Rethinking Recruitment: It’s Not Who You know, It’s What You Know

Rethinking Recruitment: It’s Not Who You know, It’s What You Know

In this guest post, Adrian Wicks (pictured below), vice president of marketing and communication at employment connection firm Nvoi, says modern disrupted workplaces need a disrupted way of recruitment, too…

When talking to my peers and colleagues in the marketing and communications profession, they tell me that getting the right skills at the right time is the main problem holding them back in completing projects and keeping up to date with the latest industry innovations. Across industries people are facing the same struggle – with nearly 40 per cent of Australian companies reporting skills shortages.

Adrian Wicks


In rapidly evolving, tech driven industries where companies regularly need new recruits with the latest skills coming on board – the cost of recruiting and retaining good people is too high, and the time it takes to recruit and on-board new staff is too long. In Australia, each vacant role takes an average 68 days to fill, which equates to nearly $35,000 in lost revenue per vacancy.

CMOs are increasingly building project-focused teams with hybrid tech-marketing profiles to address each new digital challenge. Every year new tech skills are needed to build campaigns that will match the requirements of the omni-channel and analytics era – and the industry is reacting.

Businesses reviewing their hiring strategies and adopting a more flexible workforce are already showing the value of fully tapping into the skills economy. These businesses are demonstrating an increased ability to innovate and meet customer demand, underpinned by unfettered access to the right talent for any job, at any time.

Here are a few recruitment strategies that CMOs and business leaders should consider to continue building and implementing cutting edge marketing campaigns.

Utilise freelancers and contract workers

The Australian contingent workforce is set to grow from 11 per cent to 25 per cent by 2020, representing around 3.2m workers according to Ben Eubanks, Associate HCM Analyst, Brandon Hall Group.

Leading organisations are already increasing their agility by utilising freelancers and contractors in their search for skills. Contingent workers are available on demand, happy to work on limited-time projects, and provide a huge variety of unique skills that hiring managers can pick and choose depending on their current needs.

From a business perspective, the opportunity to leverage short-term contract professionals will allow companies of all sizes to scale-up and scale-down their marcom teams to meet demand, rather than weathering the peaks and troughs that most businesses experience.

A skills-based approach

We may finally be moving away from the adage of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

Utilising the changing nature of the workforce means adopting a ‘skills first’ approach. What matters is finding the right skill, for the right project, at the right time.

While full time staff will remain crucial for long term project management, client relations and strategic thinking, execution will increasingly need a more flexible team structure and approach.

Skills have become the new currency at the heart of each hiring transaction. A skills-based approach allows companies to recruit the talent they need, and cuts through Australia’s infamous war for talent.

We are seeing the development of platforms that provide an open market for highly skilled professionals to set their price based on their skills and standard of work and connect directly with companies that require their specific skill set.

Embrace a new recruitment technology

Technology has modernised and streamlined the recruitment process, and the marketing and communications industries look set to be among the biggest beneficiaries. Their need for speed and agility are finally being effectively addressed, ensuring businesses have the ability to react to customer and client demands at a moment’s notice. Digital platforms can now offer a fully rounded service to find, assess, engage, pay and rate qualified and pre-vetted professionals on an assignment by assignment basis. This allows businesses to be directly connected to the skills they need across design, creative and marketing & communications roles.

This offering has solved some of the traditional recruitment process’ biggest problems and barriers. As well as rating systems that allow businesses to see how an employee was reviewed by other companies, platforms are available 24/7. Ratings from industry peers remove the risk of hiring freelance workers, while the ability to interact directly with potential employees outside of office hours combats a long standing problem – good managers are managing during work hours, good workers are working. We believe there is no place for traditional 9-5, Monday to Friday when it comes to recruitment.

Empowered candidates and managers

The skills-centred approach also means that CMOs and marketing project managers will have a greater role to play in the recruitment process. Managers know what skills they need and when they need them. Empowering line of business leaders to reach out directly to highly skilled on-demand professional reduces vacancies on project teams, reduces the time and cost to recruit new team members, and cuts out the middle players out of the process.

Recruitment of project based talent, should be done in a day, rather than months. With a bank of highly skilled professionals ready to go at a moment’s notice, managers can keep their projects on track and ensure they deliver agreed outcomes.

This is an unprecedented time where businesses succeed or die based on their ability to urgently get talent in the door. Rethinking the cumbersome recruitment processes removes hassle and cost, and enables marketing and comms professionals to take advantage of contingent workforce models.

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Adrian Wicks Designworks Nvoi

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