Here in the second half of 2022, companies are facing several well-documented economic headwinds. However, your revenue targets are probably unchanged, or if you’re lucky, tempered, but still not easy to achieve. In this environment, you need to do more than cut costs to achieve your goals. You need to make smart investments in growth, including having the best marketing and sales leaders who can quickly evolve your growth plans and do more with less. However, finding these people is harder than you might think.
Great People Solve Tough Problems
As executive coach JP Flaum once shared with Graham Weaver, the founder of Alpine Investments, “Are you going to get to your goals with B or C CEOs running your portfolio companies? If you’re not building a suite of A leaders, Graham, how would you rate yourself as a CEO?”
The same thing is true for your Marketing and Sales Leaders and their direct reports – it’s more important than ever to have strong A+ marketing and sales leaders and teams in place. The demand for this key talent is still extremely tight. The difference between good and great in Marketing and Sales is 10X.
Why do companies fail to hire the best people quickly, putting growth goals at risk?
1. It’s Still a Tight Talent Market.
With a handful of high-profile companies doing layoffs in the last few months, it’s easy to think there are more people looking for jobs like yours. It’s still tough out there – ask any in-house recruiter or hiring manager. Here’s why:
- There haven’t been that many marketing and sales people let go these last 3 months in terms of total volume (despite the headlines). And, while some are great people, companies also use RIFs to cull average or poor performers.
- Even fewer people (than at the beginning of the year) are proactively looking. Nationwide unemployment is 3.6% – the lowest in 50 years – and it’s even lower for highly-skilled growth-oriented experienced leaders and specialists for tech companies.
- Uncertainty is causing many to stay put in their current jobs and not make a move to a new company as a brand new employee in an uncertain economic environment. It makes sense – avoiding risk, they decide to wait a few quarters for better, safer times.
- From our experience with over 100 active searches at any given time, the percentage of passive candidates who might be willing to make a move for the right opportunity has been roughly halved, again due to much higher risks of changing companies in the second half.
- Finally, the best people are still getting multiple offers, and great candidates are not on the market for very long.
2. In-house Recruiting Teams Are Spread Too Thin
Many think that an in-house recruiter they are already paying can get the job done. As great as they may be, they still face many challenges.
- They are often asked to work on 10, 20 even 40 roles at a time. That means they are spending a few hours a week at best on any given search.
- They often don’t have any help – it’s just them doing everything they can.
A good percentage of their time is posting job descriptions and reviewing inbound applicants, almost all of which miss the mark.
- If they have time to do selective outreach, it’s only to a small percentage of the universe of qualified candidates.
- Most of the best, qualified candidates are passive – they have a job and aren’t seeing your job postings. And most can’t be reached by your in-house recruiter to then even consider your opportunity.
3. Recruiters don’t intimately understand the Marketing and Sales functions and skills they are hiring for.
Generalist recruiters are less effective with marketing roles because marketing is changing faster than any other function in the company, people are specializing to stay more current, marketing is getting more technical and analytical yet often requires creativity, the channels and techniques that work change quickly, and even at the top, different personas have emerged.
It takes either a marketer or someone with marketing expertise to identify the best candidates for your role, but also to “pressure test” them. Marketers are good at marketing themselves, know the right buzzwords, and can talk, but they may not be hands-on, or launched new programs from scratch, or scaled existing channels and initiatives. Without this specialization and expertise, how can a recruiter go a few levels deeper to see if they were simply “in the room where it happened,” or led it and drove impact?
4. There’s a real cost in lost time, wasted effort, and delayed impact on the business.
Whether you are trying to fill a role with in-house and/or contingency recruiters, or even generalist retained firms, all of the above applies – with painful consequences:
- The weeks and months scroll by without seeing a great candidate and certainly without hiring one.
- In the meantime, you and your interview team waste hours interviewing candidates that don’t meet the requirements and your appropriately high bar.
- As the key role goes unfilled, all those projects and activities you had teed up for the new hire have not started. And all the expected benefits, impacts, and growth – none of that is happening.
- When you end up hiring someone in 5 or 6 months versus 2 or 3 months – that 3-month delay is incredibly costly to the team and the business.
RevelOne was created by Marketers to solve exactly these problems.
We put a three-person team on every search. The recruiter leading your search only does 5 to 6 searches at any time. You benefit from us knowing and being able to reach a massive network of 130,000+ marketing and salespeople. We understand and help you refine your requirements, then identify the 100 to 300 best candidates for your role, and then we get in touch with them and present your opportunity to these almost always passive candidates. We pressure-test them so you only spend time interviewing the best candidates and end up hiring a great person quickly.
We can pierce through all of the issues above – the tight talent market and all of those challenges faced by in-house recruiters. The result? We’re still successfully closing out searches in 3 months on average and a third of the time in 5 to 8 weeks.
If you’re a VC or PE-backed tech company needing to hire great marketing and sales talent – contact us and one of our co-founders or VPs would be glad to help.