Hiring more team can seem like a great way to solve a skill or capacity gap. Sometimes, it most definitely can be the solution you’re looking for. Other times, not so much. The real question—when it comes to marketing operations, at least—is: should you be hiring more team or hiring marketing operations?
Listen to Season 3: Episode 18
The Process of Hiring
No matter where your business is in its growth cycle, hiring is a big deal. First, you have to get approval for the position, then you have to create a great job description. After that, you have to work with HR to get the position posted and then sort through applications to decide whom to interview. And that doesn’t even take into account scheduling interviews and trying to use that information to find just the right person. Whew! It’s just a lot of work.
Then, once you do find the right person, there’s all the paperwork to make the new hire official and then they need to get onboarded and acclimated. So much time and effort go into making sure new people feel welcome, valued, and that the team is able to use them to fill those capacity and skills gaps.
The payoff for this can be amazing, but is this really the right fix for handling marketing operations needs?
The Ups and Downs of Hiring More Team
The difficulty we’ve talked about before is that the area of marketing operations is new. There aren’t a lot of candidates out in the world who come in with the understanding, skill set, and ability to insert their value into an organization that hasn’t had this role before. It’s not impossible, but it’s likely to be more challenging than hiring a web developer, a graphic designer, or a marketing strategist for your team, just because the role and function are new and quickly evolving.
Some of the challenges of hiring more team include:
There’s another, less obvious challenge with hiring more team: It’s the very nature of an internal resource. As soon as a new person comes in, they can be quickly overwhelmed with a backlog of items that are now urgent because of a lack of capacity.
Capacity is a real and ongoing problem. The reality of an internal resource—because there are usually no hard and fast parameters around each person’s role—is that whatever comes in that needs to get done gets taken on by whoever is deemed “available” on the team. And that can actually prevent qualified resources from being able to prioritize the skills issues that you hire them for, and instead, they get sucked into the seemingly bottomless pit of urgent crap that comes up every day.
Loss of Perspective
About six to 12 months in, every member of your team loses their external perspective in exchange for adopting the culture and perspective of the company, which is ultimately what you want from an internal team member but can be detrimental or just isn’t what you always need to overcome obstacles and make progress on important projects.
When Hiring More Team Makes Sense
Hiring more team can be a good answer if you have very specific controls and boundaries in place for them to come in and do the job and/or if they are able to pair with an outside consultant or resource to help keep their priorities where the organization wants them, as opposed to just being run over by the urgency of whatever’s happening day to day.
First, Gain Clarity
The process here to avoid the mistake of hiring internally when you actually need something different is to first get clarity. Clarity is your friend. You need to clearly identify what the real problem is you are trying to solve. Then you can determine if hiring more team will address that problem, or if that problem really needs the ability to be prioritized above and beyond what’s urgent in the organization, an outside perspective, or a new and different skill set and expertise than what the organization already possesses.
When implementing or helping to establish marketing operations roles, it is beneficial for the organization to pair with some kind of outside resource, so guidance and continuity can be provided to introduce this role and expertise into the organization.
The Benefit of Knowing Whom to Hire
The payoff in knowing whether to hire more team or marketing operations is the ability to solve the problem in the right way. Perhaps it is by hiring more team. Perhaps it is by establishing marketing operations. By setting up marketing operations in your organization, you might need an internal resource and an external resource. Or perhaps you’re not ready for that step yet, and you really need marketing operations to establish itself and exist outside the forces of the organization to keep that race car on the racetrack performing to its fullest potential.
Get a Handle on What Your Organization Needs
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That wraps up our episodes on alternatives to marketing operations. Next up? You’ll learn about the problems marketing operations can fix for you. Be sure to follow along to keep learning!