Innovators 5 Things Top Marketers Look For

When Hiring Talent

While resume staples like problem-solving skills and management experience are still desirable characteristics, there has been a shift in what constitutes a well-rounded, sought-after candidate. Various backgrounds and qualities like honesty, passion, the innate desire to challenge the status quo have become invaluable for brands looking to meet the demand of a culturally diverse market. We asked 16 leading Marketing Innovators, “how do you pick your teams?” and here are the top trends we uncovered.

1. Passion and Curiosity

Top marketers are shifting their focus more towards what drives a potential employee, preferring candidates who are driven by more than just revenue.

“Most anyone can learn analytics or storytelling; what I can’t teach is the gritty desire to build, create, and experiment.” — Kayla Glanville, Head of Growth at Hill City

“I look for people with insatiable curiosity, passion, energy, a humble spirit and the drive to keep growing. When filling an open position, I have been known to do my own LinkedIn sleuthing rather than relying solely on recruiters.” — Tressie Lieberman, VP of Digital and Off-Premise at Chipotle

“We’ve made some very strong hires globally to expand our business from the ground up - and everyone, while different in background, all bleed this common desire to learn, evolve, and grow…” —Dennis Todisco, Global Head of Community at Niche/Twitter

2. People they can learn from

When it comes to marketing, change is not only good, it’s embraced. Top marketers are looking for people who will contribute to the evolution of their brand and industry, and those who they can learn from along the way.

“Hire your tutor. Find the person you can learn from and who will take the team farther than you can alone.” — Adrian Parker, VP Marketing at Patrón Tequila and Grey Goose Vodka

“…I’m always personally involved in selecting the talent. I look for passionate people with a learning mindset that are experts in their respective area, especially if it’s an area where I’m not as strong." Nick Tran, VP of Brand Marketing and Culture at Hulu

“I always look to hire people who are smarter and stronger than I am in their area of focus. When you do that, they tell you what needs to be done starting day one.” — Mayur Gupta, CMO of Freshly (former VP, Growth & Marketing at Spotify)

“Leaning on the team’s strong institutional knowledge and combining that with new voices can help propel and evolve the company further.” — Lindsey Belknap, Director of Brand Marketing at One Medical

3. Diversity in backgrounds, skills and thinking

Diversity of thought stems from not just accepting, but embracing the differences. Our Innovators say they are looking for people of various cultures and backgrounds to bring a fresh outlook to their brand, recognizing diversity as an essential ingredient to reaching untapped markets.

“We’re building a diverse team – we’re looking for folks with a variety of backgrounds and experiences that bring new perspectives to our work and help us build new experiences that meet the needs of our customers.” — Katrina Craigwell, CMO of Chase Digital at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“I’m a big believer in building high-performing teams comprised of people who are incredible in their positions and bring something unique to the table…” — Julie Channing, VP of Marketing at Allbirds

“I tend to bring in people who can challenge traditional thinking, including mine. My point of view is that there are enough legacy, industry experts at brands. The role of emerging leaders is to diversify the talent pool and be advocates for a more inclusive workforce.” Benjamin Lord, Executive Director, Global Omnichannel Marketing, CRM & Loyalty at NARS

“I cannot overemphasize the importance of building a diverse team.” Sid also shared some incredible advice on exactly “How to Build Your Data Science Team” and why diversity is important. A must read, look, listen which includes Sid talking about data as nutritious and delicious in the world of Machine Learning. — Siddharth Patil, Head of Data Science, Listeners at Pandora or watch his videos

4. Honesty and Trust

Trust was #1 when our Innovators weighed in on the Top 10 Things You Need From Your CMO To Help You Succeed, so it’s no wonder this trend surfaced when it comes to hiring talent. Top marketers are prioritizing transparency and candidates who actually care about what they do, and who it affects.

I’m a very ‘caring’ person, and I like to surround myself with people who also care for others, and who can build relationships based on trust and transparency.” — Rosi Ajjam, SVP Global Retail Hair at Coty

“The most important component of a successful team is trust.. in every direction. As a manager, I have to enable my team and trust them throughout all touch points of work/projects/campaigns.” — Jasmine Atherton, Social Content & Strategy at Delta

5. The tough-to-teach skills

Another common thread among the Innovators’ responses centered around innate skills, such as creativity and critical thinking. Fresh ideas from people who naturally think outside the box are a necessity for brands seeking to distinguish themselves from the competitors in a saturated marketplace.

“The most important aspect of our team at Spotify, to me, is creating a culture where creative people can be successful.” — Jackie Jantos, formerly Vice President of Brand and Creative at Spotify

“I primarily look for strong critical thinkers with great communication skills because these are harder fundamental skills to teach.” — Jodie Antypas, VP, Consumer Insights & UX Research at EA (Electronic Arts)

“I look for people who can demonstrate a balance of aspirational and accessible (creativity), and at the same time provoke emotion or thought.” — Landis Smithers, Chief Creative Officer at The Standard