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Going Digital - Senior Hires with Matthew Berney

Digital Recruitment Manager Matthew Berney has over 8 years experience recruiting high-end professionals to his market. We recently had the chance to sit down with Matthew and ask him how EMR recruits senior staff, the market in general and his advice for those that are looking to make a move.

What influences a senior marketing professional to look for a new role?

With the rapid advancement of digital and ever-changing industry space, senior candidates often don't want to be stuck doing the same thing for too long and are eager to ensure their skill set is continually developed. This is a key driver, if a candidate’s current company is not utilising Programmatic as well as it could be, they may look to move on.

Additionally, a lack of budgetary investment into developing Digital practices, limited challenge within a role or the inability of the board to appreciate the value / opportunity Digital offers are often major factors.

What are clients looking for when hiring new senior employee?

Recently, we have worked on a number of senior roles within smaller, agile businesses. One of the main requirements for such roles is that the individual has to be hands on. They've got to be able to lead and manage yet enjoy getting into the nitty gritty, as they put together the strategy and also help implement it.

Across the market, proven experience delivering successful digital transformation programmes is always attractive. It is worth noting that complexity trumps size and the ability to demonstrate the impact is key.

What are some soft skills a mid-level employee should have to make the jump to a senior position?

I know it sounds clichéd, but a real enthusiasm and interest for digital and technology is something that really complements actual ability. The people that stay as relevant as possible and abreast of the latest technological advancements in their spare time have the best chance of beating the competition.

If your current role isn’t where you want it to be, or you’re interested in another area, get out there and get educated. It doesn’t have to be expensive; subscribe to sites like eConsultancy and just immerse yourself in the space.  If you want to upgrade your skills with a more formal qualification consider something like the Squared Online course.


Are there any areas in digital marketing where you are seeing a real demand for senior leadership?

I’ve noticed a recent increase in our clients talking about customer centricity, business intelligence and data with more roles now stating these types of skills as essential.

Recently I placed a Head of CRM, at a well known FinTech brand because they were going through a change management programme towards Customer and Prospect Centricity. Another similar brand also restructured their whole marketing department to focus on Business Intelligence by appointing the BI specialist as the Head of Marketing.


Talk me through the process of recruiting for a senior position?

The client is entrusting you to be their external business partner, so the process has to be a lot more considered. The higher up the funnel you go the more business critical the hire is and therefore the more particular the skillset needs to be.

Our first port of call is always our CRM system. EMR’s senior candidate database / network is astonishingly in-depth. Developed over 23 years, many candidates whole careers are tracked on here and it provides us with an immediate starting point for a long list. The ability to then map any remaining areas is supported by our Consultants knowledge, networks and ability to gain referrals for top talent.


Finally, why would someone choose EMR when looking for a new senior staff member?

23 years of specialised marketing recruitment and over 1,000 senior appointment placements are statistics that really speak for themselves.

We have only ever done this and it is all that we do, the result is that we understand what the best talent looks like and where to find them, meaning we can deliver at a higher quality and pace than competitors.

The management team alone have over 80 year’s relevant sector experience; EMR has a 92% success rate on retained searches and are knowledgeable enough guide you away from costly pitfalls.

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