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The 'infinite' search for talent


Recent months have seen a great wave of positivity engulf the recruitment market, in sharp contrast to the pessimistic - and sometimes downright apocalyptic - predictions that became the norm during the recession

Employment numbers are on the rise, cross-industry hiring intentions look good and influential sources such as the Confederation for British Industry have given the ongoing economic recovery the stamp of approval, nothing that it is broad-based rather than simply reliant on consumer spending.

These shifts in the job market look positive, but there remains some concern that demand could be beginning to outstrip supply.

Essentially, the question that needs to be asked is if recruiters and companies are looking for talent that doesn't exist.

Marketing requirements

At EMR we’ve recorded a host of changes in the marketing recruitment sector in recent years. A tendency towards working with smaller teams and demanding strong returns on investment has placed more pressure on candidates - not only do they need specialist skills, but they should also be prepared to pitch in with different tasks whenever the heat is on.

Hiring leaders are being asked to deliver almost impossibly talented candidates, placing a huge number of potential responsibilities on their new workers. This is understandable given the budgetary pressures many businesses are facing, with managers being asked to deliver good results with smaller teams, but it's important not to go overboard.

This means that job descriptions have almost become wish lists rather than tangible requirements - in reality, it will be very rare to bring in staff who tick all the boxes.

Attempting to find marketers who are specialists but also generalists, strategists with plenty of tactical nous and experienced in a particular sector but with broader industry experience will simply lead to recruiters tilting at windmills.

That's without even mentioning the latest recruitment buzzword, which is now found on all Job descriptions at all levels, ‘stakeholder management skills'.

Cutting the Gordian Knot

Hiring managers are being asked to do the impossible when it comes to bringing in candidates who fulfil all these criteria - so cutting the Gordian Knot by finding a lateral solution may be the best approach.

At the end of the day, taking on the best possible talent and training suitable hires to carry out all the tasks expected of them makes more sense than waiting for the finished article to emerge, particularly as these candidates will often demand higher remuneration packages.

Working with a specialist recruiter like EMR can ensure that unrealistic expectations are challenged from the outset, with the emphasis on adding value to the process rather than simply creating extra stress for hiring companies.

This consultancy-type service ensures that candidates are offered roles with clear progression opportunities and challenges, rather than an unhelpful list of desirable skills.


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