Digital Marketing is a relatively new marketing medium that has become increasingly prevalent as society digitizes and gravitates towards digital channels, such as email, smart phones, computers, tablets and social networks. As the digital marketing industry grows, so too does the human resource challenges of finding qualified professionals. Here are 4 of the Most Common Human Resource Challenges Faced by Digital Marketing Firms:
Finding Qualified Candidates
Colleges and universities have only recently started to offer practical courses in the field of digital marketing. Although there is significant interest in this profession, education and training is still lagging behind. The result is a market with very few qualified candidates. It also means that there are fewer standards, and many believe that they are experts in the field, but “talking the talk” and “walking the walk” are often very far apart. Although job posters list requirements and qualifications for the ideal candidate, assessing applicants at first glance can be challenging. One solution to overcome this obstacle is to train and educate from within your agency. In the case of a growing digital marketing firm who need to fill new openings, there are employment agencies that focus specifically on finding talent to fill your various digital marketing positions.
Human resource departments are also faced with challenges when determining whether to hire on a contract basis or to bring a resource onboard as a full-time employee. Freelancers meet immediate demands and when the job’s complete, there’s no expectation to continue the employment. This is a cost saving advantage, however, because they are not part of your organization, there’s also no commitment for this person to continue working with your company, even if/when you may need them for future work. In this case, having to search for another appropriate resource next time around could result in inconsistencies in the quality of work delivered.
Compensation & Retainment
As digital marketing is a relatively new field and there’s not a lot of data on job remuneration. With a lack of pay scale standards there exists a wide range of salaries, and this can create challenges specifically for smaller digital marketing firms, as they have to compete with salaries offered by larger agencies. Therefore, it becomes a challenge for human resources personnel to set competitive compensation levels and they must get creative with their employee retainment strategies.
The nature of digital marketing allows much of the work to be completed outside the office. Firms who allow this type of flexible work environment have to deal with the human resource challenge of how to accurately measure and control the work hours of its employees. It’s also more difficult to foster a team environment with part of the team working remotely, and on different schedules. Human resources may implement policies and accountability measures that include face-to-face meetings, office check-ins, or remote access to employee computers to track usage. As the demand for digital marketing grows across all industries, post-secondary institutions will eventually catch up with contributing towards the supply of qualified professionals in this field. Until that time, interview often and keep a short list of candidates. Look for eager, fast learners and invest in team members who want to expand their knowledge base and stay with your company for the long haul. Remember, a company is only as strong as its weakest employee, so manage your human resources with careful consideration.