3 Tips to Maximize Your Talent Investment When Hiring a Marketer
Are you in the market for a new marketing hire this year? It’s an important decision that can have a massive impact on your business, so it’s essential to ensure you hire the right person the first time. Here are three tips to help you maximize your talent investment and find the perfect marketing hire for your business.
Know What You Need Before You Post the Job.
The first step to finding the perfect marketer for your business starts with you. Before you begin the hiring process, take a close look at both your company’s current marketing strategies and what type of marketing help would truly benefit your business. Doing this ahead of time will save you time and money in the long run by helping you find the right candidate with the right experience who can get results quickly.
Determine if you could benefit more from a generalist or a specialist. For instance, if the brand’s messaging is stale, and your value proposition needs to be refined, you may need a skilled communications specialist with copywriting skills. If lead generation is important, you may need a digital marketing specialist with experience in email marketing, paid search, and social media marketing.
Not sure what you need? Perhaps your company needs a marketing generalist who can identify the tactics that are most effective for reaching your goals. A generalist can diagnose the issues and hire the right partners or freelancers to help achieve your marketing objectives – like paid search marketing, website design, social media marketing, or public relations.
Verify Experience with Specific Examples.
More often than not, applicants overstate their experience on their resumes.
Proven lead generation skills? Sure! Does twirling a sign for a sandwich shop count? In-depth, expert knowledge of SharePoint? Um, sure! I share PowerPoint files all the time! Proficient in Adobe Creative Suite? Yep! I made a flyer once for my cousin’s coffee bar!
If the interviewer is not familiar with the skills required to perform the job, it will be challenging to determine if the candidate’s skills are legitimate or not. For example, suppose your marketing strategy requires paid search but the HR Manager or interviewer is unfamiliar with terms like PPC or ROAS (PPC is Pay-per-click and ROAS is Return On Ad Spend). In that case, the applicant might as well be speaking another language.
My point is that it’s crucial to ask for examples of the skills you require. A portfolio or actual work samples will demonstrate the applicant’s initiative and prove their experience.
Creative Portfolio Samples
Still not sure that you’ve found the right candidate? Offer to pay for a small project to test out their skills. If it’s a communications-focused role, a press release draft for an announcement may be appropriate. For creative roles, request the candidate to design a flyer or social media post to get a sense of their style and layout skills. Just don’t ask for the candidate to do free work for your company. If you’re truly interested in the candidate but on the fence between more than one person, a trial project is a great way to gauge how you’ll work together.
Look for Talent That Matches Your Company Culture.
When looking for the right marketer, the most important thing to consider is their fit with the company culture. Your ideal candidate needs to have a skill set that will help propel your business forward, but they also need to be a good fit in order to truly maximize your talent investment. To ensure a proper match, make sure that you have detailed job descriptions and interview questions that reflect the core values of your organization and which accurately portray what it feels like to work in that environment.
Be honest about how decisions are made within your organization. Is your philosophy to ask for forgiveness or permission? In other words, do you prefer independent, self-starters that can take direction and run with it – or is your leadership team more hands-on in their decision process?
Less experienced marketing coordinators and managers may need more oversight and ask for permission before moving forward. Do you or your leadership team have time to manage approvals?
Hiring an experienced marketer who can make high-level decisions will free up your leadership team from the day-to-day minutia of marketing responsibilities, like – responding to negative reviews online, creating a pitch deck for investors, writing content for the website, or developing a performance report for your lead generation efforts.
Self-starters with more experience will typically ask for forgiveness rather than permission. So make sure to set some guardrails for what items need approval – like budget or new tactics. According to The CMO Survey, marketing budgets make up about 13.8% of overall budgets, for reference.
Still having trouble finding the right marketing pro at the right budget?
With the median marketing manager salary of just over $100k, hiring the wrong person could be an expensive hiring mistake. If you’ve followed the tips above but still haven’t found a qualified marketer to fit your culture, consider an outsourced marketing partner to support your team in the interim.
At Heart & Hustle Brands, we’ve helped fill the role of an in-house marketing manager or CMO for many small businesses. From branding and marketing strategy to social media management and creative services – our team acts as an extension of yours. Our discovery process helps to accelerate onboarding, so we can hit the ground running fast. Our goal is to integrate seamlessly into your team so that we can eliminate the burden of acting as a middleman between your team and us.
For less than the cost of one full-time marketing employee, you can access a team of professionals who can deploy proven marketing tactics and even help train and onboard your new marketing hire.