Soft skills, flexibility make for next-level marketing hires

CMOs and marketing managers should always be on the lookout for marketers who can bring value to their organizations and can find them by focusing not only on specialized skill sets but also on soft skills.

The “How to Hire and Train Marketing All-Stars” report from Udemy for Business and HubSpot Academy highlights the fact that modern marketers have evolved from having one or two specialized areas to covering a wider area of knowledge. It’s up to marketing organizations to create a culture that supports learning new skills.

“Previously, marketers might have progressed from general know-how to specializations (say advertising, copywriting or event marketing),” according to the report. “Today’s marketers maintain a more general skill set throughout their career, knowing that they need to be ready to learn and evolve as consumer behaviors change. Providing people with the resources they need to learn the latest tools and trends so they can perform in their jobs is paramount to organizational success.”

In addition to skills that tie directly to professional intelligence, the report suggests marketing managers look at a marketer’s emotional intelligence as well. These “soft skill sets” include self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

“Our broader culture needs to make room for soft skills when we talk about what 21st century workers need to know in order to succeed,” Udemy CEO Dennis Yang said in the report. “Unlike hard skills, which are always evolving and could be gone with the software update of tomorrow, soft skills never expire.”

Making sure the interview and vetting process for new hires is thorough can pay dividends down the line.

“At the interview stage, you bring in other representatives of your company to interview the candidate either in person or over the phone,” the report reads. “Interviewers should avoid discussing the candidate’s qualifications until after they’ve all had the opportunity to interview the candidate. This avoids group-think and gives the candidate the opportunity to give a positive first impression to new people on the hiring team.”

- download the complete report

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