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Transitioning from a Career in Marketing to Recruitment

3 months ago by Gabriel Charles

Transitioning from a Career in Marketing to Recruitment

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Transitioning from a Career in Marketing to Recruitment – 6 Essential Skills

Gabriel Charles joined VMA GROUP in early 2022, having spent the previous 15 years working for some of the UK’s leading brands including John Lewis, British Gas, Selfridges, Debenhams & AXA (to name a few) as a digitally focused marketeer. Here, he tells us about 6 essential skills that marketers possess, that have enabled him to thrive in recruitment: 

As much as I enjoyed my marketing career, at the age of 40, I felt I needed a fresh challenge in a new arena that provided more personal autonomy and accountability. I also wanted the opportunity to use the skills and experience I’d acquired as a marketeer to give something back to a discipline that has taught me so much. 

There is a lot of overlap in the skillsets of marketers and recruiters and below are what I believe to be the 6 most important arrows in both a marketer’s and a recruiter’s quiver: 

1.       Effective Communication and Relationship Building:

A strong foundation in communication is crucial for both marketers and recruiters. Transitioning from marketing to recruitment requires leveraging your communication skills to build rapport, establish trust, and forge connections with both candidates and hiring managers. Strong interpersonal skills, active listening, and the ability to understand and address the needs of both parties are vital in building strong relationships throughout the hiring process. 

2.       Marketing and Employer Branding Expertise:

Drawing upon your marketing background, you have a unique advantage in understanding the importance of employer branding. Applying your marketing expertise to recruitment, you can effectively craft compelling employer narratives, and communicate the organisation's unique value proposition to attract top talent. Having a native understanding of digital platforms, social media, and storytelling techniques, you can create an engaging and authentic employer brand that resonates well with candidates. 

3.       Active Listening and Understanding Needs:

Transitioning from marketing to recruitment requires a keen focus on understanding the needs and aspirations of candidates. In marketing, you may have honed your skills in identifying consumer needs and developing tailored solutions. Similarly, as a recruiter, actively listening to candidates, asking insightful questions, and empathising with their goals will enable you to align their skills, aspirations, and values with suitable opportunities. This understanding is key to ensuring a mutually beneficial match between candidates and organisations. 

4.       Adaptability and Flexibility:

Successful marketing professionals are often skilled at adapting quickly to changing market dynamics and consumer preferences. This adaptability is equally valuable in the recruitment field, where trends, technologies, and hiring practices evolve rapidly. Embracing change, staying updated on industry trends, and remaining flexible in your approach to talent acquisition will help you navigate the dynamic landscape of recruitment successfully. 

5.       Data-Driven Decision Making:

Data plays an ever increasingly crucial role in marketing, and it holds equal significance in recruitment. Transitioning from marketing to recruitment requires developing the ability to leverage data and analytics to make informed decisions. By analysing recruitment metrics, evaluating the effectiveness of sourcing channels, and measuring candidate experiences, you can optimise recruitment strategies, improve processes, and drive better hiring outcomes. Data-driven decision making will give you a competitive edge in identifying top talent and enhancing the overall recruitment experience. 

6.       Project Management and Organisation:

Marketing professionals often possess strong project management and organisational skills. These skills are highly transferable to the recruitment domain, where managing multiple candidate profiles, coordinating interviews, and adhering to deadlines are essential. By effectively managing your time, staying organised, and prioritising tasks, you can streamline the recruitment process, ensure a smooth candidate experience, and meet the expectations of hiring managers. 

In summary, I have found the transition from marketing to recruitment to be hugely satisfying and it’s enabled me to blend the core skills outlined above with the personal satisfaction I gain from helping candidates secure their dream roles in top organisations.  

Here at VMA GROUP, we understand the competitive advantage that comes from consultants having a deep understanding of their focus sectors first-hand and we’ve been using this advantage to match top talent with leading global organisations for the last 45 years. 


VMA GROUP is a leading international interim, contract, temporary and permanent recruitment and executive search specialist. We are specifically focused on providing support to the communications, marketing, digital and change communities.

Our specialist practice areas cover: communications, corporate communications, internal communications, change communications, PR, media relations, financial communications, CSR, public affairs, investor relations, marketing, brand, digital marketing and agency services.

We have a reputation for providing expert consultancy services and advice, supported by in-depth knowledge of the professions we recruit for. Our thought leadership and benchmarking studies have become go-to resources for the communications, marketing, digital and change industries, supporting planning and decision-making for organisations of all shapes and sizes.

In the UK, VMA GROUP has offices in London, Bristol and Manchester and in Europe, VMA GROUP has offices in Amsterdam and Brussels, but we work with organisations and individuals on a global basis.

VMA GROUP is committed to equal opportunities and is a Diversity Pledged Recruiter.