Marketing Roles

How to hire a graduate for a Marketing role

Candidate profile

A creative, proactive individual who is able to manage a range of projects from start to finish, with an enthusiasm for digital media and an interest in entrepreneurial businesses. An ideal candidate would also be highly energetic and passionate, as this role is particularly diverse and fast-paced, and someone who excels in strategy to solve problems. They should also be able to work well in customer interaction and enjoy challenging their creativity with new ideas to create new plans and products.

A degree in Marketing is useful but not essential. Essay-based subjects like English, History or Journalism are desirable as they prove that the candidate can write well and has the necessary communication skills.

Top skills

  1. Written & verbal communication: being able to translate ideas into well-written reports
  2. Organisation: being able to use your time and energy effectively in order to meet deadlines
  3. Interpersonal skills: the ability to get along with others in order to complete tasks
  4. Customer service: the ethos of ensuring that customers are satisfied with a product or service
  5. Willingness to learn and pick up new skills quickly

Non-office experience

  • Organising events for a society or department, writing newsletters, managing budgets and sitting on committees all show the organisational, communication and management skills a candidate needs for a job in Marketing.
  • Experience as a campus/university brand ambassador (something that many companies offer) offers valuable experience for brand awareness and understanding marketing campaigns.
  • Learning marketing and digital marketing techniques through research or online courses can be useful too.

Office experience

  • Practical experience in Marketing, such as an internship or placement, is incredibly valuable. Not only will the candidate have a good knowledge of the day-to-day workings of a Marketing role, but they will also know that it’s a sector they’d like to pursue.
  • Similarly, work experience in a professional setting is beneficial as it shows the candidate will have the necessary business skills required for marketing, such as dealing with people in the workplace.

Green flags

  • Has an interest in and is aware of brands
  • Has their own blog or social media channels (or at least shows an interest in those areas)
  • Someone who is creative and has original/innovative approaches and ideas

Red flags

  • Someone who has not researched the company
  • Spelling or grammar errors in an application for a role like this are a particularly strong warning signal!
  • A candidate who is lethargic or dispassionate would not be particularly suited to a role in marketing

At interview

  • Set a short writing task to be completed before or even during the interview to further assess their writing abilities. (Make sure you also have a read of their blog or ask for a few pieces of their writing if available before the interview to assess their writing style!)
  • Ask the candidate for an example of how they would write a Tweet or Facebook post for your company.
  • It might be a good idea to give the candidate a product during the interview and ask them to briefly outline any initial ideas for a marketing campaign. This can give you a broad idea of how they think and whether they can think on the spot - and you're also testing their persuasiveness and marketing powers.

Employee expectations

A graduate would expect to start at assistant level, where a salary is in the range of £18,000-£20,000.

Within this role, a graduate would expect, once having earned the requisite experience of 3-4 years, to progress from an assistant level to a more executive role of increased responsibility. A candidate may also expect the scope to move within different roles and departments with the transferable skills they have developed.

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