Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Burtch Works' Best Advice on the Interview Process, Consulting Jobs, MBA's, and More

In the thousands of conversations that Burtch Works’ team of specialized recruiters have had with analytics and marketing research professionals, we’ve answered many questions about the recruiting process, career paths, and the hiring market. For this blog post, I asked our recruiters about the most common questions they answer on a daily basis, and how they advise their candidates.

The Interview Process

Q: How long does the whole interview process normally take?

BW: Once a company has expressed interest in your resume, the interview process will involve one or two phone interviews, an in-person meeting (or two), and any follow up activity (i.e. background, reference, or credit checks), so 4-8 weeks is pretty standard. 

There are, of course, some extreme cases: if a company has an urgent need they may make an offer very quickly, or on the other end of the spectrum, a very bureaucratic organization may take two months or even longer to make a hiring decision. Especially around vacation/holiday times, coordinating around multiple travel schedules can be an additional challenge when trying to arrange interviews.

Bottom line: Expect the process to take a little over a month, but it’s important to be flexible and patient. Check out our series of whitepapers which has great tips for professionals at every step of the interview process.

Consulting Jobs

Q: I hear consulting jobs pay well, what skills would I need to be a consultant?

BW: Consulting positions do tend to pay well in marketing research and analytics (to see how salaries break down in every industry check out our Burtch Works studies). The industry is seeing a lot of growth right now, and for the professional with great client-facing skills who doesn’t mind a rigorous travel schedule, there are a lot of great opportunities out there. I wrote a blog piece not too long ago discussing some of the other traits I typically see in successful consultants.

Bottom line: The consulting industry is growing and pays well, but make sure your communication skills are up to snuff and that your lifestyle is well-suited to a heavy travel schedule.

Pursuing an MBA

Q: Do I need to go back to school and pursue an MBA if I already have a quantitative degree?

BW: Although it never hurts to further your education, we generally don’t see employers specifically looking for candidates with a business degree in addition to a quantitative Master’s degree (or MMR for marketing research professionals). For certain leadership positions, employers may favor a candidate who can demonstrate their business knowledge and develop a strategic approach over a candidate who does not, but you may be able to develop those skills in leadership roles at work, not just from a business degree.

Bottom line: Developing business acumen might not necessarily mean pursuing an additional degree, if you can develop an understanding of important business concepts on your own.

Marketing Research Hiring Market

Q: What about for us marketing research folk, how’s the market looking?

BW: Our marketing research team wrote a great piece for American Marketing Association Magazine that offers an in-depth view of changes in the hiring market for marketing researchers. I highly recommend it if you want to stay aware of shifts in the landscape that may affect your career.

Bottom line: Lots of client-side opportunities are available, with more supplier side openings in the past six months. Most roles are Manager to Senior Manager level, with increasingly more Director-level and above.

Interested in more tips? Check out our new slideshares with career tips, hiring advice, and salary info, and download our studies or view all of our webinar recordings for free on our website.

Want the latest career news and research delivered straight to your news feed? Then be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, or follow @BurtchWorks on Twitter!