Competition for top marketing talent is fierce. Even if you think your interview and offer process is top-notch, simple mistakes could still be holding you back from landing your first choice candidate. As a Marketing recruiter, I routinely see otherwise successful companies become their “own worst enemies” during the interview process, ultimately losing out on talent they should have signed.

Here’s the good news: a few easy changes can eliminate these obstacles and position your company for talent recruitment success. Are you making these common interview mistakes?

Mistake 1: A disorganized and lengthy interview process.

If a candidate arrived late and unprepared for an interview, chances are good that you’d be reluctant to advance them to the next round no matter how qualified they appeared on paper. Now flip this scenario and imagine it from a candidate’s perspective. Your company repeatedly postpones or cancels interviews, adds additional interview steps with little warning, and keeps bringing new decision makers into the process. Not only are these changes inconvenient but they’re also huge red flags to the candidate that your company is disorganized and doesn’t have a clear understanding of its needs. Not the first impression you want to make!

Fix this problem:
Strive to ensure a seamless and efficient interview process. Set expectations up front and promptly communicate any changes to both the candidate and recruiter. Remember, time kills all deals! Talented candidates will be fielding multiple, competitive offers. If you wait two or three weeks to get back to a candidate, there’s a good chance they’ve already accepted another offer. Take time in advance to prioritize your new hire “wish list” and be ready to move as soon as you find the right candidate.

Mistake 2: Overlooking the importance of career development.

Top candidates know they can command competitive salaries and benefit packages wherever they go. To win this talent over, you can’t rely on financial incentives alone.

Marketing is a dynamic industry and top talent wants to keep their skills fresh. They want to be sure your company is on the cutting-edge of marketing technology and tactics. They don’t want to end up at a company where their skills will stagnate or institutional barriers will stymie every project.

Fix this problem: Candidates need to feel engaged and excited about the opportunities at your company. If your company is on the cutting edge of digital marketing, for example, share a sample project with your candidate and let them know what role they’ll play in continuing to move the team forward. If your company lags behind the curve, don’t hide this reality– candidates will find out anyways. Perhaps your company is eager to update older processes and is looking for a new hire to lead the way. If that’s the case, assure your candidates that they’ll have the autonomy and executive buy-in to push the department forward. Proactively addressing potential concerns will help candidates envision their future role at your company.

Mistake 3: Overlooking the importance of company culture and employer brand during the recruitment process.

Top marketing talent cares greatly about the people they work with and the environment they work in. These candidates are very attuned to employer brand. If they agree to an interview, they’re probably already attracted to the type of employer they perceive you to be. Failing to confirm their preconceived notions and drive home your company’s culture during the interview, however, could leave candidates second-guessing their gut instinct.

Fix this problem: Interviewers need to talk not only about the position’s day-to-day requirements but also about the broader experience of working at your company. Prime interviewees to address why they choose your company and why they’re excited to be building their career here. Don’t limit the interview process to an HR rep and CMO or another Marketing Director. Be sure your candidate meets with employees of various seniority levels that they are likely to work with both directly and indirectly, including potential direct reports. If two employees have a great rapport with one another, have them do a joint interview so that the candidate can observe this camaraderie.

Mistake 4: Failing to share feedback promptly with your recruiter.

It happens: timelines change, needs evolve, and that candidate who looked perfect on paper fails to impress during the interview. If you’ve partnered with a recruiter for your talent search, it’s essential that you keep your recruiter in the loop throughout the process. Without an update, your recruiter won’t know how to adjust their search criteria to better meet your needs.

Fix this problem:

The more feedback your recruiter gets, the more your recruiter can do to streamline your hiring process and work behind the scenes to ensure your top choice candidate accepts your offer. When you work with a sense of urgency, you’ll get the most out of your recruiter partnership and gain a competitive edge to land sought-after marketing talent.

Struggling to source top marketing talent, close a candidate on an offer, or just want to hear about what’s happening in the market? Contact me at KWeber@lucasgroup.com to learn more about how a specialized marketing recruiter can help.