Imported Layers Created with Sketch. AdHawk Blog
Marketing Tips

Need Digital Marketing Talent? Hire Liberal Arts Majors

Why you’re struggling to find qualified marketing candidates

Finding qualified digital marketing candidates is hard. Really hard. Talent is scarce and we often don’t know how to define a role. Marketing jobs no longer fit into buckets like brand manager, copywriter, and ad manager. These “Don Draper” days are long, long gone.

Our products and customer problems change constantly. New advertising platforms emerge. Last month’s campaign stops working – time to create landing pages, incentives, metrics, ad copy on a new platform. Ugh.

Every company is trying to recruit the same candidate: a smart, adaptable, self-motivated marketer with 2-3 years of experience.

So you post a job description to Angel List and job boards. You start emailing friends and asking for references.

You discover the best candidates aren’t looking for work. They’re hounded by friends and and former bosses to consider a new role.

A few “candidates” start coming in and … they look good on paper … but can’t get past a phone interview. Others turn out to be service providers in disguise (grrr…).

Then one looks promising. He claims to have of generating bazzillions of dollars in sales on a $50 budget. – until his provado convinces you he’s only good at marketing himself.

Maybe you need to hire a recruiter…
…… or change the position title from Marketing Manager to Growth Hacker …
……… or take “MBA” off of the list of requirements….
………… or put a picture of your dog on the job description…
…………… or email more friends … or …


You’re trying to recruit from the same pool of candidates as everyone else.

You need a fresh approach – recruit recent Liberal Arts major graduates for your digital marketing team

Do you really need someone with 3 years of experience? Or can you achieve your goals with a smart, adaptable, motivated person who can start taking load from the VP of Marketing?

If so, consider recruiting from a less-competitive source – recent Liberal Arts major graduates.

Many Liberal Arts graduates have never considered working in digital marketing – and don’t think they’re qualified

Examples are anthropology, communication, English, history, language, linguistics, philosophy, political science, economics, math, psychology or sociology majors.

Recent BA graduates may have no exposure to the tech community They mostly learn about the traditional career paths like law, banking, health care, and management consulting. They assume “tech” company jobs are just for engineering majors and MBAs.

These graduates have spent the last 4 years honing the creative, critical thinking and analytic skills you need.

You just need to know how to start searching for them.

Don’t start with job titles – look for majors with the skills you need

Before copying a job description on Angel List, first consider what you’re trying to accomplish. Then target majors which train for the skills you need

Do you need help organizing and running your digital advertising campaigns?

You need someone with analytic and critical thinking skills. Someone who can apply the scientific method, design, and run experiments.

Managing and optimizing digital advertising campaigns on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google Adwords requires constant experimentation. It takes creativity to develop campaign ideas for an advertising platform and a love of data experimentation to run them.

Your competition is looking for a self-described “Growth Hacker” or “Digital Marketing Manager” to fill these roles.

Consider economics, math, philosophy, or political science majors to run your digital advertising campaigns.

Do you need help writing landing pages, email copy, ad copy, and sales collateral?

You spent money getting leads to your landing page – now you’ve got to turn them into customers. You need someone who can write copy that connects with people on an emotional level.

Someone who thinks … about … every … word … and AIN’T AFRAID TO BRAKE DA’ RULZ if it drives more sales.

Your perfect candidate can crank out quantity and quality – sometimes on short deadlines. (Just like pulling an all-nighter to get that term paper done before Tuesday’s deadline).

Everyone is searching for experienced “Writers” and “Content Marketers” – you need a different approach.

Consider recent graduates who have spent years honing their writing skills in majors like English, history, anthropology, linguistics, or sociology.

Training a skilled person can be faster than recruiting the most qualified candidate

For sure, experience helps. A lot. And sometimes you absolutely need someone to be productive on day one.

But the 6 months you waste looking for candidates can be spent training and building your own team.

Of course recruiting qualified candidates is just one step – if you’d like to know how to interview and hire Liberal Arts major we can cover that in future post.


Let us know by leaving a comment below and subscribe so we deliver it right to your inbox.


Photo credit: Ralph Daily

2 responses to “Need Digital Marketing Talent? Hire Liberal Arts Majors

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author

Marketing and Growth Director at AdHawk. Helping business find confidence and success online, one hefty article at a time.