Should I Join a Remote MOPs Team?

Hi Jo,

I’m in the market for a new job, and so many of the MOPs positions out there are for remote-first or international teams. To be honest, I’m wary of joining a team where I don’t get to meet up with people in person (I haven’t had the best experience working remotely during the pandemic) and I’m not sure I have the bandwidth to onboard into a brand new company from afar. Am I making too big a deal out of this?

Thanks,

Fretting Frankie

 

 

Hey, Frankie. First things first: your job is a big deal, and you’re more than allowed to ask these questions as you try to find the right one. 

 

Looking at your question, I’m hearing you say that you don’t think remote work is the right fit for you. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why that might be? 

 

For generations, we’ve been conditioned to believe that we can only be productive in the office, surrounded by our colleagues. But is that really true? For me, the fact that I can more easily weave in and out of my work and home lives makes me much more productive in both areas. If I ever get five minutes between meetings, I can put on a load of laundry instead of just waiting around at my desk. 

 

Another concern might be the social aspect—and I hear you. It can be hard to imagine how you replace casual water-cooler conversations with text on a screen, but just because it’s different doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. Slack and all its various integrations (does anyone else use the giphy randomizer?) make it easy to communicate your insights, share style of humor, and meet new people on other teams. Every day, I see people take advantage of these tools to build relationships both within and outside the professional setting. Not only that, joining a remote team helps you expand your network outside your region. That’s particularly valuable for the marketing operations industry, which has such widespread expertise.

 

Now, if you’re someone who just can’t imagine working at home because you live in a small apartment with your very loud roommate, who also works from home, that shouldn’t stop you from looking at remote positions. Companies taking a remote-first approach are really looking for the best possible candidates, and if that means providing a stipend so that you can rent a small office, I’m sure they’ll find a way to make that happen. We’re in an unprecedented time in the workforce, and you should never be afraid to ask for what you need to have an optimal work experience. 

 

Another important thing to remember is that your aversion to remote work might be based on working with your current employer, who had to scramble to figure out remote work during the pandemic. For a lot of companies, the shift to remote work was messy (at best) and it left a lot of people disillusioned with the idea of joining decentralized teams. Consider this: leaders today have spent a lot more time thinking through what they can do to empower their distributed teams, supporting them with the right tools, policies, and processes. Don’t let that one experience put you off from testing out something different.

 

You may be saying to yourself “OK, you’ve addressed a lot of my concerns, but am I equipped to join a new team remotely?” I think you are. The skills you need to succeed in a remote team are the same ones you need to be a good MOPs professional: proactivity, accountability, problem solving, and good communication. As long as you’re able to proactively think about solutions to any problems that might arise, and communicate those solutions effectively, you’re golden. 

 

You’ve got this, 

Jo Pulse

Does It Make Sense to Build an International MOPs Team?

Hi Jo,

 

I’ve been trying to decide whether I should take a different approach to hiring for our MOPs team. Having talked to some of my recruiter friends, it seems like the trend is to take a remote first and international approach. Does that make sense? 

 

Thanks,

Hiring Henry

 

 

Hi, Henry. Thanks for raising this question. The way I see it, you can’t afford not to make your MOPs team remote first. I know this may sound like a bold statement, but bear with me. 

 

With the global MOPs talent tool being as small as it is, there are some pretty big gaps between the number of people companies need to run marketing operations and the people available to take on the jobs. This means that as MOPs recruiters, we really need to think about how we can find, attract, and retain the right people — and a flexible, collaborative work environment can go a long way to achieving that. 

 

Why you should change your approach to hiring

The benefits of hiring a multi-location, remote-first team are many: 

    • A broader hiring pool so that you can better find the right people for the job
  • Access to better MOPs candidates, as many of the talented MOPs professionals in the space prefer to work remotely
  • Cost savings from hiring people that live in places with a lower cost of living 
  • More flexibility for your team as responsibilities and fires can be handed off across time zones

 

The truth is, MOPs roles can be performed entirely online, and that means you can track an employee’s performance regardless of whether they’re in the office or not. Plus, lots of professionals in this space prefer to have their own space to problem solve and optimize their marketing automation efforts. You need to be able to give them that option if you want them to accept your job offer. 

 

So, what does this look like in practice? 

Building a remote team may seem like a daunting task, I know — but it actually relies on many of the same best practices you’re already using to hire people. 

 

First off, take the time to think about how you communicate the role to people. Are you highlighting that it’s a remote opportunity? Have you thought about compensation and whether it’s dependent on the person’s location? Are you targeting people that live outside of your company’s headquarters? These are all things that will help you tell MOPs professionals that you’re open to building a team that makes sense to them.

 

Then, consider how you can set these people up for success. Are your current professional development and reporting structures appropriate for a remote-first environment? Do you have tactics for identifying the people who might be struggling and recognizing the people that are succeeding — even if they’re at a distance? Showing your team members that the company has their back in that way will encourage trust.

 

Another important thing is ensuring that your remote team is equipped with the right tools for collaboration and communication. Even if they prefer working remotely, people still appreciate having points of connection with their peers so that they can get the work done effectively — and build a strong team culture at the same time. Have you and your leaders thought about how you can standardize your company culture in both in-person and virtual instances? This will be an important consideration for many potential hires. 

 

Remember, recruitment isn’t just about getting people through the door, you also have to set them up for success. You can’t just hire people remotely, you have to be able to retain people remotely as well. I know this is a lot to think about — but you’ve got this. 

 

Jo Pulse

How Should I Approach My First Days in Marketing automation?

Hi Jo,

I’m due to begin my first role in marketing automation with a new company, and I’m wondering what I can do to get off to a good start. I’m interested in the technical and data-driven elements of marketing, but coming from a role focused more on campaign content, this will be my first time getting truly hands-on with a marketing automation platform.

What things should I prioritize learning? How can I make a good impression on my new team?

Thanks,
New Naomi.

 

Naomi, congratulations on your new opportunity. It’s natural that you want to shine and show your new colleagues that you’re someone they can count on. That said, don’t feel pressured to get a handle on all the complexities of your tools and the detailed dynamics of your industry and company just yet.

Marketing automation platforms come with quite a steep learning curve, and MOPs as a space is constantly changing. When I first started in marketing automation, I found there to be no shortage of new things to learn, from the technicalities of the platform to the priorities of the business and the ways that my new teams work together. Confidence and fluency in these things is something you’ll develop over time as you get stuck into the role.

For now, it’s best to focus on understanding the essence of marketing automation, the fundamentals of your platform, and what your teams need from MOPs to work effectively.
Here are some steps I recommend you take as you settle into your new job:

Think user-centric: Platforms are all about the user experience. If someone is reading your content, you have one shot at engaging them further—what does this page or email need to convey to encourage them to download that whitepaper or click through? Reflect on the principles of demand gen and inbound marketing; they underlie all the capacities a platform has to bring a campaign to life.

Resources: Check out your platform’s support documentation, learning hub (e.g. Marketo University, HubSpot Academy), and community forums. These resources will help you to self-sufficiently answer questions and explore different features in the platform, and you can also develop a network by participating in user groups and discussions. From interacting with people over time, you’ll increasingly establish yourself and learn more about the broader direction of the MOPs space.

Talk to people: What do various people in your teams like or dislike about your marketing automation platform? What challenges are they experiencing? Talking about these things is a good way to start forming relationships, and it helps to focus your learning of the platform. If you can discover how to solve problems that people are having, you’ll quickly establish rapport and expertise.

Small improvements: Your new team might want you to do things by the book or optimize established processes where you can. Always be receptive to what your manager asks, but suggest potential areas for improvement along the way. Whether you identify some tweaks to a page that could bring more conversions or introduce new visualizations that make data more digestible, it’s good to subtly show how you can improve things and make peoples’ lives easier.

You’ve got this,
Jo Pulse.

How to Advise Your Hiring Team on MOPs Recruitment

TLDR: Demand for skilled MOPs people far outstrips the supply. To attract and retain the best talent, your recruitment process should focus on the candidate experience, and the employee experience.

Demand for skilled professionals in Marketing Operations has long outpaced the supply, and the current job market is especially driven by talent. Top MOPs candidates have the bargaining power to take or stay in roles with the most attractive company cultures and compensation packages, and for as long as that’s the case, companies that hire without regard for the candidate experience will struggle to attract and retain the best talent.

Long-winded interview processes, a lack of long-term thinking for each hire; if this accurately characterizes your organization’s approach to recruitment, it’s time for a Tough Talk. We’ll help you discuss what effective MOPs recruitment looks like with your CMO and Hiring Manager, so your team can get great candidates onside and nurture them for long-term success.

 

THE CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE

Far too often, companies in the MOPs space operate with the assumption that the logistics of recruitment should work in their favor. Really, the process is a two-way street. In each interaction, candidates are scoping out whether your organization is the right place for them to work, and considering the scarcity of MOPs skills, the people with real potential to excel in your roles hold all of the cards.

With that in mind, encourage your leadership and hiring teams to view their recruitment practices through the candidate’s eyes. Does a job description that asks for the world position your company as a rewarding workplace? Is a string of multiple interviews with disparate stakeholders (e.g. Sales, Marketing, IT, Leadership) the most considerate use of a candidate’s time? Is it respectful to require candidates to perform free labor or attend a full-day interview, while working a full-time job?

The candidate experience is not just about extending decency. Practices like these fail at selling your company as an inviting and stimulating place to be, which has real business consequences. If you can’t attract talent, your company faces spending serious dollars on a recruitment agency—and even then, you run the risk of hiring subpar candidates.

At that point, things can deteriorate quickly. So leadership understands: the lost productivity and cost involved in fixing the mistakes of an ill-fitting hire will completely dwarf the size of investments your company should have made; into well-researched role requirements, into building a culture that your talent people advocate for, into a recruitment process that puts the candidate’s needs first, into an attractive compensation package.

TO KEEP PEOPLE, HIRE WITH A PURPOSE

MOPs roles are often multidisciplinary by design, but the worst of the industry’s job descriptions read like laundry lists of competencies both scattershot and highly advanced. Much like the right tools for your business are the ones that effectively support your goals, leadership needs to plan and design new hires around the specific needs of the MOPs team.

Before your hiring team sits down to write any section of a job description, tell them all about the skill gaps and upcoming projects in the MOPs team. This is the basis of an intentional hire, and by listening, your hiring team can identify the experience that’s truly important for candidates to bring vs. skills that transfer or can be taught.

As an example: many roles seek experience with a particular marketing automation platform, but experience using one platform is highly transferable to another. Unless particular expertise is crucial to the position, keeping the role platform agnostic will attract a broader range of competent candidates who can learn new skills in the role.

This is essential for employee retention. Rather than looking for a candidate who fits your requirements 100%, prioritize candidates who’re 80% there. Your hiring team should think of it this way: a 100% fit candidate has already been there and done that. Are they going to be satisfied in a job that doesn’t represent meaningful progression? You might offer them a higher salary than their current position, but there’s no telling if that’ll incentivize them to stay long-term.

Your 80% fit, however, can truly gain something from taking the job. That makes them a better investment; if a candidate can say that your company gave them a chance to take a step forward and develop their skills, that’s real motivation to make their best effort, stay on the team, and advocate for your brand to their network. For your hiring team: the perfect fit has room to grow.

YOUR RECRUITMENT BRAND

Desirable places to work all have this in common: they create environments where people want to stay. To attract the best MOPs talent and keep them around, leadership should focus the recruitment process on two things: the candidate experience, then the employee experience. Treating your candidates and employees with empathy—practices based on candidate needs, a rewarding culture and compensation, hiring to invest in people—is the way you create a workplace that people advocate for.

For any guidance you need with building a MOPs team, Revenue Pulse is here to help.