Hire Marketers: How to Find and Hire the Good Ones
(This advanced blog summarizes real growth insights Demand Curve has acquired from running marketing for hundreds of companies.)
Who’s the right marketer to hire, and how do you find them?
To get it out of the way, here are some quick links to job boards you can search. Keep reading to learn who you should hire from these job boards and why.
In this post, we’ll explore what an ideal marketer looks like and how to find, vet, and hire them.
What kind of marketer do you need?
The mistake companies make is hiring a marketer without first having an intuition around how their company is going to grow. Marketers vary drastically in their online marketing skill sets.
Stage, product type, and business model all matter.
If you’re early-stage and making your first hire, don’t hire a senior marketing manager who expects to be able to delegate all their work.
Marketing a lifestyle product isn’t the same as advertising software to businesses. Make sure the new hire not only has the relevant marketing experience, but that they actually have an interest in it. Do they use this type of software? It goes a long way in having them deeply care about and understand what makes customers buy.
And it keeps them working at your company longer.
Digital marketing campaigns that work for, say, a B2B SaaS company aren’t usually the same that work for a lifestyle e-commerce product. Below, we break down what to look for.
Prioritize - It’s unlikely that you’ll find a candidate that checks every box. It’s unrealistic for most marketing professionals to be experts across ads, content marketing, copywriting, and strategy. But if you can identify the most critical functions required based on your marketing needs, you’ll be happier with your hiring outcomes.
If your social media following is an important part of your business, you’ll want a marketer with experience writing compelling copy, engaging with influencers, providing customer support, and growing communities.
The best way to know if someone is qualified to run your social media is to test them before hiring. Many marketers lie on their resumé and don’t really know what they’re doing. Test them.
Ask them to come up with 4 new social media marketing strategies to implement, and to prioritize them based on expected ROI.
Then have them implement their top choice as a fixed-rate sample project. That way, you can see if they’re capable of doing the job before making the full-time commitment.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Is ranking on Google a priority for your business? You’ll want someone who has already done it in a similar niche as you. They have to understand what makes for great content in your space. Content quality — not SEO hacks — is king when ranking in Google.
No matter what kind of marketer you’re hiring, ask for references. If you’re hiring a content marketer for SEO, it’s doubly important. Because the turnaround time to success with SEO can be 6 months. And you don’t want to waste all that time on the wrong person.
Ask a prospective hire to put together an SEO strategy for your business and write two sample articles for you. They should show an understanding of what appeals to visitors, how to organically pitch your product, and how to think about your keyword strategy.
When vetting a candidate’s skills, be sure to ask when they last used those skills. Best practices change, and some marketers aren’t self-starters who change with the times.
If you’re a B2C e-commerce company, you’re likely running ads on Instagram, Google Shopping, or Pinterest. And if you’re B2B, Facebook and LinkedIn ads might be your channel of choice. A marketer with experience in one of these channels may not be an expert in the other. This is common, and these channels don’t all work the same way.
If you have a product that people would realistically Google for, run Google, Quora, and YouTube ads. If you’re selling an e-commerce product directly to consumers, try Amazon, Pinterest, Google Shopping, Facebook Mobile, Instagram, and Snapchat ads.
Be sure the marketer you hire has experience in the channels your business actually needs.
After signing an NDA, give the candidate read-only access to your paid ads account on the channels that matter most to your business. Ask them to explain what you’ve accomplished with your marketing efforts so far, what they would optimize going forward, and to show examples of new ads and targeting combinations they’d test.
Contract type - You may not actually need to hire a full-time marketer. Need strategic help? A marketing consultant or marketing strategist might work. If you only need someone to run Facebook ads, for example, maybe a freelancer is the economical fit. Or perhaps you need someone to manage the entirety of your social media accounts, in which case a marketing agency could be ideal. These alternatives give you the flexibility of learning what works for your business before making an in-house hire to your marketing team.
If you’re early-stage and this is your first marketing hire, you may want a generalist who has experience creating a marketing strategy from scratch and rolling it out.
Have your potential hires break down your current strategy and identify areas of improvement. Listen for their understanding of both the big picture and the smaller tasks required to get there. Then prod to find out if they have the experience to implement each step of that strategy.
Where do you hire marketers from?
Once you have a clear understanding of which marketer you need to hire, the next question is, Where do you actually find them?
Some job boards work better than others, depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a marketer with startup experience, AngelList is probably your best bet. Corporate experience? Stick to LinkedIn.
When posting your listing, consider letting remote workers apply. It gets you more leads without reducing the quality and gives you an edge over more in-demand companies.
The right marketer for you may be working at the wrong company. Use LinkedIn to find experienced marketers one level below the seniority you’re hiring for, then swoop in and offer them a better job with greater responsibility.
There’s nothing wrong with poaching if you can offer the person a career upgrade.
Put a prominent notice in the navigation bar of your website. Let your existing users and customers know that you’re hiring. People who already love your product are the most motivated to work for you and have the greatest familiarity with what makes your product tick. And what gets people to buy it.
Post that you’re hiring on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media platforms you’re active on. Use hashtags like #marketingjobs to increase your chances of getting in front of the right candidate.
You can also find relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups for marketers. Confirm that they allow you to post job listings, or you may be banned from the group.
Remember, your social media presence will be the first thing these potential applicants will see. Be sure that it reflects your brand appropriately.
Facebook Ads allow you to show your ads to people based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. You can run an ad for your job listing and target people in your area with the most relevant characteristics. A dog walking app could target marketers who like dogs and live within 25 miles of the office. By checking a box, that ad can run on Instagram, too.
LinkedIn has the best firmographic data of all social media platforms. That means if you want to run ads to people with specific work experience, you can leverage LinkedIn Ads to do that. Just be sure to set a daily budget cap. Those clicks can get expensive.
Instead of hiring a marketer, would you rather get a team member trained in advanced growth marketing? Demand Curve’s Growth Training may be a good fit.