Let’s face it – the BS degree doesn’t quite hold the weight that it used to. The generic programs that most liberal arts schools create do not prepare students to be day one value creators. Employers are no longer taking on the pressure of training new employees – they now outsource into the global market or find a more suitable candidate from the more desperate pool of domestic job seekers.

1099 culture has taken over the field of marketing. As a so-called “soft discipline,” judging true mastery in marketing can be difficult. The only way to determine value is through results, and very few employers are ready to bet good money on a possibility when they can outsource to a proven third party.

In an environment like this, one that demands certainty, you cannot afford to be the nice guy hiring the new graduate with a shiny new degree. That’s the bottom line.

So what do you base your new hires on, especially those filling positions that you hope to be long term?

Measured Results

In order to determine what “good results” are in marketing, you must first define your company KPIs. A marketer who is good in lead generation means very little if your goal is a higher CRO, and vice versa. However, your new hire(s) should understand the real reason that you are hiring them. Marketing is a wide umbrella. Narrow it down a bit and match their skill set to your needs.

The MBA

Recent graduates who express plans to gain an MBA are showcasing an enviable amount of patience and persistence. MBAs are more specific, to be sure, but the real win here is the mental focus that your potential hire is showing. Potentially putting off immediate money to go further into student debt means self-investment, which is to be commended.

If you are in a position to bargain a new MBA into a contract with you after graduation, you gain a great advantage over your competitors. The Masters program in a good business school is where your new hire will learn the latest martech and peruse the latest case studies. You will get a cutting-edge asset that will have day one value, and you may even be able to negotiate some internship time.

Networking Ability

Your new hire may have a network of marketers with the spectrum of skills that you need. Keep in mind that your new hire may be a company or a team. You can sometimes hire a full marketing department for the same amount of money as you would spend on an in-house generalist.
A huge part of marketing is the networking that a new hire offers. Does this person bring other people to the table with skills that you need? If so, then you may be able to bolster your sales department alongside your marketing, depending on what is being brought to the table.
The best practices above will give you a better chance at high productivity and more surety within your marketing department. It is a shame that the education system has not caught up to the world of employment, but this is the world that we live in. Business is cutthroat. Adapt or die.

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