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You may already be aware of the labor shortage in the US that is affecting nearly all sectors of business. But let's take a look at the consequences.

Part of the ripple effect is that the labor shortage has significantly increased the importance of attracting and retaining marketing talent. Senior-level marketers responsible for their company's marketing department staff need to stand up and take notice.

The disparity between the number of job openings (over 10 million in the US) versus the number of job seekers (under 6 million) according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, combined with a rate of quitting that is considerably higher than in pre-pandemic times, should give you an indication as to just how important it is for companies to attract and retain their talent.

In this article, we'll consider which characteristics allow companies to attract and retain B2B talent, as well as what senior-level marketers should be focusing on.

1. Prioritize and promote company culture

Company culture can be defined as the shared values and aspirations of a company, together with the philosophy and practices that are put in place to encourage those values and aspirations.

Good company culture is characterized by the following:

  • The company encourages and assists in the employees' personal and professional growth.
  • The company recognizes the contribution made by and the value of its employees.
  • The company rewards performance.

By focusing on the culture of the marketing department (and the company as a whole), you will not only boost the productivity of your marketing team but also improve the recruitment process.

Company culture is important in the recruitment process on two fronts.

First, a good company culture makes a company more attractive to job seekers. Professionals with excellent skills and aptitude are always interested in career advancement. So, even when they are applying for a job, in the back of their mind (or in the front), they are thinking about what future opportunities that job can lead to.

Second, after a good company culture has attracted talent, it also serves to help retain that talent for many of the same reasons, but also because...

  • The company fosters teamwork, which provides employees with the opportunity to perform at a higher level than they otherwise would.
  • The company is flexible to the extent that it allows employees to work in a way that makes them comfortable and productive.
  • The company's values reflect those of its employees, which allows them to better identify with the company they work for and instills in them a sense of pride.

Most important, company culture is not a private matter. Your healthy company culture (including that of your marketing department) should not be kept a secret; rather, it should be integrated into the company's branding and marketing strategies. Share the company's story through blog posts, social media posts, and videos.

Check out this article on how to make a great company story video, or this one on how to make company-culture videos that captivate your customers' hearts.

2. Adopt a more refined targeting strategy with the help of AI

During a labor shortage, when filling open marketing positions is a challenge, the temptation may be to adopt a strategy of "casting a wide net." However, that approach is more likely to exacerbate the problem than alleviate it. Instead, consider narrowing the scope of your search.

Instead of simply looking for marketers with the skills and experience to fill your open position, consider emphasizing the aptitude, drive, and soft skills that increase the chances that an employee would outgrow the position and advance in the company.

That approach has three significant benefits:

  1. By promoting professional growth and advancement within your team, you are strengthening the company culture.
  2. Promoting from within is a great way to counteract the ill effects of a labor shortage.
  3. Promoting from within is a great way to increase employee engagement and promote productivity.

AI can help with targeting, too. By analyzing millions of data points, AI technology can identify patterns and common characteristics of successful recruits, allowing you to refine the criteria for candidates. Lensa, for example, uses AI to identify the ideal candidate while filtering out those who are less likely to succeed.

AI gives recruiters and senior-level marketers who have a stake in the company's hiring process the benefit of...

  • Reducing hiring biases
  • Speeding up the recruitment process
  • Providing a better candidate experience, because allowing AI systems to carry out menial and repetitive tasks frees up leaders to give more personalized attention to the candidates

What's more, employee retention begins at the recruitment stage. In the current labor market, a greater emphasis should be placed on employee retention. That means targeting talent that has displayed...

  • Advancement in previous positions
  • A high aptitude for learning new tools and processes
  • A track record of staying power
  • Elements of stability in their lives

3. Emphasize the importance of work-life balance

Recent trends, such as millennials' entering the workforce with new expectations and technological advances that have led to an increase in employee mobility, have brought work-life balance to the forefront of hiring.

On the one hand, employees are concerned more than ever about their work-life balance. That has manifested in a variety of employee demands and expectations that have grown in popularity in recent years:

  • Working from home (or using hybrid work models)
  • Shorter work weeks (e.g., four-day work weeks)
  • Paid vacations

On the other hand, not all employees have the same understanding or expectations about work-life balance. Some employees (especially those considered top talent) are more career-driven than others. And, for them, the balance will mean something different. For others, family or personal goals take the highest priority.

To successfully navigate the complicated waters of employee work-life balance, take into consideration the following:

  • Do not impose one model of a healthy work-life balance on all your employees.
  • Be flexible.
  • Express and demonstrate a commitment to helping your employees reach a healthy work-life balance.
  • Keep the channels of communication open so you can make important adjustments in a timely fashion.

* * *

The strength of your marketing department is determined by the quality of your team and its leaders. That means getting the recruitment process right is of vital importance.

The labor shortage means that attracting and retaining top talent has never been more important. The two work hand in hand: When you create a positive company culture and promote that achievement, you are more likely to attract talent that you have a better chance of retaining.

Being attractive comes, in large part, from a well-earned reputation. And earning that reputation starts at the recruitment process.

More Resources on Attracting and Retaining Marketing Talent

Employee Retention: How to Keep Your Top Talent [Infographic]

10 Tips for Boosting Employee Engagement and Creating a Happy Workplace

How to Reach the Right Candidates With Programmatic Recruitment

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How to Attract and Retain Top B2B Marketing Talent

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image of Gergo Vari

Gergo Vari is the CEO at Lensa, a data-driven job search engine.

LinkedIn: Gergo Vari