Finding and hiring the right talent is often a difficult task for companies, but retaining workers with high-level skills is becoming even harder as people leave their jobs in droves, looking for improvements in pay, work-life balance, management, and work culture.
In digital marketing – a crucial component for business growth – talent retention has never been more critical, and companies need to know how to manage their top marketing people so they don’t lose them, says Dr. Debbie Qaqish, ForbesBook author of From Backroom to Boardroom: Earn Your Seat With Strategic Marketing Operations and Partner/Chief Strategy Officer of The Pedowitz Group.
“As all aspects of digital marketing continue to explode and become part of the DNA of business, the requisite skills for marketers are evolving and expanding,” Dr. Qaqish says. “Advancements and trends in technology have created a significant skills gap in marketing operations. Both finding and keeping new talent is more challenging now than ever before. Post-pandemic, there is a big exodus of talent as people rethink careers and a hot market is wooing them away.
“When you have people on hand with that rare combination of skill sets needed for a strategic marketing operations organization, it should be a priority to keep them. Managing is the key to retaining talent. Talent management is the capability of aligning employees with strategic goals and objectives, implementing learning and development programs, developing career paths, and recognizing achievement. There should be a sense of agility, passion and excitement as well.”
Dr. Qaqish offers these tips to help company leaders retain their top marketing talent:
- Manage a remote workforce more effectively. With many talented, productive people insisting to continue working from home, Dr. Qaqish says it’s incumbent on marketing managers to streamline that dynamic. “Letting workers carry out their roles from home is a bit like letting the genie out of the bottle,” she says. “And if those workers have the skill sets so sought after by marketing, they can call the shots. Companies are learning they can have a better chance at keeping talent if they offer a virtual work environment.”
- Show them they’re vital to the company’s future. It’s not in the nature of high-caliber digital marketers to become stagnant, Dr. Qaqish says, and many are interested in career advancement. Millennials, in particular, expect companies to invest in them by challenging them with new assignments and more responsibility. “If you want to keep these talented young people who are invested in your company,” Dr. Qaqish says, “you need to hear them, carve out career paths for them and the related training programs that will keep them engaged. But at the same time, you’ll want to avoid overlooking your non-millennial team members. Proactively listening to their concerns can help you understand what they need. Then lay out a path that provides a solution and overall team balance.”
- Sweeten the pot – with more than salary. Top talent in marketing operations can be pricey, Dr. Qaqish notes, but she says they’re worth it. Other ways besides salary are needed to compel high-level marketers to stay, such as more vacation time, working from home, bonuses based on reaching performance goals, and special recognition and awards. “The icing on the cake for a strong talent base that is strategically aligned with the company is to offer a competitive package that encompasses more than just pay,” she says. “Get creative, and your best people will thank you for it by staying with you.”
“As the marketing organization grows and evolves,” Dr. Qaqish says, “establishing formal talent management processes is essential to keeping the people you can’t afford to lose.”
Dr. Debbie Qaqish is Queen of Revenue Marketing™, a term she coined in 2011. She is ForbesBook author of From Backroom to Boardroom: Earn Your Seat With Strategic Marketing Operations and Partner/Chief Strategy Officer of The Pedowitz Group, where she manages global client relationships and leads the firm’s thought leadership initiatives. Passionate about marketing’s new role as a revenue creator and growth driver, Dr. Debbie inspires others to embrace revenue accountability in the customer-driven economy. She has been helping B2B companies drive revenue growth for over 35 years and is a motivational speaker, a columnist for numerous marketing publications, host of Get Real with Revenue Marketing, and teaches an MBA class at The College of William & Mary on Revenue Marketing.