At Bluewolf, we've come accross similar issues. I have also spoken to many of our clients who are trying to hire - we get the same feedback.
We are now looking to put together some technical questions & case studies to really gauge people's skill level.
Thanks Jennifer. I have my own Eloqua 'stump' questions that I ask (love to see the reaction on people's faces!), but I'd like to weed people out even before they get to me. If Bluewolf do put that together, and want to share with the community.....I'm sure many of us would appreciate it!
Hey Eytan, Jennifer;
It is really difficult to hire. Great demand, but little supply of top notch power users who have the blended skill. As per Jennifer's note, we do the same today - ask questions to truly get the blend out of the potential hire. I am interested though in the case study. Case study as in, give the user a scenario to play out using Eloqua?
Would be good to hear from Jennifer regarding the case study, as I imagine that's giving a scenario and asking the interviewee to come up with a resolution. What I did on a recent interview, was describe a complex business problem we had recently encountered, and our proposed solution in Eloqua, and keep a close eye on the interviewee to see if they follow, and see if they had any sensible input and the like. I'd like to change that up, now that I've read this. Maybe next time I'll just describe the problem, and see what THEY come up with.
You could always ask what super hero they would be and why. :) But on a little more serious note - I like the idea of the case study scenerio - what about an online, branching assessment of sorts? You'd have to use an app - I've taken surveys via SurveyMonkey with a flow that would match to a solid "identify the posers" type assessment. HR could even be the gatekeeper - the data don't lie. :)
This is a very interesting post to me. We actually have the same problem with Sharepoint Developers/IT skills in general, as well as most medical professions. When you have specific highly-skilled profiles in mind, it is not easy to find the right fit, that's for sure. It takes us months to fill positions and it impacts the teams that run under-staffed for extended periods of time. The law of supply and demand prevails until the market levels off with enough people in the particular field.
20 year ago, Web Designers were hot commodities, paid hefty salaries, because there were very few to know how to do it. Employers were willing to pay the price to get ahead of the competition. Things have evolved, and now they are paid basically half or a third of what they used to. I think that the market will eventually level off for this field too, until something else comes along.
To me, there are 2 different problems here. #1 - not enough highly-skilled professionals to do what you are looking for (and therefore, you will have no other choice but pay a premium to get them) and #2 - expectation management and flexibility. If I needed to hire a specific profile, I of course look at the current knowledge and evaluate how it matches my needs. Then, I look at soft skills, how fast, eager, and passionate candidates are to learn, and their ability to pick things up on their own. In some cases, training and molding someone with great ability and potential may become more valuable.
Bottom line, what is the true potential in the long run. The thing is, it takes time to accumulate a good combination of knowledge and experience. The marketing automation field is still fairly new. There are no school out there teaching this. Most of the time, skills have to be learned on the job. Thank goodness for Topliners and EU! I really don't know how I could have done it without both!
In any case, all is relative. What is "exorbitant compensation" to you? Define it. I bet it would be different for everyone. Location, standard of living, current background etc all play a part. I agree, some of the young generations are so used to get whatever they want, it is sickening... but that's an entirely new conversation lol
I totally agree with you that pre-selection is a needed process and I would love to see a case-study on this too. HR is great, but they don't always weed out the crowd the way I would because they don't always know the skills required all that well. Sometimes, we want 5 people in one, for the same price, a mature and experience professional, who is 25 yo. It takes more than a job description to help HR get the right candidates in. I think it is very important to educate HR on the business, the processes, requirements, heck even the culture and everything else you can think of, in order for them to get a better understanding of who you are looking for, whether you have an internal HR that recruits for you or go to an external agency.
Now, I'd love to see your questions! I am so excited to see all that is going on in the field and how fast things are moving. I couldn't have picked a more challenging and fun career and I am so glad there is this online community to fall back on daily when I need it
It took me 10 months to fill my open Eloqua position and I ended up going with an internal candidate who decided to change divisions in our company. The lack of proper skill sets in candidates was frustrating. I felt like people thought that if they could spell Eloqua it meant they could put it on their resume. I even had one person who called himself a "Super User" on his resume and I come to find out they never actually used the tool, they just had a log in with what their company called "super user" rights. I always dive into the technical aspects at the phone screen stage to weed out bad candidates. I found that the recruiter I was working with could only take it so far because a lot of candidates know the buzz words to say to pass the screening. I decided to phone screen candidates myself before committing to bringing them in for an interview. I think at the end of day what you truly need is someone with the right mindset to understand the balance between business strategy and how to program those needs in Eloqua. Sometimes you do have to hire for potential but I would rather hire someone who admits they have a lot to learn than someone who is pretending to be someone they are not.
I think the Eloqua community should do a salary benchmark survey report which can be segmented by country. Just so we can all assess and discern.
There should be a Eloqua Master list that is made available to HR people. At least they'll know it's reliable because Eloqua published it.
You're right, today there aren't enough people who possess a strong grasp of Eloqua and marketing automation/marketing operations in general. Add on business experience/marketing programs and the number gets even smaller.
But demand for the skill is high, and what I find often is that:
a) A marketing automation solution is purchased, with no internal expert in-house
b) A single marketing automation expert is in-house and leaves
c) The marketing automation expert was not a marketing automation expert at all (they stepped in from another role and became overwhelmed)
Either way, you're left in a tight spot, because you have to run your marketing programs and help the top line. And bad hiring decisions often ensue, especially in very competitive markets.
An assessment of some sort would be great, especially if you don't have the internal knowledge to really judge someone's skill set.
moz.com does an industry survey: 2014 Industry Survey - Moz
a list apart used to do a nice survey too: Findings from the Survey, 2011 · An A List Apart Article
Would be great to see the same for marketing automation
The issue here is a simple problem of supply and demand. Demand is huge because companies are adopting marketing automation at an accelerated clip; supply is very limited because it takes a dedicated year or two to become an expert in these tools. I know as I was a Lead on the Eloqua Professional Services team, and ran their Product Support group for a number of years. I interviewed hundreds of candidates, hired over 20 and oversaw their learning curve. It takes 3 months for someone to learn their way around, 6-12 months to attain a good level of comfort and effectiveness, and about 1.5 - 2 years to become an expert.
In terms of testing proficiency - if they have experience, ask them how they would deploy and report on a campaign. Then ask them how they would store purchased products in Eloqua, or ensure automated webinar follow-ups. Their answers to both will give you their basic skillset, and their advanced. If no experience, put them in front of Eloqua, give them 20-30 minutes to read through Eloqua's manual for creating a segment and then deploying an email and have them actually send a test email to you. This was a VERY effective test for us to gauge how quickly someone can learn - our best hires were those who excelled at this test.
Overall, I would say that if you have an urgent need for expertise, get outside help from a consultancy - make sure they have a real Eloqua expert on staff that will be working with you (ask them questions above), especially if you have non-trivial problems to solve. For a medium to long-term solution, promote from within or hire externally someone without experience. You'll get a bargain and if you treat them right they'll stay for a while. If you're looking for someone to just execute campaigns and be a low-level Marketing Specialist, look for strong technical acumen. Hire someone that has coded before (web development, computer science, or at least strong IT scripting) and that has a good can-do attitude. If you need someone that you want to become your ninja, look for a self-starter with a strong technical background (like before), but include people skills, and appreciation for business.
Happy to discuss in more detail with anyone interested.
Recruiters show how seriously they take their career when they have zero background knowledge of Eloqua and cannot pronounce it. For the individual, the certifications make a user far, far away from being a true administrator or power user, but that doesn't stop them from entering the pool of candidates. I get calls from recruiters all the time and the demands are silly in price and expectation to relocate to somewhere mundane like Boise, Idaho or such for a contract job is comical.
Unfortunately for the company in need, they are going to have to hire a paper-fit individual that a recruiter can't sort out and then suffer the consequences of a destroyed database and excessive learning on the job.
Hi Jason, Yes.
It is a scenario that needs solutioning. We look for problem solving & skill.
Say, for example, You have a nurture campaign people can drop out of during any point. How do you make sure that a contact flows out of the campaign? (with more detail, of course )