Case Study

Search Engine Marketing Director Marketing Services Group

Results at a Glance

  • Providing two reference checks on each candidate led to an accelerated interview and offer process
  • Preferred candidate accepted the role within just one week of being shortlisted

Focus Areas

  • Search Engine Marketing Director

Executive Summary

This global marketing services group had a growing need for a search engine marketing director to support their customers’ digital needs and mobile solutions across China. Leveraging their extensive candidate networks and market connections, Aston Carter helped identify and select the ideal candidate to meet their needs.

Client Profile

Founded in 2007, this media marketing services group is responsible for over $37 billion in global media related assets. With 8,500 marketing communication, media and technology specialists operating in over 130 countries, this flexible and diverse business helps to maximise their customers’ business results through innovative high performance, intelligence-driven marketing solutions.


This global marketing service group was managing a number of digital needs from various clients within the China market, and recognised the need for a specialist search engine management director to help drive digital solutions for their customers.

This critical role would be responsible for the entire China market including Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, and would directly report to the digital managing director. In addition to previous experience within search engine marketing, the selected candidate also required strong people management skills, as they would be responsible for leading a ten person team based in Shanghai.

With such a critical role, the business needed a specialist recruitment agency that not only understood their sector, but also had a strong network of media candidates across China. Aston Carter had partnered with the business on previous requirements and understood the internal team structure and the culture and style that the line manager was cultivating.


With a strict timeframe in place for the requirement, it was important that the right candidates were identified as quickly as possible. Aston Carter’s lead consultant discussed the initial brief with the business human resources manager who provided a basic overview of the requirement, but was not able expand on specific skills and rivers for the role.

Aston Carter then arranged a briefing with the line manager who would be responsible for the daily management of the role. During this briefing, Aston Carter presented a selection of candidates who, based on the conversation with human resources, were potentially suitable for the role. By looking at these specific examples, the line manager was then able to pinpoint the exact skills and experience they were looking for and how they varied or matched the selection of candidates presented.

With a more targeted brief, Aston Carter then commenced a market mapping exercise to identify candidates within the media industry who not only met the technical requirements for the role, but also aligned to the business culture, ensuring they would fit well within the existing team.


Before presenting the final shortlist of candidates to the business, Aston Carter completed two reference checks on each candidate — these were presented to both human resources and the line manager alongside the candidates’ resumes.

This additional validation of the candidates’ skills and experiences provided the business with greater confidence in their selection of candidate to progress. This confidence in their selection then led to an accelerated interview and offer process, with the preferred candidate accepting an offer within just one week of being shortlisted for the role.

Aston Carter has continued to maintain a close relationship with both the successful candidate and the business. Having successfully filled their requirement, the business now has the capability to continue supporting their customers’ digital needs, and the added capacity necessary for future business growth.