The sector is continuing to remain competitive as employers either keep hold of staff or look out for low-cost recruitment solutions.

Like so many areas of business in the current climate, sales & marketing teams increasingly find themselves having to do more with less.
The recruitment market in these areas remain highly competitive, and attracting the talent with the right skills and experience is key, especially in the rapidly expanding new media marketing area.

Thiloni Fothergill, talent acquisition business partner at cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s, confirms: “Business leaders are looking for low-cost, innovative recruitment solutions.” Large budget cuts, with marketing particularly badly hit, have also been seen in Ireland by Colm Buckley, managing director of sales, marketing and management specialists People Group.

Fothergill continues: “These markets are highly competitive the level of negotiation with agency fees, however, still remains high.” She adds that the use of social media is “a benefit for ourselves to reduce agency spend”, but it also presents a challenge for a company looking to find the right balance of “appealing to new generations, while also maintaining appeal to traditionalists”.
Remaining an attractive employer to a wide variety of candidates is one thing; having too many candidates is another. Fothergill explains: “Agencies seem to be saturated with the same candidates and as they are so competitive it is a challenge to be confident they are working in the best way for us.”

The best way of working for many companies doesn’t involve hiring, according to Anita Stubbs, director of education at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). In the current austerity climate this often means “developing the skills of existing staff: whether it’s a focus on social media or digital content”, rather than recruiting new staff.

Cost is often prohibitive in the digital media marketing niche, where talented individuals, confirms Marco Corsaro, founder and MD of new media marketing specialist, 77agency, “are either hard to find or expensive to find if someone is skilled in these areas he is probably working”.

Corsaro does not insist on a particular professional background for entry into his firm’s ’academy’, which looks to plug this new media marketing talent shortage, finding a good amount of talent from conventional marketers: “There is still a lot of talent, but it needs to be trained.”

Taking marketing as a whole into account, CIM’s Stubbs sees low employability of university graduates: “With more and more graduates entering the job market with degrees focusing on the theory side of marketing, employers are finding it difficult to get staff who can demonstrate practical experience in marketing.”

As for more experienced marketers, Stubbs believes the CIM accreditation increases the strength of a candidate: “September’s Marketing Rewards Survey showed that CIM members earn, on average, £500-£1,000 more than their non-affiliated colleagues. As businesses continue to recognise this, the natural trend will be for job adverts to specify them as necessary.”

Of clear value to those employed in sales is the ability to adapt to present needs, with Diane Kilkenny, operations manager of the Sales Leadership Alliance, describing a change in the role of sales reps (see Stakeholder comment).
In this new era of sales Kellogg’s told Recruiter that it has a large number of field sales roles available nationally. Senior roles remain far and few in between.

Stakeholder comment

Colm Buckley managing director, The People Group, Dublin

“There is massive inertia among marketers in Ireland. Much as they might not like their current position it’s what they know, it’s what they’ve been in for the last couple of years and going in to a new venture is fraught with issues of possibly being made redundant or ’last one in, first one out’-type syndrome.”
Thiloni Fothergill, talent acquisition business partner, Kellogg’s
“There are often more motives when candidates apply for roles other then moving jobs organisations fear losing top talent, especially at the moment, so employees can use job applications as a bargaining tool, making sales & marketing a very competitive environment.”

Diane Kilkenny, operations manager, Sales Leadership Alliance
“The days of the ’talking brochure’ sales rep are gone … Customers want you to become a business partner. Given the phenomenal amount of information available to a purchaser, they no longer require the person who can describe a product, they need someone who can and does clearly understand a value proposition and has the ability to communicate this.”

The article is taken from http://www.recruiter.co.uk/ on the state of play within the Marketing and Sales sector in the UK with ‘The People Groups’ Managing Director, Colm Buckley giving his perspective on the sector in Ireland. The original article can be viewed here .