RECRUITING TOP MARKETING TALENT: AN INTERVIEW WITH EMMA HANSFORD

Emma currently leads a team of marketing, communication and product specialists for a global investment business.

With a passion for transformational change, Emma has also lead strategic business change programs which include a focus on organisational, culture and people changes.

Join us to hear Emma’s perspectives on recruiting top marketing talent in this Heart Recruitment interview series.

Tell us about your business and the team you lead.

QIC is global diversified alternatives funds management business. We are a government owned corporation and manage ~$81bn in funds for around 112 global clients.

I am general manager for strategy, marketing, communication and product. There are 14 people in my team, plus a range of outsourced resources supporting us in America, the UK and China.

What are the top three soft skills you look for when you recruit?

Can I have more than three? Soft skills and team fit are key.

For me, critical soft skills and personal traits are:

  • a down to earth and practical approach

  • emotional maturity

  • ability to deal with ambiguity and self-solve problems

  • ability to communicate in complex environments.

What are the most important factors in retaining top talent?

Giving people a compelling vision and ensuring they understand the ‘why’ in what we are doing.

Setting clear expectations and outcomes but providing autonomy in how people achieve (and exceed) these.

Being a genuine, transparent, engaged, curious and respectful leader.

Creating a team culture of collaboration and learning.

Let’s talk about some of the challenges you’ve experienced when recruiting.

Diversity. There tends to be more women working in this area than men but I believe that diversity of gender, experience and views makes for the strongest team.

Returning to work with confidence. We often get women returning to work after having a family. I am very supportive of this and would encourage women to be confident and not to undermine their own abilities and skills.

Yes, things change in the working environment but don’t undersell yourself – go forward with confidence! There are plenty of ways to quickly plug any little gaps that may have emerged while you were out of the workforce.

What advice would you give to others about recruiting top marketing talent?

Collaborate. Involve critical internal stakeholders in the recruiting process. Collaboration builds the deepest relationships and gets the best business outcomes.

Best fit for the team. Think not just about who is the best individual candidate but also about who is the best fit for the whole team. Diversity in the team will drive better outcomes than employing carbon copies of the same sort of people who interview well or have relatable experience.

The search. Consider using a specialist recruiter to manage the search for specialist roles – or spend time on LinkedIn yourself to get an idea of what the ideal candidate looks like.