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The 4 hardest marketing jobs to fill in 2016

The 4 hardest marketing jobs to fill in 2016 Michelle Kruse

Searching for a talented marketer to add to your team this year? It might be tough, as recent data indicates talent shortages remain a problem for many companies.

A May 2015 survey from human resources consulting firm Manpower Group revealed 32 percent of U.S. employers reported difficulties filling job vacancies due to talent shortages. The survey also showed 38 percent of employers globally struggled to find qualified candidates due to talent shortages.

Talent shortages are preventing many businesses from achieving customers' goals as well. In fact, the Manpower survey indicated 43 percent of U.S. employers said talent shortages were having a negative impact on their ability to meet client needs.

Talent is a crucial business driver and you're probably willing to do everything possible to find top talent consistently, particularly when it comes to staffing tough-to-fill marketing jobs.

But what does it take to fill these vacancies? First, you'll need to understand which marketing jobs are the toughest to fill and prepare accordingly.

Here's a closer look at four of the hardest marketing jobs to fill in 2016, and tips on how you can overcome various recruitment hurdles to attract top talent for these vacancies.

1. Data scientist

Data scientists are becoming increasingly important for organizations of all sizes. And when it comes to marketing, these scientists can provide "competitive intelligence" based on big data, enabling marketers to better understand their target audiences.

As a result, you should expect plenty of competition for data scientists next year. A recent CareerCast report showed roughly 6,000 companies are expected to hire for an estimated 4.4 million IT jobs related to data analysis in 2016.

VentureBeat noted data scientist jobs frequently pay between $120,000 and $170,000 annually. Meanwhile, marketers who need data mining experts to collect, organize, and analyze customer information can add data scientists to learn about their clientele, and ultimately, develop better marketing campaigns.

My advice to attract data scientists in 2016: The data scientist has been called "the sexiest job of the 21st century," and perhaps it's easy to understand why. Today's data scientists are key players in organizations of all sizes, leveraging data and analytics to help executives, marketers, and other decision-makers use data to their advantage. By providing a competitive salary along with incentives based on a marketing department's revenue growth, you could offer an enticing employment opportunity to data scientists from across the globe. 

2. Marketing manager

A marketing department is incomplete without a marketing manager. This professional serves as a Jack or Jill of all trades, supervising and collaborating with team members to develop advertising or merchandising sales campaigns.

Marketing managers remain in high demand because they often drive business' marketing efforts, along with its overall growth. And as both start-ups and enterprises consider new ways to streamline their marketing campaigns, the demand for talented, experienced marketing managers could increase in 2016.

Today's marketing managers typically earn between $76,497 and $104,688 annually, according to Salary.com. However, finding the right marketing manager usually requires more than just a competitive salary, and those who are diligent and patient in their recruitment efforts can increase their chances of finding a skilled marketing manager.

My advice to attract marketing managers in 2016: When it comes to finding a marketing manager, promote your organization's culture and stability in your job description. By doing so, you'll be able to highlight your business' achievements and show applicants that they can contribute to a successful company. In addition, don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone during your candidate search. Interviewing applicants from a variety of backgrounds and learning about how they can help your company achieve its marketing goals is key.

3. Sales representative

A good salesperson can be difficult to find, especially in today's highly competitive job landscape. Fortunately, many talented sales representatives are available -- you just need to know where to look.

Manpower ranked sales representative second among its hardest-to-fill jobs in 2015. The HR consulting firm noted a lack of applicants, lack of experience, and lack of technical competencies or hard skills were some of the biggest roadblocks employers faced when they attempted to add new sales representatives.

Successful sales representatives include a rare breed of candidates who possess the skills and know-how to promote your organization's products or services. Therefore, you'll want to do whatever you can to ensure sales representative applicants understand the benefits of choosing your organization over another. Emphasize your organization's career growth opportunities and incentives to these applicants, and you can instantly boost your chances of adding talented sales representatives.

My advice to attract sales representatives in 2016: Does your company offer extensive training to sales representatives? If not, it may be worthwhile to consider creating and deploying a comprehensive training program. With this program in place, you can add young, talented professionals who are eager to learn and grow with a company and ensure they get the support they need at all times.

4. Content marketing specialist

Ineffective content marketing remains a major issue for many organizations, which is reflected in recent data. A Content Marketing Institute study showed only 30 percent of business-to-business (B2B) marketers said their organizations were effective at content marketing. Also, 44 percent of B2B marketers said their organizations were clear on what content marketing success or effectiveness looked like, while 55 percent noted they were unclear or unsure.

Content marketing specialists are tasked with creating engaging web content. Today, search engine optimization (SEO) tools are insufficient to drive web traffic, but content marketing specialists who produce high-quality content day after day can provide an organization with the editorial support it needs to increase its website page views.

Only the best content marketing specialists will suffice for any organization, and offering content marketing specialists myriad career growth opportunities can make your business an attractive option to them. Plus, an organization that sets realistic web content goals will ensure its content marketing specialists can stay on track in a stress-free work environment.

My advice to attract content marketing specialists in 2016: Anyone can write, and you need to ensure that any content marketing specialist candidate can produce clear, error-free content. Exploring a candidate pool that includes applicants with backgrounds in journalism, creative writing, and other editorial fields can help you find the right candidate. And you should consider experts in your field too, as these candidates likely will have no trouble sharing valuable insights in a blog post, article, white paper, or any other marketing materials.

Michelle Kruse is recruitment, editor, and content manager at ResumeEdge.

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"People select" image via iStock.

Michelle Kruse has over 10 years of hiring and recruiting experience and a background in coaching and leadership development. At ResumeEdge, Michelle recruits and hires resume writers, provides training and ongoing support, manages strategic...

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