How to survive if your marketing manager goes on maternity leave

Pregnant woman with hand and male hand touching the woman's stomach.
There are alternatives to fixed term contracts

Covid or no Covid, the human race will go on and this means that occasionally you will lose key marketing personnel to maternity or paternity leave. So what, you may be tempted to think, the lights won’t go out just because the marketing function will stop for 9 months.

No one’s going to miss marketing!

If you do seriously think this, then you have bigger issues than just the absence of a marketing manager. However, experienced business owners know better. For starters, you would spend increasing amounts of your valuable time performing the role of your absent marketing manager instead of focusing on other parts of your business. Your sales force would increasing start to delay new sales initiatives, preferring to wait for the marketing manager to return, than to troubling their boss. If nothing is done to counteract your marketing managers absence, future sales growth will weaken and may even start to shrink!

Ok, I need to do something. What are my options?

The most popular solution to replacing marketing managers, who typically take off 9-12 months maternity leave, is to employ a ‘temp’. The temptation here is to go for a ‘cheap’ temp, someone who can keep marketing function ticking over, leaving any of the tricky stuff to others in the marketing team or to you. After all, you are still paying the existing manager some of their salary, right. However if you do this, you will lock in a period of weaker sales growth for the following year with the disadvantage of still having to micro manage the temp.

Wise businesses who value their future sales growth therefore typically employ a fully qualified and experience marketing professional on a 9-12 month fixed-term contract. However, this is still a holding pattern to keep the all the wheels turning until the current manager returns.

Use this as an opportunity to boost your future sales growth

By choosing instead to bring in a marketing subcontractor, as opposed to someone on a fixed term contract, you can still access talent on an hourly basis even after your current marketing manager has returned. This is particularly useful if the returning marketing manager wants to return to work on reduced hours. At no point are you committing yourself to added fixed overheads while you increase your resource flexibility. In other words, you don’t need to totally say goodbye to a person who now fully understands your business and has proven to be a good worker.

Other benefits of subcontracting compared to fixed term contracts

There can be other benefits too in subcontracting, but this depends on the supplier. A good labour supplier should be able to offer a backup service should the subcontractor be too ill to work or they are just not the right person.

Should the need arise, more labour can be quickly sourced and indeed reduced when circumstances dictate.

The cost of getting in subcontractor in to cover maternity leave compares favourably with the cost and hassle of arranging a fixed-term contract

Most people know that recruiting is never free when you account for your time spent vetting CV’s and interviewing candidates. Many employers use recruitment agencies to source their temporary staff and this can come with four figure introduction costs. Subcontracting does away with all these hassles and recruitment fees.

To conclude then, if you want to keep the marketing function proactive and to continue tapping resources fully familiar with you business after your current marketing manager returns, then look out for marketing agencies who can provide marketing staff to work in your office. Discover more at My Marketing Manager

P.S If you find yourself in this situation then don’t forget to give your marketing manager a small gift or flowers on their last day before the leave starts, and wish them well.

Published by Andre Alford

As a registered Chartered Marketer since 2013, Andre has supported the growth of four businesses totalling £61m in combined additional revenue. He has full service marketing experience ranging from product definition to organizing tradeshows, PR campaigns and advertising campaigns. Previously a Chartered Engineer too, Andre is a person of considerable vision that has enabled him to come up with multiple innovative ideas and patents. His management experience comes from managing large teams, large projects and from being a director on the board of a web-directory service. Andre’s management style is a coaching-type one, where he enjoys helping others to discover and exploit their natural talents.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: