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Six Hard and Six Soft Skills to Look for When Hiring Your Next Marketing Employee

by Krisi Rossi O'Donnell  |  
September 3, 2015
  |  15,932 views

The number of B2B organizations struggling to find trained content marketing talent has grown 220% (from 10% that said so in 2013 to 32% in 2014), according to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs research.

And the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the number of marketing research analysts and marketing specialists will increase more than 30% in the 10-year period leading up to 2022.

So what should companies screen for when identifying marketing talent? Should hard skills like social media experience and an analytical background be the main factors considered for a marketing role?

The best marketing candidates have strong hard and soft skills that will allow them to succeed and add value to the organization from day one.

Six Soft Skills


1. Emotional intelligence. EI is a buzzword for most HR practitioners right now, but it truly is a great indicator of whether an employee will be exceptional or just ordinary.

Emotional intelligence is the skill of perceiving, understanding, and managing emotions, and it's been shown to be a powerful indicator of success. Marketers with EI are better able to connect with customers, and they know what moves consumers to buy, share, and promote a product or service.

During an interview, candidates with emotional intelligence often raise insightful questions. They own their failures and are comfortable in their own skin. They are reflective, thoughtful, and descriptive in their language.


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Krisi Rossi O'Donnell is vice-president of staffing and recruiting at LaSalle Network, a staffing and recruiting firm headquartered in Chicago.

LinkedIn: Krisi Rossi O'Donnell

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  • by Vasu Jain Fri Sep 4, 2015 via web

    Fully agree with your views...really help full

    Thank you

  • by Kate Duttro Fri Sep 4, 2015 via web

    I'm with you on everything but the advice on "Selling." In my experience, there's a gender difference. I know tons of women who can't sell themselves, but are fabulous marketers of their organization's products. And, I have seen it over and over in many years of experience. (I began to notice it when I first saw it in myself, and had to work at modifying the way I presented myself.) I wish it weren't so, but I still see it in women. That said, I think that organizations which are judging female marketing candidates on their ability to sell themselves are missing many exceptional marketing employees.
    Please note that I am not saying all women are incapable of selling themselves - but some who appear less able to sell themselves are totally and fabulously capable of selling your products. So, try not to judge the book only by its cover....

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