So, you want to hire a marketer? Well, let me first extend my appreciation from marketers around the globe. Now, let me give you some tips on how to make sure you hire the right marketing person and help you avoid common mistakes many leaders make when interviewing marketing candidates to hire for their first marketing role.
Throughout the years of leading marketing teams and helping companies hire their first marketing position, I've seen new marketing hires work out great, and I've seen marketing hires go horribly wrong. The good news is that I'm here to help you make the best hire possible.
Here are three questions that every hiring manager should ask themselves before starting the interviewing process.
1. What type of marketing manager are you looking for, exactly?
Marketing is such a broad field, that it's impossible to master them all, and it's hard to understand precisely what you're looking for.
I've seen situations where a marketing director gets hired, and immediately starts working on improving the new brand, when the company doesn't see the value of redesigning the website and logo and creating new brand materials. That lead to a huge disconnect, battles within the organization on what to do next, and ultimately the marketing person didn't work out.
It had nothing to do with the talent of the person; it was just that the marketing person and leadership had their own ideas of what marketing really is.
Some marketers only want to manage the brand and social media, but don't have the slightest clue on how to actually drive revenue or results. There are some marketers who are all about driving revenue but completely neglect the brand part of it. And there are also marketers who are creative geniuses and can come up with new marketing campaigns that attract new customers, but have no clue how to build a brand.
So, when you're looking to hire a marketing person, ask your team if you want a creative person who can come up with new wild creative ideas, someone who can create a great brand, or if you want someone who is more focused on managing all of the pieces and keep track of results.
2. How do you define success for this role?
Marketing, like many other positions, has evolved in many different ways. In some companies, the marketing team is responsible for driving leads and revenue. In other companies, they are accountable for driving awareness, even if that doesn't lead to revenue.
There are 17 different marketing channels, and for every marketing channel, there are multiple experts. So, what exactly do you want this person to achieve?
I like to do a three, six, and 12-month check-ups for all marketing managers, and assign them a metric. For example, after three months, I'm expecting them to directly attribute to $50,000 in revenue. In six months, it should be $250,000, and after one year, it should be $1 million. This way, they know what their responsibility is.
The metric doesn't have to be money either. It could be the number of events they've thrown, how many attendees showed up, and how big our email list is.
It all comes down to expectations. So, set the expectations before hiring your marketing person. It will weed out who's not qualified or the right fit and will prevent you from making any costly decisions.
3. Are you going to give the marketing team a budget? And If so, how much?
For a marketing team, a lot of costs creep in. You need money for all the tools they need, access to the right data for segmenting purposes, and money for paid user acquisition campaigns. Hiring a marketer to run a campaign for a company that gave them a $1 million budget is much different than hiring the same marketer with a $5,000 budget.
Additionally, great marketers will ask this budget question upfront, because if they find out there is no budget, they might run away. Others will understand what you're trying to achieve and are willing to bootstrap the organization to success. So, if a marketer does ask you this question, that's a massive plus in my opinion. They understand what goes into building a great brand.
An excellent marketing hire can change the trajectory of a company. Early marketing hires are critical to your success, and if you follow these three questions, you're already ahead of the game.