DigitalRecruiter: Q3 2018

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INSIDE: Why 99% of candidates DON'T fit the job description From intern to leader in six short years: Q&A with Spacedealer's Dorota Karc Top 10 strangest interview questions Conferences you don't want to miss! PLUS: The hottest jobs on the market


DIGITALRE RUITER Brought to you by Adaptive Digital, DigitalRecruiter is a newsletter focused on the topics of career development and recruitment in the Digital Marketing industry, both from the employer and employee perspective.

Within the coming pages you'll find industry insights, interviews with some of the biggest names in the business - and a few highlights from the Adaptive consulting team - not to mention some of our hottest jobs within the field at the moment.

Published quarterly, DR aims to be We hope you enjoy our latest a forum in which Adaptive edition and gain some valuable Digital's network of business intel from this publication. owners, leaders and professionals can share their expertise to discuss a range of issues and hot topics. David James - CEO Adaptive Business Group

es David Jam



Head of Online Marketing:

Digital Strategy Director:

Leading international fashion retailer, North Germany (Up to €90,000) Global performance agency growing a new office, Munich (Up to €80,000)

Group Head Programmatic Trading:

Global performance agency, Frankfurt (Up to €75,000)

Head of Search Marketing:

Global performance agency, Frankfurt (Up to €75,000)

Paid Media Manager:

Paid Social Digital Account Manager:

Global full-service agency, London (Up to £40,000) Independent media agency, London (Up to £37,000)

To explore job opportunities, visit our website or get in touch with our recruitment team:


Adaptive Digital places hundreds of digital marketing professionals each in jobs every year, and guess what – 99% of them don’t match the published job description. Wait… what?

marketing, mobile, social, analytics, e-commerce… we secure positions for candidates at entry-level to VP, and almost none of them directly fit the job description produced by the client.

A bit of a risky thing for a Does this mean we’re giving recruiter to say? Yes, in some our clients a poor service? ways it is. Far from it – we recruit for But it’s also true - and some of the world’s largest there’s a logic behind it that digital agencies and offers a valuable lesson for corporate marketing teams candidates everywhere and have partnerships looking to advance their dating back ten years, and careers. Let’s give that always ensure that we statement some context... secure them the best. We place candidates across all areas of the digital marketing spectrum, search

So why do so many candidates get jobs they don’t qualify for on paper?

"The job description Is just a wishlist..." Many of us get enthusiastic when thinking about a possible career change, then talk ourselves out of exploring possibilities when we start browsing job descriptions online and disqualifying ourselves from application. "Not enough years of X." "Haven’t managed budgets of £Y." Sometimes it’s helpful to have a think about how most job descriptions come into being. In a best-case scenario, hiring managers sit down and

That’s not to dismiss their value – they’re a vital part of the recruitment process, and our team bases our work daily off the guidance given by our clients.

Though it’s helpful as a broad gauge, hiring managers are really looking for someone who is great at what they do!

well-qualified candidates fail at interview where less experienced peers succeed. Why? Because technical skills are almost never the main reason candidates are selected by top companies.

Five years of working But when it comes to without enthusiasm or assembling top-performing curiosity is not a like-for-like teams, JDs are exactly that – comparison with 3 years of guidance. working with energy, Yes, you need to have a excellence and a continual Recruiters and careerfocus on self-improvement. relevant base of knowledge for a role. minded candidates work While companies can with that guidance to find a That’s why we always train, the learning curve match that goes beyond a encourage candidates to can’t be too steep or too simplistic equation of CV + base their CVs around what long. JD = match. they’ve achieved and how they work, rather than Not all experience is equal. approaching the job market But beyond experience Another thing that creates a with a profile that looks like and technical ability, the major disconnect between the JD of their previous job. vast majority of hiring managers are looking for hiring managers and people who will provide candidates is the tradition of "But, what do hiring long-term value and be quantifying experience in managers want?" In our an asset to the team. years: daily roles as recruiters, we see exceptionally well “8+ years’ experience in marketing, with a focus on WE ALWAYS ENCOURAGE CANDIDATES digital and content marketing” TO BASE CVS AROUND WHAT THEY’VE “Minimum 3 Years’ experience with Bid Optimisation, Ad Rotation, Audience Profiling & Location Targeting”


For job-seekers in digital marketing, this means: 1) Willingness to learn:

3) Caring about team success:

Ultimately, any digital marketing effort is about Hiring managers love driving top-line results for welcoming people onto their the company or client. teams who display internal Candidates who make a drive to stay curious about habit of relating their new ways to achieve contribution to team marketing goals. The success typically shine pressure quickly piles up on brighter in interviews than any team or department those who see their work lead if they are the only only in the context of their person expected to innovate assigned goals or KPIs. or find new ways to solve Demonstrate that you’re problems. joining a team to help make everyone around you 2) Viewing marketing successful, and you’ll open holistically: doors even when your hard skills may not make the With so many digital grade. marketing and e-commerce teams structured around How to benefit: channels, it’s a common frustration for hiring Smart digital marketers managers to interview looking to advance their candidates who show no careers can learn to awareness or interest in how understand the qualities a their role fits the bigger company wants, not just the picture. As companies grow list items. and evolve, team members who understand the broader Once you’ve deconstructed marketing mix prove a JD to understand what a invaluable over colleagues business needs from the happy to remain silo-ed. role, you can compare this

much more accurately to your skill set and experience, and shape your CV accordingly. When it comes to interviews, remember to let the key factors shine – motivation, focus on team work, desire for progress, investment in learning, problem-solving skills and flexibility… these are almost never in a JD – but they’re key! Pulling it all together, you can learn to narrate your experience to match the needs of the role, and give yourself the best possible chance of landing your next dream role. Good luck with your search! ***

Ready to make your move? You can browse Adaptive Digital’s full list of digital marketing job opportunities across Europe and North America on our website.


How often do you check the calendar and realise how quickly the year has gone? I mean, who would have really thought we're only a few months off of 2019... already! We've struggled to comprehend the speed of which 2018 has flown by, the season's changed as quick as the digital market so we've put together a quick handy guide for you to check out the who, what, where, when and why of some of the biggest and best industry-

specific conferences and trade events to earmark for next year. On a more general footing here are a few conferences Adaptive Digital's agency customers have attended with good reviews... We hope to see you there!


Digital Summit: Charlotte

Who for: Digital Marketing Professionals When? October 3-4 Where? Charlotte

MarTech USA: Boston

Who: Marketing managers, Content marketers, MarTech professionals. When? October 1-3 Where? Boston

B2B Marketing Forum

Who: Marketing managers, Inbound Experts, Growth Hackers When? November 13-16 Where? Boston

Nordic E-Commerce Conference

Who: Digital Marketing Managers, Web project managers, Mobile and web strategists. Where? Stockholm When? October 2-3

State of Search

Who: SEO and SEM professionals, Search professionals When? October 10-11 Where? Dallas

Conversion Conference London

Who: SEO, SEM professionals, Conversion professionals When? October 11-12 Where? London

Marketing Evolution Experience

Who: Social media marketers, Content marketers When? October 17-18 Where? London

Email Innovations Summit London

SearchLove London


Who: Email marketers, Marketing managers, Inbound Experts, Growth Hackers When? October 17-18 Where? London Who: Digital Marketing Managers, Search, SEO, SEM, web strategists. Where? London When? October 15-16 Who: SEO and SEM professionals, Search professionals When? October 15-16 Where? Minneapolis

Digital Strategy Innovation Summit

PerformanceIN Live


Programmatic I/O

Lisbon Affiliate Conference

Social Media Strategies Summit: Higher Education Pubcon Las Vegas

Web Summit

UnGagged Las Vegas

Social Media Week

Internet Summit

Who: Digital Strategists, Marketing Managers, Analysts When? October 19-20 Where? London Who: Marketing managers, Content marketers, performance marketers When? October 15-16 Where? North America Who: SEO and SEM professionals When? October 24-25 Where? New York Who: Advertising Specialists, Marketing Manager Where? New York When? October 15-16 Who: Affiliate When? October 17-20 Where? Lisbon, Portugal Who: Social Media Strategists, Social Media Managers When? October 10-12 Where? New York Who: Digital Marketers When? October 16-18 Where? Las Vegas Who: SEO and SEM Professionals When? November 5-8 Where? Lisbon Who: Digital Marketing Managers, SEO, Search & SEM When? November 4-7 Where? Las Vegas Who: Social Media Managers, Strategists When? November 14-16 Where? London Who: Social Media Marketers, Content Marketers When? November 14-15 Where? Raleigh




TO HEAD OF PROGRAMATTIC In under a decade, Dorota Karc has gone from fetching coffee and running other menial tasks as a Digital Marketing Intern to industry figurehead. Now Head of Programattic at Spacedealer – a full service digital marketing agency based in Berlin - Marek Wierzbicki, Digital Recruitment Director DACH at Adaptive Digital, caught up with her as she recalled her journey within the market. MW: When we first met 6 years ago, you were an intern starting in digital marketing. Now you are a business leader heading an expert team and a valued speaker on conferences in the field of programmatic. Which skills led you to where you are after such a short time? DK: It’s hard to believe it happened in only 6 years! I don’t think I am where I am only because of certain skills, it is more opportunities which let me practice and develop certain skills. It is also people, who gave me freedom and space to explore. You can have fantastic skills and be very talented, but if you will not get your opportunity you will not be able to grow very quickly. My opportunities were dynamic, demanding, unexplored working-places, as well as getting in to basically non-existing at that time industry of Data & Programmatic.

I could not learn how to make a campaign in a DSP on any studies or courses or even basically from none 6 years ago – it did not exist at that time. I had to become a self-learner and be willing to explore and dig and experiment. And again I could do it, because the industry was not established and my bosses allowed me to explore and experiment. Do you think I could grow so fast, if I was getting into an established industry? I don’t think we would have this interview .

On the other hand, of course there are certain skills, which helped me to grow so fast and be successfully. It is for sure flexibility/adaptability, problem-solving attitude and ability to think and learn very fast and ask the right questions. Of course communication and eagerness to learn, engagement are important too. MW: Which hard skills, or tool knowledge, is essential to become successful better than the competition and make it possible to get where you are now? DK: Maybe it will sound controversial, but unless you are a Doctor or Lawyer you do not need certain studies or hard skills. If you want to be a great campaign manager in digital marketing of course you need to learn how to build and optimize campaigns in certain platforms (eg: Google Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, DSPs, DMPs, GA). Of course you need to be great with numbers and tracking and analysis – don’t event start here if get sick of numbers. But digital marketing, any business is much more than only pure numbers. It is imagination, vision, people and ability to connect the dots, willingness to try new things, experiment and explore. To be a great a marketing consultant, strategist or head, to develop concepts, connects the dots between branches and channels you really need more than just hard skills or tool knowledge.

"I wanted to change industries to get into an industry that is new and has a future." MW: Why Digital Marketing / Advertising. What do you find exciting about the industry? DK: I worked in Project Management, Event Management before and I wanted to change industries to get into an industry that is new and has a future. Data & Programmatic was it at that time. Zalando and SEO was a short stop before I jumped into Data & Programmatic. MW: From the point of view of an employee and digital advertising expert, where do you see most potential for growth: on the agency, technology or client/advertiser side? DC: That is a great question! I was actually thinking about it recently and I see the highest potential to grow is on the marketing agency and start-up side. If the start-up is in tech or E-commerce – it is a perfect combination. But be prepared to work long hours and intensively. Essentially, everywhere where a company is not so established or is just small and dynamic and on a growing curve is a huge potential for learning.

MW: And I am sure you still have a long to-do list in terms of professional development. Is there anything there you could disclose? DK: I would like to grow professionally. In the future I would like to co-found/ found a company. I am coming from a quite entrepreneurial family, so the pressure is high! But it always needs to align with your private life, so I hope I will manage! MW: How do you think marketers need to prepare for the current rapid market development? Will the role' Online Advertising Manager' still be meaningful in the time of automated process management & more complex AdTech solutions? DK: Marketers and people who steer the market and tools will be very important, but we will have to play different roles. There is a great issue of Harvard Business Review from June 2015 about future of work and how we will have to adapt in order to manage man-machine collaborations. It is not only about marketing, this is about business, it is about future. For example the article “Beyond Automation“ of Thomas H.Davenport and Julia Kirby outline five paths towards employ-ability in the manmachine era - it's fascinating. MW: And a classic but always up-to-date and exciting issue to discuss to close the interview off: how do you see digital advertising changing in the next 5 years?

The change is inevitable, the question is how fast and which trends will be decisive. What do you think? DK: I am happy that the companies, clients I work with are more performance-, data-, cross-channeloriented. This will be definitely a trend for some time and will take time for advertisers to adapt and technology companies will for sure develop/improve tools in these areas. It is very interesting to observe what Google is doing – they are unifying (For example few weeks ago DoubleClick advertiser products and the Google Analytics 360 Suite unified under one brand: Google Marketing Platform). I am curious about blockchain and how this will impact marketing. Man-Machine Era is still in progress, I don’t think it will impact only marketing, but all the business and we should observer that and prepare for that. *** You can reach out to both Marek and Dorota via their LinkedIn pages. Interested in a job in Digital Marketing? Check out what hot jobs are available on the Adaptive Digital website:

ADAPTIVE TOP 10: MOST INTERESTING INTERVIEW QUESTIONS... In this edition of Adaptive Top 10, we look at some of the most interesting questions asked on job interviews, according to job seekers.

1 2

Asked at SpaceX "When a hot dog expands, in which direction does it split and why?"

Asked at Whole Foods Market

"Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?

3 4

Asked at Dropbox "If you're the CEO, what are the first three things you check about the business when you wake up?"

Asked at Urban Outfitters

"What would the name of your debut album be?"


Asked at J.W. Business Acquisitions "How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida?"



Asked at HubSpot "If I gave you $40,000 to start a business, what would you start?"


Asked at Trader Joe's

"What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?"


Asked at Boston Consulting Group "If you were a brand, what would be your motto?"


Asked at Delta Airlines

Asked at Uniqlo


How many basketballs

"If you had $2,000, how would

would fit in this room?"

you double it in 24 hours?"

I’m sure all of you have seen some weird and wonderful job interviews in your time, why not share with us your favourite ones? Better still, find out if we can get you a new job with an even better title. Get in touch at


As large areas of the digital marketing sector continue to be automated by tools and AI-powered applications, does SEO and content generation still require the human touch? Rise of the Machines The advance of AI and automation is all around us in the modern world, from the surging sales of intelligent personal assistants like Alexa and Google Home to the pioneering voyages of earlyphase self-driving cars and trucks.

Within digital marketing – a sector obsessively focused on data-driven accuracy and continual improvement - the progress has been rapid. From a recruitment angle, we’ve seen the shift in what our clients are asking for when hiring key roles. Across programmatic, data analytics, personalization, marketing automation and scores of other disciplines, many roles within digital marketing have evolved from performingtasks to configuring and deploying

the technology which now handles those tasks autonomously. In response, digital marketers in many areas have been obligated to reskill to maintain their value. Content Generation - An Island Haven? Within this changing landscape, one field which has always seemed ‘secure’ from the advances of automation is content generation, from fuelling SEO campaigns to driving

content marketing and customer communications. Of course, it’s computing algorithms which are deciding which pages and content get ranked, which ads get shown to which users (and we’re still using tools to measure and test our marketing activities), but it’s fundamentally still humansdeciding what to write about, and how to write it... isn’t it?

impressive progress anyone who remembers the laugh-out-loud nonsense that Google translate used to produce a few years back will be stunned by the advances in modern machine translation, and NLG is blazing a similar trail. Pioneers in the field are well beyond lab test phases, and already AI-generated content is being published across hundreds of mainstream channels.

Generating a reported 1m+ words per day, Quill is not just aimed at automating boring reports, but is already being deployed in a customer-facing setting: “Quill automatically generates unique descriptions from your data that highlight what is most important and interesting, helping you increase web traffic, and ultimately, purchases.”

Well, change might be arriving quicker than many people realise.

Automated Insights is Key players include another one to watch, Narrative Science, whose supporting the Associated flagship product Quill Meet NLG focuses on turning data into Press to generate insightful stories from “narratives”, essentially corporate earnings The move to bring artificial creating valuable text reports: intelligence to content content from spreadsheets creation is led by a branch of and databases. computer science known as NLG (Natural Language Generation). NLG delivers "THE ASSOCIATED PRESS USES NLG language as an output based on data input, working to TO TRANSFORM RAW EARNINGS DATA create text that is not only INTO THOUSANDS OF PUBLISHABLE informative or intelligible STORIES, COVERING HUNDREDS MORE but convincingly imitates QUARTERLY EARNINGS STORIES THAN human style and syntax. Without a doubt, the technology is making




Where AI Falls Short So what does this mean for writers, content creators and the thousands of professionals whose employment value depends on the human component in marketing and content generation? Although there’s a clear advance of AI into sectors of content generation that previously were exclusively ‘human’ terrain, there are still several key areas where human input remains vital: 1) Emotion: Where AI accelerates the process of converting data into basic narratives, computer programs lack the human sentiments which drive our emotional connection with

content. With Google ranking algorithms placing greater emphasis on a more complex set of factors than simple keywords, AI writers’ lack of passion, preferences, memories and references remains a major limitation to the type and quality of content they can create.


tweets and factual content may be well served by computer engines, quality long-form content designed to drive engagement may suffer from the absence of a relatable human author.

3) Storytelling: In its essence, effective marketing content involves telling a 2) Engagement : Many story. Whether blog posts, content experts have raised social media updates, the question of whether AI- customer communications generated content will or even product receive the same descriptions, great interaction as human marketing is more than a content. As robo-writing simple transfer of becomes more prevalent in information – it’s a complex digital communications, blend of ingredients that AI will users share, comment cannot currently replicate, and like content that they including humour, know has been produced empathy, aspiration, by a logic-driven bot? motivation, memories, Where news updates, references and opinion.

The future’s bright – but it’s different Ultimately, the increase in usage and sophistication of AI content generators can create big opportunities for content professionals, but there are shifts ahead in the marketplace, and it’s important to react proactively to what’s ahead. First up, as with fields such as programmatic advertising and data analytics, the arrival of any new technology creates new jobs and skill demand for experts who know how to configure and deploy those tools. AI content engines may produce an impressive final

product. but they require skilled input in order to function. Anyone concerned about the impact that AI may have on their professional future should look at working with – not against – the progress made by tools.

of other fields which current AI cannot (and may never) simulate.

Reading the early signs of a marketplace shift and adapting accordingly, talented marketers who can learn to share the sector with emerging technology Secondarily, the increase in will continue to find new ‘functional’ content premium opportunity for created by AI creates an their human skills. opportunity for writers to *** concentrate on their skill set in adding value where AI cannot compete. You can check out Adaptive Digital’s full list of digital This means raising the bar marketing jobs across for high-quality, long-form Europe and the USA here. content and premium work based on creativity, *** humour, empathy, expertise and a huge range




IN A MAJOR DIGITAL AGENCY Angela Knibb is the Head of Search at growth specialists and independent search agency, MC&C in London. Whether performance or brand, MC&C combines data insight and strategy to create and execute innovative marketing solutions that drive growth. After almost eight years with her previous company, she took on the roles as Head of Search a in August 2018, and our UK Digital Recruitment Director, Ben Wattenbach, caught up to find out how she's adapted to life at the agency. BW: Hi Angie, first of all - thanks for catching up with us, we're really pleased you could find the time in your hectic schedule to spare us a quickfire Q&A! Let's start easy, what's day-to-day life like for the Head of Search at MC&C? AK: As with most good roles, my days are always so varied! In general, it starts with the team and making sure they have everything they need to meet various client requirements and deadlines. This often involves preparing and delivering trainings on various industry topics, showing them something new and interesting, or helping solve specific problems. I also use this time to keep on top of the various blogs to know what’s happening in the industry, and any updates we need to be aware of. Then there’s usually client work or presentations to deliver, partner calls

and meetings, and new business work. Additionally I’m lucky enough to be able to attend various industry events (which I always try to take some of the team along to) which gives me a broader perspective on the industry, or better insight into upcoming developments. BW: And you've been in the industry a while now, how did you find yourself in Digital Marketing? AK: Same as most people did, I just fell into it! I didn’t study anything particularly relevant to marketing

I did Linguistics and German at Uni and then went travelling for a year, then came back and realised I needed to get a job. I thought Marketing sounded interesting and took a job as a PPC Executive, and 8 years later here I am! BW: What is it that inspires you the most about this sector? AK: I think it’s the problem solving aspect I find the most inspiring. As an industry, there’s a real feel of ‘there wasn’t an obvious or available solution to this problem, so we made our own’. In a world where the majority of us have access to very similar tools and tech, it’s not about what you use, it’s about how you use it. And that breeds innovation and thinking outside the box from the ground up, and I find that genuinely exciting. BW: What do you look for when hiring professionals within Paid Media & Search? AK: It does depend on the level, if we’re looking for someone more senior then obviously we look at their experience and past successes. Whether we’re looking for someone more experienced or entry level, there are certain traits that I do need to see. Attitude is very important – someone who will not only do the job, but will put in the time and effort to do the best job they can,

As an industry, there’s a real feel of ‘there wasn’t an obvious or available solution to this problem, so we made our own' including looking at different ways to approach the problem always gets a tick in my book. I often ask about a past mistake or failure at work – I don’t particularly care what the mistake is, we’ve all made them, but I do care if you’ve spotted and rectified it yourself, and what you’ve learned from that. Attention to detail is also key in our industry, so typos or grammatical errors in CVs or presentations pose problems. Finally, personality and team fit are very important. We spend more time with our colleagues than with our loved ones, so being able to have conversations and work with the team is vital. BW: What are some trends you have noticed recently in the industry? Anything you think will be changing? AK: Our industry uses a lot of automation and machine learning, it’s ramped up a lot over the past few years and will continue to do so. That’s pretty exciting though, as it means we all need to be more strategic, and it’s certainly an area to keep an eye on.

BW: What advice would you give for people who are interested in what you do?

MC&C still, and I can honestly say that the team are very welcoming and made me feel instantly at home.

AK: Work hard for it. Read as much as you can around the industry so you know what it is you’re getting into, and put your hand up for a wide variety of tasks. Don’t fall into the trap of being overworked and burning out though – ask for help when you need it. I still need to do these things as well, you never stop learning, so I’m always reading blogs or relevant work books to find out what’s new, or techniques I don’t know about. BW: What is the best advice you've ever received? AK: 'You can’t change other people, you can only change how you react to other people.’ I find this a great reminder to change the messaging or find a new angle if your message isn’t landing, as well as to focus on the things within your control and let go of the things that are outside of your control. BW: Why is MC&C such a great place to work? AK: As with all workplaces, it’s the people who make it. I’m quite new to

I love that there’s a genuinely integrated approach here, with all channels under the same roof, and the Digital team each working across paid search, paid social, and display, it makes for much more integrated and rounded client strategies, as well as much more rounded individuals as they have experience across a breadth of channels. We’re also an Independent, so we can be quite fast moving, and every individual can make a big impact. *** Want to reach out? You can contact both Ben and Angie via their LinkedIn pages. Interested in a job in Digital Marketing? Check out what hot jobs are available on the Adaptive Digital website:



Programmatic Manager

Paid Search Manager

Senior Paid Search Supervisor

Paid Social Specialist

Organic Search Manager

Paid Search Program Manager

Leading AdTech company, Manhattan Up to $85,000 Global digital marketing agency, working on enterprise sized cosmetics client, NYC. Up to $70,000 Market leading AdTech platform, NYC. Up to $110,000 Mid-size digital marketing agency, Boston. Up to $95,000 Global digital marketing agency, NYC. Up to $95,000 Large agency in San Francisco. Up to $100,000

To explore job opportunities, visit our website or get in touch with our recruitment team: