Heart and mind. About the competences of a good marketing person

This is a job for the brave – you can certainly say it is about marketing. The courage may be seen in the way of thinking about the marketing itself, its role in the implementation of the business strategy, as well as the attitude, because the times for this type of activities are highly demanding. However, it is worth making the effort, because building a strong and visible brand has never before had such an impact on the purchasing decisions of the customers.

New year, new decisions, and new challenges. Can 2023 surprise a marketer, for whom working in a changing and extremely dynamic environment is a daily routine? Will the new year bring new trends or will it be a continuation of already chosen directions?

Regardless of the time of the year, the work of a marketing manager was and is full of contrasts. Creativity and humanistic imaginativeness is combined with strict analytical skills. Curiosity and temptation to follow new paths made by technology and the variety of formats clash with a conservative approach to the consistent implementation of the already adopted strategy.

How to find a balance between courage in going beyond the limits and the company’s financial calculation? The art of doing so is as inspiring as it is risky. That is why the jury of the most important marketing awards has no doubts – the winners are those who are good observers of the surrounding reality, who follow trends (and often even create them) and are not afraid to build brands that proudly present their values and express a specific worldview, something that customers can identify with.

Jury of prestigious competitions such as Effie or Marketing Director of the Year emphasize that this year’s winners were awarded for their attentiveness and sensitivity to social problems, understanding of the geopolitical context and courage in creating campaigns that promote values that are important to the public.

Multitasking level hard

It should be remembered though that marketing is an incredibly broad category in which, apart from having visionary ideas, you have to be effective in action. Therefore, a successful marketing manager, having access to advanced data, must be able to process it and to draw conclusions based on it.

“We have been working with marketing people for the last 20 years. We know that knowledge of trends, curiosity and the right intuition are particularly important features in this profession. In these exceptionally difficult times, these skills are worth their weight in gold, as the socio-political context is extremely demanding. The trick is to build a team that will follow customer expectations and be able to manage the brand in the context of the entire business strategy. That is why we constantly show our clients how important it is to select the right candidates for employees,” says Elwira Kostka, Partner at GE Hunter.

5 qualities of a successful marketeer:

  1. COURAGE – which makes challenges become a driving power for implementing even more effective marketing activities
  2. FLEXIBILITY – which allows you to adapt to changes and be open to new solutions
  3. EMPATHY – in expressing brand sensitivity and attentiveness to the needs of co-workers
  4. EFFICIENCY – that is the ability to analyse and draw conclusions from the actions taken
  5. CREATIVITY – which allows you to break patterns and build distinctive brands

From story-telling to story-doing

No doubt, the world of marketing is changing and it’s not just about digital transformation. Not only those with gigantic budgets stand out from the crowd of brands, but also smaller ones, that have something interesting to say. Brands are stepping out of the role of narrator and taking action. They win the hearts of the public not only by what they say, but also by what they actually do. Consumers of the youngest generation are particularly attentive to brands. For them, the words about sustainable development and care for the natural environment must be followed by specific ESG solutions. If not, they will choose someone else who will “buy them” with authenticity. On the other hand, we cannot forget that the needs of customers from the Silver group, i.e. 60+, are significantly different from those of Gen-Z.

Regardless of age, there is a more conscious approach to shopping, which makes customers choose more carefully. This in turn causes stratification and even brands that have been famous for their products accessible for everyone, are more and more boldly reaching for the premium category. And again we return to flexibility and openness to change.

New roles in the marketing

There is a lot of talk about the key role of marketing in business development, and yet it is the employees of this department who are most often hit by the first wave of redundancies and it is so, because marketing, as an activity supporting sales loses clash with the trade department. However, taking into account the diversity of competences and the role in determining the direction of development, it is difficult to justify such personnel decisions. A modern and effective marketing department is like a jigsaw puzzle where every piece matters. The best data is useless if it is not translated into good content. And what is content these days without eye-catching visualisation?

“As always, there are two sides to the coin – one is the specter of redundancies, which are heard both in marketing departments and advertising agencies. The other one are increasingly demanding candidates who openly communicate their needs and expectations. These are not the only phenomena we observe as head-hunters. This wide range of competences in marketing means that people from other departments – IT or Legal – also find their place here. We can also see the impact of the pandemic on the blurring of borders. For marketing managers, it opens the door to international transfers. All these factors have an extremely important impact on the shape and building of future teams. Therefore, it is crucial to introduce an employee with the right profile to the right employer. We call it a perfect match” – Grażyna Żywot-Ciecierska, Partner at GE Hunter.

A good marketing leader should be able to build an interdisciplinary team, members of which form an inseparable and intersecting system. Behind this lies another extremely important feature. The empathy. In addition to managerial skills, the leader must demonstrate emotional maturity that will allow him to maintain and unleash the potential of representatives of four different generations that are active on the market. Therefore, marketing managers should remember about inclusiveness and diversity also in the context of building their own employer branding.

 

Supply chain: What manager skills do we need nowadays?

The world is changing day by day and we need to face up with serious global problems like wars, pandemia and inflation. All this issues have serious impact on supply chain in many enterprises. The situation nowadays requires to make new, sometimes hard and risky decisions. Also we have to point out that the work culture has been changing as well. Parallel to the changes taking place at the moment, we can observe how dynamically the labour market is adjusting to it by creating new workplaces and searching for new skills.

After all the recent crises we are looking for different competences. We actually need supply managers who are more flexible, open minded and will lead the team through the new circumstances. How to manage the people and achieve team spirit, how to be efficient and deliver satisfying results – that’s just some of the questions.

Skills accurate for the crisis

Many companies have to deal with problems on many levels. Cases like lack of materials, problems with transport or new thinking about sales market become more and more visible. All the global problems affected the new approach to supply chain because the standard one proved to be no longer sufficient. Disorder of the primary processes had huge impact for all the elements of the supply chain. Both big players and the small enterprises felt the effects of the global economic and political problems.

On the wave of this changes appears a need to manage all this effects of global changes. Many companies want to be prepared for global instability and that’s why the risk management approach is so desired nowadays. Alternative solutions implemented during the difficult time for the company could help it survive. Also many enterprises are trying to be more flexible nowadays and manage better the supply chain risks and avoid all dangerous effects.

This have created a demand for people with new competences, who will take care of new approach for fast global changes and prepare the new strategy for the company. We must realize that good preparation for the crisis is the best foundation for the time after it.

5 most important skills for Supply Chain Manager:

  1. Strategic Risk Management
  2. Effective team as well as complexity management
  3. Capability to build long-term relationships with suppliers based on trust
  4. Open and flexible approach in action
  5. Strategic attitude and digitisation of the processes

Strategic risk management

The situation is changing very quickly. The dynamics in the business management is also visible in many industries. That’s why many companies initiated the procurement transformation process, which is about increasing their contribution to the business. It’s not just about savings, although we have committed to incremental savings delivery; it’s about looking at the transformation more holistically, looking at how to optimize risk management, the role that procurement can play in driving a bigger agenda, and also looking at the user and customer experience.

We’ve also noticed that we start looking for a new skills which are nowadays must to have. It is expected that our candidates are more flexible and open minded, have excellent communication skills with variety of stakeholders and what’s also important can manage complexity. We need supply managers who have a vision and of course meet the expectations of our clients in constantly changing geopolitical conditions.

Desirable soft skills and personality traits of future Supply Managers:

  • Effective multi-level communications
  • Efficient leadership
  • Having a vision, which is necessary in making good climate for development
  • Operating under constant pressure

With no doubts there is increased number of projects within this function with the newly opened roles focusing on e-sourcing and strategic sourcing . The roles are based in both Poland  as well as in the Supply chain hubs such as Amsterdam or Dublin. Departments are restructured to have more focus on the key elements and the ones which optimize the risk. New teams are being formed of younger generation and it makes an impact on the advanced digital agendas which are put into action.

Perfect match – the driving power for business

How do GE Hunter’s clients face the needed changes that have such huge impact on professional work of many of us.?

Actually companies would like to have people in the supply chain team who have open and flexible mindset and are capable to build long terms relations building still understanding the costs criteria.

The same is expected by candidates from their employers. It is crucial that companies are more flexible,  and  understand that having secure and reliable suppliers are more critical than the actual costs of purchase.

Furthermore the clients tend to analyse and review the current portfolio of suppliers  to decide whether to manufacture in-house or outsource to a third-party contract.

GE Hunter knows how to combine both sides expectations which in the result can add the driving power to the business.

The headhunter’s intuition is the key to success

In the recruitment process, solutions using modern technologies are starting to appear more and more often. Artificial intelligence can support the selection of candidates, in the first contact with them, and even in the initial psychological tests, during which the software is even able to capture the emotions of the candidates. It all sounds very tempting, but you should ask yourself whether, thanks to such a huge technological leap, we will not lose something that we have gained and developed for a long time, namely the experience and individual approach to the candidate? Read more

Human version of artificial intelligence as support in the recruitment process

The dynamic development of technology affects every area of life, and its skilful use can bring benefits to any industry. However, this topic is treated with a certain distance and reserve, especially in areas based on human-to-human contact. The question arises whether by opting for technology in the recruitment process, we will not lose this intuition, characteristic of people, resulting from personal experience, which the machine and algorithm will never replace?

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Personalization being a key to success

We talked about some new developments in recruitment processes made with help of the automation, machine learning, and AI. The possibility of easily picking up candidates basing on social media profiles, automating the initial contacts, verifying them through specialized personality tests or games, even checking them by intelligent tools analyzing facial expressions – it all sounds tempting.

So we would say – yes, AI tools might be exceptionally useful during the initial communication and verification of the candidates. But what makes the successful recruitment is personalization and experience, the combination which GE Hunter experts brought on the master level. Automated tools supporting the recruitment process can quite well pre-select the group of candidates. But under one condition. There must be candidates available, actively sending resumes, giving signs on social media that they are interested in changing jobs.
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Recruited by robots

The world embraces the new technological advances, the digitalization era changes society in many ways from social interactions to work culture. It is not surprising that automation and artificial intelligence has found their way to HR and recruitment processes. The tools that allow screening social media profiles, finding candidates, collecting data, verifying applicants on the first stages, may increase the effectiveness of the process. How it affects the work of head hunters?

Some artificial intelligence-based tools are prepared to scan applications within minutes instead of hours. Predictive performance testing and skill assessments might be useful during the screening process to identify specific knowledge and skills. Unilever for example uses gamification and video interview through AI systems of game applications to measure the candidates’ qualities, including memory, contextual clues, and concentration. Special platforms simplify the preliminary interviews as HireVue’s software that uses video recording to conduct the interview without the use of recruitment partners or Mya, an AI recruiting assistant designed by FirstJob, which is a chatbot that interacts with applicants to clarify requirements, answer inquiries, and updates on job status while delivering 24/7 support through text, email, and skype. Read more

Delivering power in times of crisis

Let’s face it – 2020 was not a picnic. A global pandemic forced unprecedented changes in society and on the markets. The resulting economic crisis challenged governments and businesses. Another waves of coronavirus make our times hard for many companies. They are fighting to not perish, to keep their position, and find innovative ways forward.

The question is, should they continue to recruit during times of crisis? Is it reasonable to hire in such an unstable global situation? The answer is yes. Hard times need the right people to support the organization, deliver new driving power, and help navigate into calmer waters.

Who are the right people?

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House of Talent – how it works? Part III

One of the “House of Talent” participants share her experience with GE Hunter original tool:

“When GE Hunt invited me to their program “House of Talent”, I was very excited and curious about the tool “Activate your driving power” helping to find a perfect job match.
The first exercise was about defining my superpowers. When I had to write it down (vs. “thinking over in my head”) it helped me a lot to arrange my career achievements, strengths and finally specify my value which I can offer to a new company.
Secondly, I was asked by GE Hunter to think of my dream companies (10-20 companies), the ones in which I would love to work. But I had to justify my choice, and specify what added value I would bring to each of them.
That kicked me out of my routine. I started to think about the companies operating out of the pharmaceutical business in which I worked for 15 years and think through what I could bring to a company from my wish list.
The process I conducted together with GE Hunter played an active role in my searching for a new job. I was acting proactively, not just responding to posted job offers. “Activate your driving power” tool helps to find a perfect match beneficial both for a candidate and a company.”

Marketing Manager, who after 15 years in pharma business decided to explore new sectors.

House of Talent – how it works? Part II

Paweł Hajduga talks about his experience with GE Hunter’s House of Talent:

“Elwira Kostka from GE Hunter was very supportive when I decided to search for new job opportunities on the market.
She invited me to the House of Talent and encouraged me to think about what my future “dream company” could be.
I wrote down a list of companies that I believed I could match.

I must admit that the next step was difficult. I was supposed to understand and explain why those companies are important to me, and what value I could potentially bring them. It required putting together all my experience and looking at my professional future in terms of further development, my personal and professionals goals, and finally to understand what drives me forward.

The tool called by GE Hunter ‘Activate your driving power’ helped me a lot in answering some crucial questions and inspired me by structuring my thoughts.”

House of Talent – how it works? Joanna Gałecka-Malczyk talks about how she got her dream job.

Why have you decided to entrust your career to GE Hunter?

Both in business and private life, everything is based on trust. I was happy to discover that GE Hunter experts are not only headhunters but also personal advisors helping throughout the entire recruitment process. 

What encourages my trust for them is the “beyond the market” activity, i.e. a comprehensive preparation of the candidate for the recruitment process emphasizing high self-awareness of strengths and at the same time a very broad knowledge of important people in the organization. It relates to the candidate’s ability to match the company’s environment and is a key element in the process of job change. GE Hunter initiates projects when a certain position appears on the market and they know a properly matched person who addresses customer expectations. This may mean a tedious and exhausting process but it gives great results.
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