Does the HR industry get Digital Marketing?

Over the last few months I have been paying close attention, with genuine interest too, in new job creations and recruitment within the digital marketing sector. I will, one day, be required to recruit so no harm in paying attention and getting clued up.

Not a day goes by where someone somewhere will tweet of a glamorous looking or sounding job at a high profile company….but when you dig deeper….the more I start to worry about what is on offer, what is required from the individual and the disconnect between the job role and the businesses understanding of digital.

It’s become apparent that what clients are looking for is someone who knows what the heck is going on as they clearly don’t. So how do companies know who to hire and what skills to look for in a good individual? I’ll let @brandbuilder tell you this, after an interesting conversation on Twitter I think he’s going to produce some content around this subject.

There is no university degree in Search Engine Optimisation. There is no BA Hons Social Media. There is no degree in Online Marketing. Why should there be a degree in Online Marketing when it’ll be out of date by the end of the first term.

Anyway, back to the jobs scene and the disconnect between companies needs, HR, recruitment and the current skills/knowledge in the market. Let me give you an example.

Here is a job advert (cut short) for a Digital and Online Product Manager.

Digital and Online? Are they that different that it needs to be stated as two? Is it two jobs rolled into one? (More on this later)

Second point is this, if you read through the responsibilities section and who they are looking for they don’t seem to work together in my opinion:

“You’ll be the key ambassador and key source of leadership, analysis and inspiration for all matters digital within the company”. This is followed by “We’re looking for a graduate calibre individual with a successful track record of delivering digital projects…..”

Ambassador? Graduate calibre with a successful track record? All matters digital within the business?

Here’s another job post which I came across yesterday on Twitter:

Digital Content Executive (what is that?) who is required to have “excellent keyboard and ICT skills”. Keyboard skills? Is this individual meant to be playing at birthday parties whilst churning out blog posts?

After downloading the PDF to find out more about this job I found that this role involved the following responsibilities:

  • Help with the creation of campaigns and email marketing etc
  • Ensure all websites are up to date (in fact the job spec says ‘ensure homepages are up to date)
  • Upload content onto social sites
  • Assist in the design of the website/microsites
  • Monitor web stats using web analytics tools
  • Produce brand guidelines using Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Provide print support to area teams
  • Keep an eye on media coverage
  • Write eye catching, high quality written material

So, what they want is a……….Digital Print Graphic Design Copywriter Web Anlayst and Content Management Executive. 

How much will this luck individual get paid? Salary: £17,855 – £19,900. Anyone reading this thinking “I know just the person for that job who will also take that money”

Final one……this is a job posting for Social Media Director at KGB:


Whilst the job spec isn’t too bad the one key point which stuck out here was “The ideal candidate will have a strong academic background from a top tier university”.

Who’s to determine what a ‘top tier university’ is and could one individual who didn’t attend a ‘top tier university’ but is a super social media bod be ruled out of this role?

It’s mentioned in the ‘Desired Skills and Experience’ section too. What if I had a degree in Zoology at Oxford? Can I still apply?*


So, what are your thoughts on these new digital roles being invented, new job titles being formed, job descriptions which require you to do everything under the sun for peanuts?

Are you a recruitment consultant who is looking for ‘digital candidates’? Do you understand what candidates tell you when they explain their past experiences? Technical or not?

Are you a HR Manager who just nods when an individual is talking about the importance of tag management systems and how this individual has previous experience of such systems?

Finally, I’ll leave you with this:

Please do leave comments and links to any interesting job postings, experience and skill requirements you come across.

* I didn’t do a degree in Zoology, I did a degree in Visual Communication (i.e. Graphic Design or Colouring In as I like to call it now)

1 thought on “Does the HR industry get Digital Marketing?

  1. roza

    I find yr blog interesting. I am in HR & involves in hiring digital marketing roles. I know nothing on DM in the beginning so I started to read on DM & spend more time with our DM Team.

    I am always on a lookout for guidance on DM hiring esp for HR like how to determine the role, skills needed etc. Recently I read on a profile & technique called Growth Hacker / Growth Hacking – another profile HR Team shd look out.

    I look forward to yr blogs.



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