopefully lead to an offer.
Access to the inside track
In certain specialisms, the active pool of candidates has increased, yet in others, particularly those within Digital Marketing, talent shortages are still abound. Knowing what is ‘out there’ in real terms can often be overwhelming and unclear. A Recruitment Consultant will not only help to cut through the noise but will also be able to furnish you with the finer detail of Candidates on the market as well as general mobility of those looking for career progression.
In addition, many Recruitment Agencies will represent Sales & Marketing professionals on an exclusive basis meaning that in turn, you will have access to top-drawer individuals often before they are seen as ‘active’ jobseekers; giving you a head start on your own competition. The passive market is truly untapped potential, and Recruitment Agencies will already be strategically communicating with these candidates that you will not find applying to your roles or visiting your website.
It does seem counter-intuitive to focus on the savings a Recruitment Agency can offer a business, as the service itself does come with a cost. However, businesses should look instead at the overall value that they get from outsourcing this activity. Costs associated with advertising roles, tech to aid matching and candidate screening can be significant although the impact on not filling the role in a timely manner may be more damaging to the business than such outlays. Many agencies earn their fee only when the successful candidate starts their position and passes their probation period ensuring that agencies are always driven by a targeted approach that demonstrates a deep understanding of your requirements and matches those with only the most relevant individuals. Conversely, the cost of a bad hire (and associated expenditure on training and onboarding) can also be hugely damaging to businesses – so getting it right first time is the goal for all parties,
The human touch
A professional Recruitment Agency should, in this day in age, have a world-class ‘tech stack’ that tangibly benefits their Clients and their search for skilled professionals. Whether that is through systems that produces better matches between roles and candidate profiles or enhances candidate screening with tools like psychometric testing. Technology undoubtedly can aid the recruitment cycle and chance of success of a good fit for your business.
That being said, overwhelmingly where Recruitment Consultants excel is the personal touch that you get from speaking candidly, confidentially and openly with another person. Adding to headcount can be draining – financially and through time spent searching the market with sometimes no experience of that industry, and whilst they may have their part to play, automatic watchdogs and the like alerting you to new candidates pinging into your inbox just won’t offer the emotional support and empathy that you get from Consultants who are fully emersed and experienced in the recruitment cycle and all its nuances.
Salesperson, Negotiator, Arbitrator.
Recruitment Consultants are unashamedly sales-trained and commercially minded, and when you take those skills and couple them with a deep-rooted understanding of their clients, the result is professional representation from someone who knows how to ‘sell’ your business– your culture, working environment, mission and values – and leverage those elements with the non-negotiables of the candidates. This is crucial in a competitive market and smaller more specialised pools of jobseekers.
Moreover, once an offer is on the table, your Consultant will act as negotiator (sometimes arbitrator) with the candidate in order to not only cover off some of the basics like remuneration and package, but set expectations around notice periods, start dates and the finer details of the contract. All without you having to have any forced or awkward conversations at the early stage in your relationship.
Service-led support throughout relationship
Support for Clients should not end once an offer has been accepted either. Many agencies will proactively offer guidance if required around the lead up to start date for your new hire, how to combat counteroffers, and keep lines of communication open between all parties.
Whilst the world is still arguably in a state of flux in many ways across the economical spectrum, we are seeing real confidence once again in a number of Sales and Marketing roles with firms that are committed to their growth strategies and bringing in talent that supports their vision. As demand outstrips supply in several practice areas including Digital Marketing, businesses who are now thinking beyond notice periods will find that now is a good time to strike and take action.
If you would like to speak to us confidentially about market conditions, candidate mobility within your sector or geographical region, or if you are actively looking for talent now and would like us to help navigate the market, we would love to chat. Contact us or call the office on 01772 259121 for more information on how our exceptional recruitment experience can help your hiring strategy.
About Clayton Recruitment
Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.
With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis.
If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121.
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