We’re writing a lot of blogs on this topic because this is something that is often asked of us and searched online. Writing job descriptions can be one of the trickiest things to do, especially for somebody who hasn’t done it a lot. It can be a daunting and even intimidating thing to get complete, and is one of the things that hiring managers and Human Resource professionals will procrastinate on the longest.
It’s important to remember that a solid job description can go a very long way when it comes to attracting the right talent. An ill-written job description can often turn away a well-qualified candidate, and can result in you missing out on people that could be perfect for your job or your opening.
GET A COMPETITIVE EDGE
In today’s market, qualified and rockstar talent are not a dime a dozen, and the market is extremely competitive for the best talent. So you want to make sure that you’re taking every step possible to give yourself a competitive edge when it comes to attracting that talent. The last thing you want is a job description that is going to turn somebody away when in fact they could have been a great person for your position.
There are several blogs that I’ve written on this topic that are either more generic or more specific, so I’m not going to go into a ton of detail about structuring a job description in general. Although we’ll touch on that, I want to focus a little more on the specifics when it comes to writing a VP of Marketing job description.
PARTS TO A JOB DESCRIPTION
As usual, your job description should have four main parts. An introductory part, which is the overview of your company and what it’s like to work for your company, potentially even something about your product or service that you sell. The second part is going to be the position description, which is the day-to-day description of the role. The third part is the required qualifications for the role, which is going to lay out the actual experience and qualifications needed for an applicant to be considered for the role. And the final section should address things like salary or other compensation details, things like benefits, or any other fringe things that are important for potential applicants to know about the position that are in the realm of compensation.
The first and fourth sections of your job description are going to be fairly similar from job to job. It’s the second and third sections that are the ones that are always gonna be unique to your position, and are the ones that you should spend the most time on to ensure that they are accurate. There are a few things with the VP of Marketing that are important for you to make sure that you’re clear about when it comes to your needs, so that you can be sure to communicate those things in your description.
THE POSITION DESCRIPTION
On the actual description, you want to be clear. It’s always important to be clear about what the day-to-day is going to look like for this role. A VP of Marketing job description is typically going to have a management component to it. This is something you’ll want to make sure is spelled out in the description, if the position will be managing a team or not. If the position will be managing a team you’ll want to elucidate what size that team is going to be and potentially what the makeup of that team is going to be. This piece is going to be important as people are going to want to know what that day-to-day looks like from a management perspective and from a management load.
DEFINING THE MARKETING CHANNELS
A VP of Marketing also will be potentially working on a variety of different marketing channels, so it’s important to be able to spell out the different marketing channels that this person will be responsible for. It may be more digital, it may be more traditional, it may be media-focused, it may be content-focused, it may be a variety of things, and so it’s important that you spell this out, as one of the number one questions people are going to have when they look at your job description is, “Does the day-to-day of this role match my experience, and is it something that I’m going to be interested in?”
Oftentimes, a VP of Marketing position is going to be very specific to what we would call the client side, that means working in-house with a brand. Very rarely do you see a VP of Marketing title at an ad agency or marketing agency. So, with that said, if your company is a company that has multiple product lines or multiple units of business, you’ll want to be clear in your job description what this person will be focused on. Will they be working on marketing for the entire company, only certain business units, or brands as a whole? These are some of the key things you’ll want to make sure to include in the position description.
In the required skills, or position qualifications, you’re going to want to be very clear about what your must-haves are and what your nice-to-haves are. We always recommend this section be split up into two pieces, must-haves and nice-to-haves. Must-haves should include the years of experience that you’re looking for, any type of technology that may be important, and if this person’s managing a team, this is something that you’re going to want to have in here. We always recommend that, at this level, at a VP level, if this person will be managing a team, you want them to have a track record of already having managed similar-sized teams.
Along with this as well, you’ll want to look to see if it’s a must-have for you, or better said, which marketing channels does this person need to have experience with? There may be some marketing channels that you would like for them to have experience with, and there may be some that are must-haves, so you want to make sure you get clear about this and put it in the appropriate section.
There may be other types of technologies, other types of skills, other types of things that are important to you. Something else to get clear about if it is a must-have or a nice-to-have is industry experience. Perhaps you work in consumer goods, or perhaps your company is a B2B service or product. You want to get clear if B2B or B2C or industry or direct-to-consumer or whatever it might be, type of marketing experience is important. Oftentimes it’s very important to have someone come into your role that has similar industry and business experience.
Those two sections are going to be the meat and potatoes of your job description. Be sure to put in the intellectual work to have those spelled out correctly so that you attract the right people. Putting together a job description does not have to be a daunting task, in fact it’s fairly simple if you get yourself organized and follow these simple steps. We wish you the best of success.