5 Questions You Must Answer Before Hiring Your Next Marketer

Contributed by Kate Robinette, CPSM, Partner at Go! Strategies

I’ve long been involved in the hiring process for multiple companies and hired great people for their marketing teams. Most recently, my partners and I helped a client hire their first marketer and it underscored two important truths: 1) preparation is crucial to the outcome and 2) it’s the same preparation no matter what level of marketer you seek. Answering these five questions before you open the position will clarify your goals and increase your chances of making a good hire.

1. What are your strengths? 

Get absolute clarity on what you (and others on the team) already do well. Chart out the skills of your team and the department’s tasks (i.e. proposals, advertising, database management, etc.). Collect the team’s self-assessments and compare them with your own observations. Know where everyone excels, what they enjoy doing, where they could use some help, and what they don’t want to do. Create a list of where a new team member could add value. Develop scenario-based questions that help you assess the candidates abilities and potential for growth. 

2. What will they do? 

You likely have an urgent need for hiring a marketer. However, potential candidates want to know what will happen beyond the current situation. What will they do when things have evened out? And what is available to do in six months? A year? Or three years? Prepare a plan for how the position can develop over time, such as increases in responsibilities, additional or different duties, training/education, involvement in professional organizations, involvement in other facets of the company, and milestones that indicate the individual is ready for the next step. This enables you to see the long-term value of the position and to answer candidates’ questions about a career path, training opportunities, and expectations for growth. 

3. What is crucial? 

Most candidate searches start out looking for a unicornsomeone with a variety of skills and experience that is difficult to find. We want it all! But we need one or two things that would make a big difference to the workload, team, and company. What is crucial for the candidate’s (and team’s) success? Sharing the crucial elements when networking and telling others about the position will increase the chances of meaningful referrals. And use the crucial elements as review criteria for potential candidates. 

4. How will they fit with the culture? 

Company misfits will underperform and create tension, regardless of their talentDefine your team and business culture in terms of pace, degree of structure (control/autonomy), managerial/leadership style, definitions of success, adaptability/rigidity, and funDiscuss the candidates experiences and preferences with these six culture concepts to better determine the likelihood of a good fit. 

5. How will they be measured? 

If you follow Simon Sinek, you have probably seen his video clip Performance vs. Trust. We have many ways to measure performance but only a few to measure trust. A person who has poor trust of the team creates problems in the long run. Discuss the company’s performance metrics and your non-traditional “soft” measurements that the candidate will be evaluated against (cooperation, helpfulness, etc.). Invite them to share situations where they collaborated with others, dealt with stressful situations as part of a team, or developed new relationships. Listen for clues on how they built trust and demonstrated integrity and see if those match your expectations.

Many companies are struggling to find and keep the talent they need. Knowing what you truly need and want in terms of skills, performance, growth potential, trust, and culture fit will go a long way toward drawing the right candidates to you and select a good match. 

Kate Robinette, CPSM is a partner at GO Strategies, LLC. Her 20-year passion for marketing and business development has turned inward to enhance people management and company culture. Kate has developed GO’s Dynamic Workplaces™ program, which focuses on building strategies to improve the employee experience and culture to help A/E/C companies work smarter, have more fun, and be more successful. 


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay


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