Marketing today is a highly specialized field, containing many subdomains and specific disciplines. Each business’s marketing needs — and the team it subsequently assembles — will vary based on who its customers are and where they live across the digital and physical landscape.
The situation can be even more complicated for global companies, which look to target customers in numerous regional markets. These organizations must often negotiate a knowledge gap: Employees overseeing marketing efforts from the company headquarters don’t have the local expertise necessary to ensure messages are truly relevant to targeted audiences.
Organizations targeting multiple audiences need to bring on board marketers who really understand those audiences. One effective way to do this is by creating a remote marketing team comprising people who actually live in your target markets. Tapping a remote workforce gives you access to a much larger talent pool while positioning you to leverage the specialized knowledge of local marketers.
If you’re ready to undertake the task of building a remote marketing team, here are a few recruiting tips to help:
Hire People Who Share Your Company’s Vision and Values
When recruiting any talent, it’s important to look for cultural fits. You could hire the most accomplished and intelligent person in the room, but if they don’t share your vision, they’re not likely to perform to their full potential at your organization.
This is doubly true for remote employees, who won’t have your vision and values ingrained in them through repeated exposure in the office. Instead, you need people who already share those values and are aligned form the start.
To clearly communicate your vision and values to prospective employees, it’s important to create a mission statement that outlines your short- and long-term goals. One your remote hire has joined the team, you can continue to educate them on company vision and values by establishing routines and programs that highlight company culture. These include:
- All-hands company meetings: Hold regular company meetings that involve every member of the organization. As the lockdowns begin to lift, you might even consider periodically bringing all your remote employees to company headquarters for these events.
- Personal communication channels: Employees who share an office will organically develop strong interpersonal relationships over lunch or around the water cooler. For remote employees, you need to establish a digital space where similar interactions can happen. For example, try creating a separate Slack channel dedicated to casual conversation about topics outside of work.
- Recognition programs: Even with good communication and collaboration systems in place, remote team members can feel isolated. Be sure to recognize remote employees for great work. It will reinforce their connection to the culture and make them feel value as employees.
- Continued education: You can also reinforce company culture by continuously investing in the development of your remote workers. More than 50 percent of employers use social learning, or education between colleagues, to promote employee growth. Social learning not only improves employees’ skills, but it also strengthens bonds between coworkers. Consider creating a formal, ongoing social learning program that pairs in-house and remote employees with different skill sets.
- Internal newsletter: Send quarterly newsletters to all employees keeping them abreast of any changes in strategy or company direction. Invite feedback and collaboration around these changes.
Look for the Right Skill Sets
While culture fit matters a lot, you do also need the right skill sets. You can determine the skills your marketing team needs by performing a skills gap analysis. The aim of this analysis should be to identify both the skills your team has in abundance and the areas where it could use improvement.
An effective analysis starts with an assessment of the organization’s goals. Where does the company aim to be in the next 12-18 months? In the next five years? Once you have this information, you can determine the skills your team will need to reach these goals. Then, you can identify which of those skills are currently missing from your repertoire.
Examine each employee’s key performance indicators, conduct skills assessments, and solicit feedback from each employee’s supervisors and colleagues. This will provide a 360-degree analysis of your current capabilities, allowing you to then recruit candidates who hold the specific capabilities your team lacks.
Provide Clear Processes and Expectations
Before they join your team, remote marketing candidates will want to know whether they can expect your company to provide the support, resources, and information they’ll need to succeed. You can do that by establishing transparent, repeatable workflows that can be followed by both internal and remote team members.
Top marketing teams act a lot like an assembly line, but with room for creativity. For example, for a content marketing campaign to run effectively, a project manager first creates the campaign brief and schedule. Then, copywriters write the copy, an editor approves the copy, and the social media team distributes the content.
In order for such a collaborative process to work with remote team members, you’ll need clear workflows that guide each individual team member so that everything is performed on time, on budget, and up to company standards. Project management tools like Wrike can be especially helpful in this regard. Look for a solution that works for your team’s needs.
Ultimately, recruiting a world-class remote marketing team starts with your organizational infrastructure. You can’t bring the right people on board until you’ve established both a strong company vision and clear processes to support remote workers.
Be the kind of leader you would want to be led by. Make your remote team members feel valued, understood, and engaged. That is the best way to build a top remote marketing team.
Matt Shealy is the president of ChamberofCommerce.com.