The weather may still be in a state of flux, but I am pleased to report that our recruitment freeze is starting to thaw. We have not had to make many redundancies during the past couple of years, but we have been very inactive on the recruitment front.
On our board’s agenda this week is a session devoted to our 2010 headcount. It is highly motivating to be thinking about freshening up our line-up, but I am expecting a significant tussle with other department heads in securing my fair share of resources.
In years gone by, I have only had to win hearts and minds to gain approval to increase my headcount, but it is now very different and I have been preparing accordingly.
I am seeking an additional marketing controller and brand manager, so how do I justify my recruitment requests? For the benefit of Marketing Week readers, who may face similar calculations in the coming months, here is an example.
My new marketing controller will cost about £60,000 on salary, plus by the time we have added pension, employer’s National Insurance contributions, car, BlackBerry and all the other toys that come with this position, we are fast nudging towards six figures. That is before they have travelled anywhere or spent any money.
Let’s assume the business makes a gross margin of 40% on its goods or services. You therefore have to sell £250,000 of incremental revenue to cover costs. The brand for which this marketing controller is being proposed has an annual turnover of £10m and typically grows by 2.5% per annum.
Our finance director will contest that if we simply maintain the status quo, then the 2.5% is already as good as banked. Therefore, my new recruit has to deliver a further 2.5% over-and-above the base growth just to pay for their desk.
Can I really see this brand growing by 5% next year – even with a great new marketer behind the wheel? It’s a tricky one. After all, I am unable to allocate any more marketing investment behind this brand than in previous years and trading has never been more difficult.
Wish me luck. I shall clearly need it. If it all goes wrong, I shall focus my hardest on winning hearts and minds, just like in the old days.