Insights from Yvonne Pengue, Director of ‘Spot on Minds’ recruitment agency
What advice would you give to someone looking for a new role in luxury comms / marketing?
The requirements for senior roles in Marketing have changed over the past few years. The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the transition to a digital future. Companies have jumped years in a matter of months to re-define and implement their digital communication and marketing strategy.
Although most companies understand the importance of digital transformation, many are overwhelmed by the idea of having to update their entire digital approach. This evolution is closely connected with the need for new skills within their current teams.
Our Clients currently require expertise in the digital area for all candidates for communication and marketing roles. Professionals who want to join the marketing teams of innovative brands with an omnichannel approach, are required to have a solid expertise in the digital area and must be able to define an integrated strategy merging traditional and digital media channels as well as a customer-centric approach based on consumer insight and data.
Strong leadership skills are more important than ever, teamwork and motivating your employees are key to succeed in the current fast-paced environment. Communication skills and social intelligence go hand-in-hand and there is still a need for genuine human connection and understanding in every job role.
How has the pandemic changed the way in which brands recruit?
The pandemic has accelerated several recruitment trends, not only the shift towards virtual interviews and remote working, but most importantly a turnover of ‘must-have’ skills. The emphasis has been on re-skilling and up-skilling their marketing, retail or even HR teams. The talent focus is on candidates with potential rather than just experience. Line managers look beyond the immediate needs of their departments and consider what skills the organization must acquire to succeed in the future.
Another visible trend comes from a candidate perspective. Candidates look for organisations with an authentic purpose, strong stances on social issues including sustainability, diversity and inclusion culture as well as meaningful work that meets their personal believes.
How should one go about hiring a diverse team?
Greater diversity in the workforce results in greater profitability and value creation. Companies should first define their corporate aspirations in the Diversity and Inclusion area and decide their strategic initiatives. They could also engage with external stakeholders for sharing best practices on effective programs.
To make diversity a part of their culture, companies have to be able to attract a more diverse workforce and promote an inclusive environment. It is best to start with changing the recruiting approach. For example, rethinking the language and eliminating unconscious bias used in job postings, having relevant workplace policies in place, using personality assessments to understand personality traits, motivations, skills or for some specific roles even use artificial intelligence to shortlist candidates based on qualifications.
Companies should also focus on increasing diversity and inclusion awareness among the current teams through training, coaching sessions or events where employees can share their backgrounds and traditions.
Successful companies that embrace diversity and inclusion are also able to leverage that diversity to promote product innovation.
What else should be considered when making a hire?
In the current climate, I see flexibility, adaptability and critical thinking as some of the key soft skills needed to succeed in the demanding environment of the luxury sector.
What is next for Spot on Minds?
We feel very lucky to work for some of the most exciting brands and luxury groups in the industry. Having established our consultancy in luxury in Europe and the US, we are now expanding into Asia to support our Clients thanks to our broad network of talents. Access to the right talents will be crucial for companies aiming to maximise the business potential of the post- pandemic economic expansion.