What I learned meeting the Executive Recruiter: Natives, Immigrants and VPs of Marketing in Social Media

Just got back from meeting with an executive recruiter, no, I’m not planning on leaving Forrester, I was helping a friend, as well as doing some research about social media skillsets. You see this recruiter (he’s left a comment, and his name is Matt Raggio, you can reach him on his website) finds executive talent for social media startups here in Silicon Valley. He’s well connected to the VC community, and knows when leadership teams need to be built out.

See the challenge for many companies right now is that social media is a very important aspect of marketing, especially if your company is selling soical media products, services, or software. While the traditional forms of marketing don’t go away (advertising, lead gen, email marketing, website, SEM, event, and product marketing) they are all enhanced, impacted, or disrupted by social media.

Furthermore, a VP of marketing at a social media company really needs to demonstrate that his own firm has some expertise, if not mastery, over the very medium they are offering.

If finding the right mix of marketing resources wasn’t hard enough, there’s a gap between the Marketing Immigrants often the traditional marketers who use the same play book year after year and the new social media marketing folks, often young, masters at the tools, but lack business experience.

While the Social Media Immigrants may be entrenched and comfortable in the old ways, they often lack full understanding or the ability to do social media effectively, over planning, stiff messaging comes across un-authentic. On the other hand, the natives grew up or are familiar with these tools, yet they lack the ability to define, reach towards, or meet business objectives, or manage a profit and loss.

So you see the dilemma, finding these marketing leaders in the world of social media is a challenge, the right balance (at least in these early days) are hard to strike, and the often successful are very happy where they are.

I learned a lot from him, he gave me some pretty raw career advice, but I exchanged my knowledge too, I also told him some local haunts and events he should attend to find leadership talent. I also suggested he learn how to use Facebook to increase his network –and maybe even market the jobs using social media tools.

What do you think, is it easy to find a VP of Marketing that gets both worlds of natives and immigrants and do an effective job?