So, we're hiring. I don't tell you that because I'm sharing a job posting here (that's here), I tell you that because building a strong market research department that is

focused on doing solid research 
an innovation leader

has been top of mind recently.

To that end, I'm quite excited to attend the "The Next Generation Researcher: Skillsets, Interests & Backgrounds To Look For and Nurture" interactive discussion hosted by Intel at TMRE...which is just three weeks away!

What goes through my mind when hiring is likely similar to what goes through yours. Questions like:
  • What's the makeup of a department that will drive the business forward? 
  • What skills must a candidate come to the table with, and for what skills are we willing to offer training?
  • What industry experience do the candidates have that is transferable to the industries in which we work?
  • Are we going to ask this resource to hit the ground running, or are we going to give them a longer lead time to get up to speed?

I'm on the client/corporate side, so do you think my criteria for hiring are different from hiring managers on the supplier side?  John Hilland of Mindwave Research has a great interview with Cameron Cramer, owner of Marketing Intelligence Professionals that addresses that question.

It's worth a read as he posits that supplier-side research hiring managers are more risk averse and want more immediate contributions from new hires, versus client-side hiring managers who are more inclined to hire someone who can "grow into" the position. Do I agree with Cramer? No, I don't. In these times where we're all doing more with less, being able to hit the ground running is imperative.

That said, we all should be considering what training programs are in place when considering what skills can be trained versus what skills a candidate needs to bring to the table.

A recent study by Best Practices, LLC highlighted that "70% of surveyed market research executives acknowledge that "soft" intrapersonal skills such as negotiation  and "listening" are critical competencies for market research professionals - yet most organizations do not have training programs nor systems to monitor and develop these skills in their market research staff."

While I (think I) have all the answers for hiring for my department, I'm excited to learn from my peers at TMRE regarding what skill sets, interests and backgrounds they are looking for in their new hires. Hope to see you there!