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Don’t Make These Hiring Mistakes: A Guide to Hiring for Your Marketing Department

Hiring has been a hot topic for quite some time now; more specifically, the great debate of whether to hire an in-house position or seeking an external agency or group of experts to satisfy your company's needs. And with the labor market being exceptionally tight these days, no matter your industry or the size and scale of your business, hiring a new employee is no easy decision—a wrong hire can potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars. Whether a candidate is at entry level or senior-level management, the cost to hire is much more than their baseline salary and benefits package.

According to Toggl Hire, an average company loses anywhere between 1% and 2.5% of their total revenue on the time it takes to bring a new hire up to speed, and one study by the Society of Human Resource Management states that the average cost to hire an employee is $4,129, with around 42 days to fill a position. No company—especially small-to-medium sized businesses—has time for that.

How to Maximize Your Marketing Budget

Has the time come for your company to enlist in marketing help? Perhaps you already have an internal marketing coordinator in place who needs some extra support or expert guidance, or perhaps you don’t have any sort of marketing figure in place yet—neither internal nor external. Regardless of whether or not you already have someone on staff to coordinate marketing efforts, you should utilize your marketing budget in the smartest way possible for your brand.

If you’re stuck on how to get the most bang for your buck with your marketing efforts, read on to gain some clarity.

Why Marketing Coordinators are Tough Hires

A Marketing Coordinator/Manager has to be the ultimate Jack- or Jill-of-All: graphic designer, copywriter, media planner, web developer, social media specialist and project manager all in one. With the need to be knowledgeable on so many topics, you’d think candidates would be required to have at least 10 years of multi-disciplinary experience to be qualified for the position... but this is simply not the case.

You will typically see up to dozens of responsibilities under this sort of job description, and yet, they are typically entry-level—meaning someone as young as 21 years old can be responsible for all these facets of your brand. And while low experience means a smaller salary, you will likely end up spending more time and money in the long run than you may have if you hired a more experienced professional or marketing firm. Low experience equates to lower and fewer results. Is that how you want to allocate your marketing dollars?

How to Manage a Millennial or Gen Z Marketing Coordinator

It’s no secret that younger Millennials and the incoming Gen Z workforce have much different expectations of the work environment than the job market has ever seen. As Sapho puts it, "Gen X grew up with fast food. Millennials enjoyed fast entertainment. For Generation Z, it’s everything—instant information, instant communication, and above all instant gratification." With 2.25 billion members of this generation worldwide, Gen Z outnumbers both Millennials and Baby Boomers. In fact, one in five of your employees will likely belong to Gen Z in 2020 and the years to come. Obviously, the workplace will be greatly impacted by this shift: communicating project needs instantaneously, relying on the most user-friendly apps and interfaces, working in real time, and most of all, convenience in all senses of the word.

With how differently Gen Z operates in the workplace, inefficiencies are bound to happen. And while processes will undoubtably have to evolve to accommodate the incoming generation, do you have time to strategize, implement and perfect those processes now? Probably not. According to Forbes and reported by Workplace, 18% of employees are actively disengaged with their work, and find it stressful, frustrating or pointless. That may not seem like a significant number, for for a small-to-mid-sized business, that’s enough to make a dramatic impact on your bottom line. Putting a Gen Z’er fresh out of college into a Marketing Coordinator position is setting both them and you up for frustrations, overwhelm and an ineffective use of your marketing dollars.

The True Costs of Hiring vs. Outsourcing Marketing Services

As we mentioned earlier, hiring a new employee costs much more than their annual salary; you also have to factor in a benefits package (insurance, 401k, vacation and sick days, company car, cell phone plan, etc.), training (labor and resources), supervision as the new employee gets acclimated to the role, plus miscellaneous costs like laptops or other resources. You may be thinking, "I wouldn’t have to cough up all of these costs for an entry-level employee, though," which may be true, but the costs to train, supervise and likely edit or completely redo much of their work would still elevate those costs—likely with fewer and lower results.

The actual cost of hiring an employee is especially significant for smaller businesses. According to Investopedia, the average training cost per employee raised from $1,105 USD in 2015 to $1,886 USD in 2017, and don’t forget that Toggl Hire reports it now costing over $4,000, accounting for expenses like external hiring teams or an internal HR team, career events, job board fees, background checks, onboarding and training, developing a careers page and, of course, salaries and benefits. Toggl Hire also states, ‘For the employee to receive $50,000, the employer has to pay from $62,500 to $70,000 per year."

The Differences Between Marketing Specialization and Marketing Generalization

There are plenty of debates about whether it’s more beneficial to engage a generalist or a specialist in any industry. Truth be told, there will always be pros and cons to both no matter your industry, but when it comes to marketing, the pros of hiring a specialist over a generalist clearly outweigh the cons.

Consider this example. You hire (or already have) a marketing coordinator on staff. They consider themselves a Jack/Jill-of-All, but they’ve worked hard to develop more specialized skills in social media and email marketing. Unfortunately, as a one-person show, they only have about 10 hours/week to devote to both of these specialities, leaving the other 30 hours a week to the tasks which this person is not so familiar.

While having a marketing coordinator (a generalist) in place indeed provides value for a company, that value is significantly amplified when they work in tandem with a specialized marketing agency. With a marketing firm on your side, you’ll have access to professionals with varying specialties, from digital marketing to graphic design, copywriting, media planning, brand strategy, marketing strategy and more. Working together with the marketing coordinator, a specialized group of professionals in a marketing agency will not only help produce better results for your brand, but will also be able to help train and develop more specialized skills in the marketing coordinator as the relationship grows.

Why You Should Hire Marketing Agency

In the case that you don’t already have a marketing coordinator on staff, we’ll be blunt: The Image Shoppe recommends hiring a marketing agency over in-house personnel. This may not come as a surprise since we are a brand marketing firm, but our reasoning goes beyond self interests.

Agencies have years of experience.

From working within different industries to varying budgets, each specialized team member in an agency setting typically has decades of experience on internal marketing personnel.

Agencies produce higher quality outputs.

With specialty designers, copywriting, social media managers, web developers and so forth, an agency can provide both breadth and depth of experience that most marketing coordinators are unable to provide, simply due to the nature of their job title.

Agencies provide a better value at a lower price point.

Engaging with an agency allows you to work with high-level talent at a fraction of the cost. Outsourcing also allows you to save money on hiring, onboarding and off-boarding, training, benefits packages, paid time off and more.

Agencies hit the ground running.

Agency professionals have the tools, expertise and bandwidth to get right down to work on your project needs. Once information has been collected and a consensus has been made between your brand and the agency, with clear goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) outlined, there should be no barriers to getting the results your company wants to see.

I already have a Marketing Coordinator on staff. Should I still hire an external marketing agency?

Yes, even if you already have a Marketing Coordinator or Manager on staff, we absolutely recommend following through with hiring a marketing agency. As previously mentioned, The Image Shoppe has years of experience working alongside internal marketing coordinators to create exceptional results for brands in several different industries. Through building these relationships, we’ve been able to cultivate the skills of many marketing coordinators who have climbed the ladder within a company or moved on to more specialized roles in other companies.

Ready for your brand to perform like a Fortune 500 company with a fraction of the budget?

The Image Shoppe is your trusted brand marketing ally that will help propel your brand forward with realistic goals, key performance indicators (KPIs) and effective results. Contact us today to schedule you complimentary consultation call!

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