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Andrew Haines has established himself an outstanding reputation in the marketing industry over the last 20 years, developing results-driven strategies and building successful marketing teams for some big-name brands. He has spent the last two years of his career building his business, Mission Three60, which is a specialist Marketing Consultancy. The business works in contract employment for a variety of different businesses and aspects of digital marketing. Andrew visited us at The Candidate to tell us some of his views of the marketing landscape.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of contracting?

Although they all have their similarities, I think contracting, consulting, and freelancing are all different. I would describe contracting as going into a role on a fixed-term basis such as a maternity cover or trailing a role before it becomes permeant. As a Consultant, you would usually be mentoring or upskilling a business in a certain area, and freelancing is usually technical support or leading a niche project.

Contracting comes with many advantages; you have much more flexibility, free time for family and other commitments, and the potential to earn more money is high. However, you do have to compromise your job security, which comes with some challenges.

It is important to manage your pipeline and find a balance between working and prospecting. To be successfully self-employed you must use your free time efficiently and stay in regular contact with prospective clients. On the flip side of this, it is important not to overfill and over-promise. Timing is very important, and as you go through this cycle a couple of times, it gets much easier to gage. However, my advice would be to always have a financial buffer so if your pipeline is looking a bit dry, you don’t have to put pressure on yourself straight away.

What are the standout characteristics of a marketing/digital recruit?

It totally depends on the organisation. Teams are completely different depending on the size, scale and culture of the business. Even if you have a really good candidate, they won’t necessarily work well in any business. When I am hiring a candidate for a finance business with a start-up feel, for example, I usually look for a candidate who is comfortable in a fast-paced environment, numerical and not afraid to have a voice and fight their corner. Alternatively, in more corporate businesses, there are a lot more processes and a structured hierarchy, so the ideal candidate may be an individual with strong attention to detail, for example.

Additionally, when recruiting, I like to create a team as opposed to just a group of individuals. I always consider the current team and look for a candidate who will complement their personalities and skills. Personally, I like a fun team and I like people who I’m able to have a laugh with. By making the first interview quite informal, you tend to find out much more about the person and their interests. The second interview is where I start drilling down into their skills and set them a challenge to examine their thought processes. For me, I am drawn to candidates who are numerical and commercial, with no fluffiness. Even in content marketing roles, where candidates are often much more creative, being results-orientated is still very important. Always think about why you are doing what you are doing and have a key performance metric to measure against.

Thank you, Andrew, for giving us insight into your expertise in the marketing industry. We look forward to speaking with you soon! 

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