Hiring fresh grads for brand marketing
In 2015, we surveyed the marketing heads of some of the biggest companies in the Philippines on the “hirability” of fresh graduates. Albet Buddahim, vice president and chief marketing officer of Primer Group of Companies, and Ampy Rio, chief marketing officer of Nutriasia, answer our updated edition.
Question: When hiring fresh graduates for brand marketing, what do you look for?
Buddahim: My talent recruitment principle has always been to find the perfect fit, which means finding the right talent based on their capability, competency and career interest, and then finding the right role, level and department where both they and the company will grow together.
We want to attract top talents who aspire to become great in five to 10 years. To achieve this goal, we look for: 1) disciplined mind/academic achievements 2) discipline in leading fellow students 3) desire to pursue a marketing career 4) grit to succeed 5) culture fit to the team.
We strive to build a world-class marketing team and we keep in mind learnings from various sources, such as the “Good-To-Great” book by Jim Collins with the three disciplines (disciplined mind, disciplined actions and disciplined people) needed for a breakthrough success.
Rio: Some of the things I typically look for in candidates’ backgrounds are:
- Leadership and teamwork: Brand marketing work often requires collaboration and leadership skills, so candidates who held leadership positions in school or extracurricular activities are considered.
- Demonstrated skills in resiliency and marketing-relevant competencies: I normally consider candidates who have developed relevant skills through coursework or other exposures/ experiences in areas such as social media management, content creation, market research, project management and data analysis.
- Passion for marketing: I put a lot of consideration for candidates who demonstrate a genuine passion for marketing and brand management, as this will likely translate into greater enthusiasm and dedication in the workplace.
- Relevant degree: This is a basic thing that I also put into consideration—degree in a relevant field, such as marketing, advertising, business or communications.
- Internship or work experience: Candidates who have completed internships or have some work experience in a related field are also considered.
Q: What are the common pitfalls of job applicants who fail to meet your hiring standards?
Buddahim: I will share how we screen the talent we hire in every step. Step 1 is screening the resume or curriculum vitae (CV) to job fit and meeting qualifications. At this level, the common pitfalls are:
- Errors in spelling, as we expect the CV to have been reviewed several times by the applicant and that all errors are fixed. This is aligned with the expectation of high-quality work
- Lack of creativity and professionalism in the CV format, especially if they are applying for a marketing or brand role
- Not being able to highlight how they are qualified for the role, based on the job posting and description
- Showcasing a job-hopper profile where one has moved to three companies (or more) for the last three years
- Not showing any achievements (no honors and did not join any school activity, org project and no personal hobby or interest).
Step 2 is the interview with the talent acquisition team and common pitfalls at this stage are:
- Showing up late during the interview
- Not knowing enough about our company or not even visiting the website to know our brands, history, the business and our values at the very least.
- Not understanding well the job description and qualification.
- Expecting salary is too high for a fresh graduate and expecting to become a manager in one year
- Having no questions when asked, “Do you have any questions for me?” (We hire proactive professionals.)
Step 3 is the hiring manager interview and here are the common pitfalls at this stage for fresh graduates:
- Not enough interest in the brand, product and company
- Difficulty in communicating experiences and ideas during the interview
- Expecting that they will have an assistant
- Not willing to do the manual/admin work
- Did not have a pleasing personality during the interview
Rio: Based on my experience, some common pitfalls of job applicants who failed to meet our standards are as follows:
- Lack of preparation: Applicants who have not prepared adequately for the application or interview process struggle to meet hiring standards. This can include not researching about the company or the position being applied for or not being able to answer basic questions about their qualifications.
- Poor communication skills: Communication skills are critical and applicants who struggle with this, I normally see as less qualified. This can manifest in a variety of ways, such as not being able to articulate their thoughts clearly in interviews, among others.
- Negative attitude or behavior: This may include things like badmouthing previous employers or making inappropriate comments or gestures.
Q: Do you have a wish list (of competencies, behaviors, etc.) so they have a greater chance of getting hired?
Buddahim: We are looking for the following: play-to-win behavior and right-to-win capabilities/competencies.
Rio: The top ones are analytical skills, strong communication skills, creativity, adaptability, collaborative mindset, and genuine passion for marketing and brand management. —contributed
Buddahim will talk about “Leveraging digital and social media channels: Using a variety of online tools and platforms to build brand awareness, engagement and loyalty” during the 4th Mansmith Brand Summit on July 5 to July 6. For details, please visit brandsummit.com.ph. A full text of this interview is available at www.josiahgo.com.
Josiah Go is chair and chief innovation strategist of Mansmith and Fielders Inc.