focus on these three areas to become an employer of choice

Which corporate functions are more important than sales and marketing? Very few, if you were to ask most C-suite leaders. As the engine that drives revenues at most businesses, these professionals are the key to a company’s survival and growth. That’s why LinkedIn recently ranked sales and business professionals, along with digital marketers, among the 10 most in-demand roles in 2021. Sales hiring, in fact, rose 45% between 2019 and 2020, while the number of digital marketers hired jumped 33%.

Even though both functions are closely aligned and have the same revenue-driven goals, the skills needed to be successful in sales are different from those in marketing. Both disciplines in recent years have been undergoing transformation through the adoption of data, refined methodologies and digitalisation. Especially in marketing, the growing use of educational content and technology is elevating the reach and success of many organisations. According to HubSpot, the popular global inbound marketing platform, 70% of buyers prefer to learn about a product or service from the content as compared to traditional advertising.

Similarly, high-performing sales organisations are also utilising more advanced tools to transform sales into more science than art. According to McKinsey, these businesses are gaining insights from internal and external insights that enable their sales function to be more agile and automated. This, in turn, is enhancing ROI in the function. This is a necessary adoption as the pandemic has left sales professionals more channels due to their customers’ digital transformation. 

With these roles shifting rapidly, attracting the top talent to your sales and marketing function requires careful consideration of the employee value proposition your company offers and how you can help advance the skills and professional goals of your recruited candidates. While compensation plays a significant part in winning sales and marketing superstars, your business will need to clearly articulate why you are an employer of choice.

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demonstrate relevance with technology

Today’s marketing professionals work with an expanding suite of tools that leverage data intelligence, automation and search engine optimisation. These tools enhance the reach of marketers, who are leveraging a variety of traditional and new media content in a holistic approach to going to market. To demonstrate your company’s commitment to being a highly marketing-driven organisation, consider investing in the latest technologies as an enticement to job seekers. Platforms such as MarketoHubSpotAhrefsBuzzSumo and others have become essential to any marketer’s portfolio. Without at least a few of these technologies, your business may not be considered seriously or viewed as a training organisation.

Similarly, many sales professionals rely on industry standards such as SalesforceSalesLoftZoominfo and other customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to get their work done. Expectations are that leading organisations will have a well-recognised system in place.

nurture professional growth

Because revenue-driving roles are advancing quickly, professionals in these fields expect their employers to offer opportunities to learn new skills to produce more leads and close more deals. According to one report, the sales training market is growing at an annual rate of 12%, indicating companies are making significant investments to develop their sales force. Similarly, training has become essential to the marketing function due to the rapid growth of data science and automation. 

Upskilling has been one of the big trends since the start of the pandemic, largely due to an acceleration in digitalisation. Offering sales and marketing professionals choices to enhance their skills and competencies – either through learning new tools or engagement methodologies such as account-based marketing – provides assurances that their skills' marketability will remain high.

illuminate the path forward

Offering to provide access to tools and training may not be enough to attract top sales and marketing talent. Your company must be able to help job candidates visualise a long and forward-moving career path within your organisation. According to the Randstad Employer Brand Research, career progression is cited as one of the most important criteria for workers around the world.

To help talent understand how they can advance in your company, initiatives such as an internal mobility program provide an effective way to demonstrate how employees have advanced their careers within your business. Cite specific examples of how talent has moved up in your organisation to become part of leadership. Such an exercise is a way to improve retention and help build an even stronger internal talent pipeline.  

With strong growth in sales and marketing hiring, your company must develop a robust plan for acquiring these skilled professionals to drive your company’s ongoing growth. An effective employee value proposition is much more than an attractive compensation package. By focusing on other qualities such as career advancement opportunities and access to training and technologies, your company will be better positioned to attract and hire the best sales and marketing staff.

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Our annual Randstad Employer Brand Research report can help prospective employers understand what factors attract sales and marketing professionals.

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