Katharine Mobley is an award-winning marketing executive with more than 20 years experience. Currently, she heads up marketing for First Advantage, a global leader in background check and drug screening solutions. First Advantage provides comprehensive background screening, identity and information solutions that give employers and housing providers access to actionable information that results in faster, more accurate people decisions. Check out their booth (#1602) at the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your organization.
I’m Katharine Mobley, and I’m the Chief Marketing Officer at First Advantage. I have spent my career in marketing and advertising and have witnessed drastic changes in their impact on technology-focused companies.
Before joining First Advantage, I served as CMO at Crescerance and WeCareCard Mastercard®. My career experience also includes managing brands such as Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Michelin and Dodge Automotive for global agencies, including BBDO, Millward Brown and Allison+Partners.
At First Advantage, my focus for our marketing efforts is to grow our brand globally while minimizing cost and leveraging best practices to acquire new customers and increase revenue. I am a self-proclaimed data geek and social media addict, and I study market trends and adjust strategies accordingly – tying everything back to data and ultimately, ROI.
What are three challenges you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome these?
I consider the birth of the internet a challenge. I entered the advertising field in the broadcast era, and things were very simple and different back then. The internet changed the game; it was very new and challenging for me. I had to take a disrupted perspective to tackle this shift in the industry specifically in regards to the way technology companies were marketed.
And once we grasped the Internet, social media popped up creating a new landscape for us to navigate, initially for more consumer brands but then shifting into the B2B and technology spaces. Along with it came lots of legal jargon and regulation changes. I focused on helping my clients understand the value of social media and how to keep the audience involved and engaged with their brands.
And a third challenge, I personally have encountered was how to ensure particular events are measured so that we can decide whether to participate again in the future. I am always looking for the best ways to analyze and improve the ROI on marketing spend and our advertising dollars.
How important are background check services when you have a global workforce?
These services are highly imperative. Background verification used to be considered a commodity or a box to check before hiring someone. With the rise of social media, it’s become an essential step in the hiring process. As employers, we need to understand the legal ramifications, especially as they vary globally. Specific tests that are possible in one country might not be allowed in others. It is critical to follow global trends because what matters in North America may not be relevant in APAC. It is also important to be safe, and that starts with screening people properly. You have the responsibility to protect your employees and your company. Ensuring you are conducting the correct pre-hire and post-hire screens can offer a heighten level of brand protection.
Women need to "sit at the table" - Sheryl Sandberg. Please comment on this.
Women should not just sit at the table; they also need to have a voice. We’re seeing that women are increasingly becoming the buyers. Companies need to know how to sell to women and recognize the value in customer stories. Brands need to have women present to help ensure they have a clear viewpoint that resonate with a female audience. And as female leaders we have to not only contribute to the business conversation but have an equally measurable impact specifically on driving revenue and growing the bottom line. Sometimes that means it is necessary to stand up for yourself even if it's scary. Sometimes it means taking the unpopular opinion, but if you want to drive change you need to believe in yourself and speak up.
What can people expect at your booth in the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition?
This year we will be focusing on the importance of the continuous screening of your workforce. First Advantage Criminal Records Watch enables companies to better protect their brands, workplaces and relationships from risk. Criminal Records Watch is an FCRA-compliant ongoing monitoring tool that will allow employers to monitor criminal record activity of existing employees and contractors in near real-time. Criminal Records Watch is ideally suited to monitor those positions that require an additional level of trust or certification, particularly those in the healthcare, education and financial services industries. It is also particularly relevant to transportation and fleet services, as it alerts an employer to any motor vehicle violations.
For fun, will be giving out $1000 cash prize for those who give the correct answers to a quiz in our booth.
First Advantage provides comprehensive background screening, identity and information solutions that give employers and housing providers access to actionable information that results in faster, more accurate people decisions. Check out their booth (#1602) at the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition.