Finding digital marketing talent for the open roles at your business can be a challenge; especially for those in-demand jobs such as search engine management, art director and chief marketing technologist. As the industry continues its tech-driven evolution, finding high-end experts versed in the latest digital marketing strategies that align with your needs, along with experience in the most in-demand marketing technology tools, will become more challenging as the available talent pool gets smaller.
The average time to fill a position in digital marketing in the U.S. is 43 days, according to Workable’s latest report. To help you get a head start on the most difficult hiring needs you may face, here’s a look at the three hardest jobs to fill in digital marketing, based on our exclusive 2017 placement data.
Search Engine Management
Rather than a specific role, the SEM skillset, in general, has rapidly become one of the most challenging digital marketing skills to hire for, because the demand for experts has risen dramatically and many professionals are focused on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but not SEM.
While driving results through organic sources is beneficial to businesses, a majority still rely on targeted marketing through search engine channels to drive leads and increase revenue. Due to the transition of talent specializing solely in SEO, SEM-based digital marketing skills have become one of the hardest skills to hire for in the industry.
Even though qualified talent for this role is available, the challenge with hiring an art director comes with trying to find a candidate whose design style adheres to the company’s aesthetic. Just because an applicant has the skills, experience and resume requested doesn’t mean the person is the right fit for the job.
Unlike tech-based digital marketing roles, there is no definitive test that will signal that the applicant’s design style aligns with the overall brand style and aesthetic of your company. HR executives are often tasked with assigning design tests that are generally an interpretation of the art director’s brand style, rather than definitive proof of whether the applicant is the right fit for the role. Companies need to be able to evaluate whether or not an applicant will be able to adopt the look and feel of the current branded visuals, which is often a very subjective decision. As such, the subjectivity of those making the hiring decision often lengthens the hiring process for this role; especially if final approval is needed from multiple people involved in the process. We have seen that this is one of the hardest positions to fill in digital marketing.
Chief Marketing Technologist
The rise and explosive growth of the marketing technology industry from 150 companies in 2011 to nearly 5,000 in 2017 has driven the demand for chief marketing technologists. With the integration of new marketing technology solutions to help augment the productivity and efficiency of digital marketing departments, companies are looking for a blended C-level executive who has also has highly technical and creative digital marketing skills.
The challenge is to find the professionals with the right blend of those skillsets, along with an intuitive sense of what works. That comes from in-depth experience in digital marketing. The CMT translates raw data from various tech-driven sources into actionable insights and compelling digital marketing strategies. Finding professionals skilled in the technologies that align with your company’s needs, who can also deliver on challenges the intuitive, creative side poses, can be challenging. Oftentimes, candidates will excel in one area of expertise or the other, but not both.
Looking ahead, experience in the latest tech-driven digital marketing strategies and solutions will continue to be one of the hardest skillsets to hire for, as new solutions are released more frequently. Additionally, the renewed demand for SEM skills from businesses will pose a challenge to companies that have a growing pool of SEO-based experts lacking SEM specialization. Initiating the hiring process for these skillsets and roles today will help minimize your time-to-fill rate, compared to the rate you’ll experience if you wait to hire until Q1 2018 — like your competitors.
Related story: 8 Essential Tips to Build Your Marketing Dream Team