US Health, Wellness, Fitness, Nutrition & Lifestyle Retailer Contract BluZinc for Search & Selection of First UK based EU Country Manager

Our marketing friend and published author, Ben Hunt, was interviewing various pioneers in killer content for his latest digital marketing book, as a follow on from Web Design is Dead.  He was asked by Michael Fishman if he knew anyone suitable to head up Marketing and eCommerce for a business about to land and expand in the UK/EU.

Ben would have been a brilliant choice if he wasn’t committed to his own loyal customer base with a series of marketing strategy and web training courses in progress.  So he said no; but “I know a man who does!”.

After email conversations, a telephone call, proposal and a Skype meeting with the US leadership team we had a better understanding of the clients vision, 5 year plan for the UK/EU and how that translates in to the type of person they needed or more importantly, did not need!  It also became clear that no one had spare time to prioritise managing direct applications from LinkedIn, assess every CV in detail, tag up the database for potential future hires in a talent pool, manage and conduct the selection process,  and manage a recruitment partner.  The UK/EU eCommerce website go live was in less that 8 weeks… not to mention moving to a new Magento platform at the same time.

Culture Fit

While finding someone with the business, marketing, eCommerce, and technical skills was essential, the overarching need was someone who would fit in culturally, having a passion for their line of business, and understood UK/EU customers.

Other important factors included being able to work with remote (International) leadership, work from home initially, launch a business in a new territory, select and manage agency relationship, be strategic yet hands-on where required and have expertise in:

  • Corporate Branding
  • Online Customer Experience
  • Stock and Merchandising
  • Digital Marketing: email and social media
  • B2C eCommerce with Magento experience
  • Attraction, Engagement, Conversion, Retention, Growth
  • B2B Relationships and Distribution
  • Events, PR, Promotions, Ambassador Relations
  • Business & Financial Management
  • Working with Global Teams
  • Managerial experience including prior recruitment and retention

These key success areas were partly found in the Job Description, though only brought to life through a consultative discussion around needs and how to focus competency led questions during our selection process to ensure we had a short-list of ideal candidates for the US Marketing Manager and Global VP Online to consider, and factor in to their busy schedule.

We were all able to clearly visualise what good looked and sounded like.  The perfect candidate needed all the above, live locally to London, be within budget and if at all possible, someone with a natural passion for the brand and long term opportunity.

On a side note to this client; one of the issues you can experience as an overseas organisations looking for talent in England is you often advertise direct and include the phrases like “International Marketing Manager”.  While the role is based internationally to your HQ, this often leads to a high volume of applications from people living in Italy, Germany, Scotland, Asia and so on.  Your candidates perceive the role not to require living in London and focusing on non-UK customers and non-UK marketing management experience.  Sounds obvious doesn’t it when you read it here?  It’s a common oversight that can lead to 8 weeks recruiting activity; only to start again.  Add in candidate resignation and notice periods, and 6 months have elapsed before start date.  If you take the annual revenue target of a commercial marketing lead, and break it down in to a daily revenue figure, that’s an awful lot of income for your business, and lost opportunity which, when you compare to a recruitment or consultant fee, the cost / benefit is more clear.

Thankfully, we developed a trusted relationship from the outset, and designed a 4 week timetable to include our search, screening, face to face interviews, review of 4 candidates with the client leadership team include telephone and Skype interviews, successful offer and commencement which actually turned out to be a non-permanent hire, while the organisations UK license to hire FTEs was approved.  Quite a curve ball that many candidates would object to unless they have been perfectly matched up to something close to their “dream opportunity”.

During our search we included candidates who spent a large amount of time away from the day job, living and breathing health, fitness, and nutrition underpinned with a personality to make a natural, lasting culture fit.  The International Marketing & Country Manager including eCommerce, declined another organisations opportunity, completed our Onfido background checks, employment referencing, and commenced 4 weeks prior to the UK/EU Website launch.

7 months on, it was still their dream career opportunity come true!

Whether you’re a UK/EU start-up or established brand, if you value getting it right first time, and freeing up your diary away form recruiting activities to prioritise your teams and customers, contact Jonathan Pearson for more information on our services for Permanent / Employment Agreement hires (W2), Contractors or Interim Management (1099); which always include generous refund guarantees.