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How to hire a marketing person plus key skills to look for in a marketer


Hiring a marketing person for your business is tricky if you don't have the knowledge and experience in recruiting marketing professionals. 

For example, even skilled candidates can be a poor fit and turn out a bad hire if you don't know your marketing needs and goals beforehand. 

This guide provides a roadmap for hiring the right marketing person for your team, including the skills you should look for and the types of marketers you should consider. 

Keep reading to learn how to find the best talent in marketing and hire them with confidence. 

Hire the right marketing person by identifying your marketing needs first

Before hiring a marketing person, find out your marketing goals and needs first. This helps you identify the best candidate and ensure you get the most value from hiring marketing pros. 

You can take the following steps at this point: 

1. Identify your business goals and objectives

The first step is to identify your business goals and objectives. 

What do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts? Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or boost sales? Once you know your goals, you can start to develop a marketing strategy to achieve them.

2. Assess your current marketing efforts

Next, take a look at your current marketing efforts. What is working well? What is not working well? What areas do you need to improve? 

This assessment will help you identify the specific skills and experience that you need in a marketing person.

3. Determine your budget and resources

Marketing efforts require financial resources, and it's important to determine your marketing budget before embarking on the hiring process. Your budget will influence the caliber of marketing talent you can afford and the scale of marketing campaigns you can execute.

You also need to consider the non-financial resources required for marketing. This includes access to marketing tools, creative assets, and personnel (e.g. graphic designers, content writers) that the marketing person may need to deliver their best work. 

Aim to strike a balance between your budget and your marketing objectives. Be realistic about what you can invest in marketing while ensuring it aligns with your business goals. 

Your prospective marketing hire can provide valuable input on budget allocation and resource requirements, but having a preliminary understanding will help streamline the hiring process and ensure alignment with your financial capabilities.

4. Talk with your prospects and customers

Engage with your prospects and customers to uncover their unique needs, challenges, and aspirations. By understanding their preferences and favored marketing channels, you can tailor your approach to create a more personalized experience. Don't be afraid to ask questions and actively listen to their feedback. 

5. Take a closer look at your competition

Have you taken a closer look at your competition lately? It's always a good idea to analyze their marketing strategies to see what they're doing well and where they could improve. This can help you stay ahead of the game and make informed decisions for your own business.

6. Stay up-to-date on marketing trends

The possibilities for marketing channels are endless, from social media platforms to emerging technologies like augmented reality. Evaluate each option carefully and determine which ones will be most effective for your marketing efforts. 

Once you understand your marketing needs well, you’re now ready to decide on the type of marketer you should hire. 

Types of marketers and when to hire them for your marketing team

There are many different types of marketers, each with their specializations. The type of marketer you should hire for your marketing team will depend on your specific needs and goals.

Here are some of the most common types of marketers:

1. Content marketer

Content marketers, also known as content specialists, create and distribute valuable, relevant content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and drive profitable customer action.

When to hire a content marketer: Find someone adept in content marketing if you're launching a new blog and need help creating and distributing high-quality content.

2. Social media marketer

Social media marketers manage and grow a company's social media presence by creating and sharing engaging content, running social media ads, and interacting with followers.

When to hire a social media marketer: You want to build a more substantial social media presence and engage with your target audience.

3. SEO (search engine optimization) specialist

SEO experts help websites rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), making them more visible to potential customers.

When to hire an SEO specialist: You want to improve your website's ranking in search engine results pages.

Recommended reading: Why you should hire a top SEO specialist

4. PPC (pay-per-click) specialist

PPC specialists manage paid marketing campaigns on search engines and other websites.

When to hire PPC specialists: You want to run paid advertising campaigns on search engines and other websites.

5. Email marketer

Email marketers create and send email newsletters and marketing campaigns to promote products and services.

When to hire email marketers: You want to start sending email newsletters and marketing campaigns to promote your products or service

Recommended reading: 50 email marketer interview questions

6. Product marketer

Product marketers launch and market new products or services, and develop and execute marketing strategies to increase sales and awareness.

When to hire product marketers: You're launching a new product or service and need help getting the word out.

7. Brand marketer

Brand marketers develop and manage a company's brand identity, including its logo, tagline, messaging, and overall image.

When to hire brand marketers: You want to develop a stronger brand strategy, carve a robust brand identity, and increase brand awareness.

8. Performance marketer

Performance marketing is focused on driving tangible results, such as increasing website traffic, generating leads, boosting sales, or improving customer engagement. Performance marketers are results-driven professionals who excel at optimizing campaigns, tracking performance, and delivering a strong return on investment. 

When to hire performance marketers: If your business is aiming to achieve specific and measurable outcomes within a relatively short period, hiring a performance marketer would be highly advantageous

9. Marketing manager

A marketing manager, also known as a marketing lead, is responsible for developing and executing a company's marketing strategy. They oversee all aspects of the marketing process, from budgeting and planning to campaign execution and analysis. 

Marketing managers also work closely with other departments, such as sales and product development, to ensure that the company's marketing efforts are aligned with its overall business goals.

When to hire a marketing manager

You should hire a marketing manager if you:

  • Need help developing and executing your marketing strategy.

  • You don't have the time or expertise to manage your marketing yourself.

  • Are growing your business and need to build a marketing team.

  • Want to centralize your marketing efforts and improve communication and collaboration across your team.

Can you hire just one marketing person?

With all these types of marketers we've mentioned, you're probably wondering: can I hire one marketing person?

If you're a small business or startup, you may not have the budget to hire a full marketing team. In this case, hiring a single marketing person can be a great way to start your marketing efforts.

Choose someone with a broad range of skills and experience like the marketing generalist we discuss in detail below.  You want to find someone who can help you with all aspects of your marketing, from developing your strategy to executing your campaigns.

Here are some things to look for when hiring a marketing person:

  • Experience: Look for someone with experience in your industry and the specific marketing channels and strategies you want to use.

  • Skills: Make sure that the candidate has the skills necessary to do the job, such as writing, design, and social media marketing.

  • Creativity: Marketing is all about creativity, so look for someone who can come up with new and innovative ways to promote your business.

  • Organization: Marketing can be a complex and demanding job, so it's important to hire someone who is organized and efficient. Learn how to assess organizational skills.

Once you've hired a marketing person, give them clear instructions and goals. It's also important to provide them with the resources they need to be successful.

If you're unsure what kind of marketing person to hire, you can consult a marketing agency or consultant. They can help you assess your needs and goals and recommend the right type of marketing person for your team.

Core skills to look for in a marketing person

Regardless of the marketing role you're hiring for, your top priority should be finding a candidate with the skills needed to excel in the position. 

The best way to determine whether or not they have the right skills is to use scientifically validated tests created by experts in marketing. 

Anyone can bluff their way through an application or interview. Few can fake their way through a test. Before making a hire, be sure to test a potential hire's practical marketing skills. 

But what skills should you test for?

Here's a quick look at the skills to look for in key marketing roles:

core skills to look for in a marketing person graphic

Social media marketer skills

Here are three important skills to look for in a social media marketer:

  • Social media management. Your social media marketing hire will need to understand key social media management practices. Make sure a candidate can apply their knowledge to optimize reach on social media channels before making an offer.

  • Problem solving. Social media offers brands a unique opportunity to engage with their customers and potential customers. This can also lead to issues, most often in the comments of your posts. A social media marketer must be able to make the right decisions when problems arise.

  • Attention to detail. Sometimes people can be too quick on the trigger when publishing social media posts. Finding a social media marketer who will ensure everything is right before anything goes live is important.

Performance marketer skills

Here are three important skills to look for in a performance marketer:

  • Google Ads. Using Google Ads is one of the most popular ways to generate demand and leads. Even if you have someone else on the team who handles the execution, you'll want to find a demand generation manager who at least understands how to use the platform.

  • Facebook Advertising. Like Google Ads, Facebook Ads are another great way to raise brand awareness and generate leads. Any demand generation manager or branding strategist worth their salt will be familiar with the platform.

  • Google Analytics. It's not enough to generate results. A good demand generation manager needs to quantify those results and demonstrate what's working (and what isn't). That's where Google Analytics comes in. Your demand generation manager should be able to set up, read, and make decisions from reports to help you reach your business goals and objectives.

Content marketer skills

Here are three important skills to look for in a content marketer:

  • Reading comprehension. A content marketer needs to be able to read and understand in-house content, the content of your competitors, and relevant research.

  • SEO copywriting. This role requires an understanding of how to write good copy and how to write that copy in a way that will help your content rank for relevant search terms.

  • Google Analytics. Like demand generation managers, your content marketer will also need to be able to report on their results and glean actionable insights from those reports.

Marketing generalist skills

Keep an eye out for the following skills when hiring a marketing generalist (ideal for small teams looking for one marketing person):

  • Communication skills: Marketing professionals must communicate effectively with various audiences, including customers, stakeholders, and team members. They should be able to write clear and concise copy, give presentations, and explain complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand.

Recommended reading: How to assess English communication skills

  • Creativity and problem-solving skills:  Marketers need to be able to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to marketing challenges.

  • Attention to detail: Marketing campaigns often have a lot of moving parts, so generalists need to be detail-oriented and organized. They should be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet deadlines.

  • Interpersonal skills: Marketing professionals must build relationships with customers, stakeholders, and team members. They should be able to collaborate effectively with others and work towards common goals.

  • Leadership skills: Marketing generalists often need to take the lead on projects and initiatives. They should be able to motivate and inspire their team members and lead them to success.

Recommended reading: Top 7 leadership assessment tests to hire the best talent

In addition to these general skills, a few specific skills may be important for a marketing generalist in your industry or company. Here are some additional skills that may be desirable for a marketing generalist:

  • Experience with marketing automation tools and CRM software

  • Knowledge of SEO  and SEM

  • Experience with graphic design and video editing

  • Proficiency in Google Analytics and other data analysis tools

Soft skills to look for in a marketer

Someone can be tech-smart and come with the right experience, practical skills, and qualifications, but if they don't gel well with others or cause friction in the team, the relationship won't last long. 

That's why testing someone's soft skills before they sign a contract is essential to avoid mishires. You can narrow down your list of potential candidates by including personality testing

These tests shouldn't be used for hiring decisions but as a tool to gain a deeper understanding of candidates' personality inclinations. The insights into candidates' traits can provide you with good questions to explore during an interview.

Here are some examples of tests to help you gauge soft skills: 

  • Big 5 (OCEAN) test. This test is based on the Five-Factor Model, an empirical-based theory in psychology that states that there are five overarching dimensions of personality: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability.

  • 16 types test. This test gives insight into a candidate's source of energy, the way they process information, how they make decisions, and the kind of lifestyle they prefer. 

  • DISC test. This test is based on the model developed for behavioral assessment by psychologist William Marston. It classifies how we express emotions into the four behavior types of DISC: dominance (D), influence (I), steadiness (S), and conscientiousness (C).

  • Enneagram personality test. The Enneagram test will give you insights into a  candidate’s personality type, their approach to personal relationships, and their style in a professional setting. Learn more reasons to use Enneagram in recruiting

  • Culture add test. TestGorilla's Culture add test assesses how a candidate's values, traits, and interests align with your company's values, traits, and interests that would make your ideal hire successful in a specific role based on a customized survey you fill out.

Questions to ask in an interview for a marketing professional

Many people can present a polished persona in an interview. You'll only get to test someone's capabilities face to face by asking the right questions.

The Michael Page team offers some great example questions that you can use to test a marketing candidate's attitude, skills, and knowledge: 

  • How would your manager describe you?

  • What brands make an impact and why?

  • Where do you see this brand in the next two years?

  • What makes a brand successful?

  • What were your key tangible achievements on your previous brands?

  • If you could change one weakness of yours into a strength, what would it be?

We've also prepared the following collection of questions you can use the next time you're hiring marketers for your team:

Deciding between a freelance and full-time marketing person

When deciding whether to hire a freelancer or a full-time marketing person, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Your budget: Freelancing is often more affordable than hiring a full-time employee, as you do not have to pay for benefits such as healthcare, employee wellness, and paid time off. However, you have to consider the costs of managing and overseeing freelance work.

  • Your needs: Consider the scope of work you need your marketing person to handle. A full-time employee may be the best option if you need ongoing support. However, a freelancer may be a better fit if you only need occasional help with specific projects or tasks.

  • Your company culture: If you have a small team, a freelancer may be a good way to add additional expertise without having to worry about onboarding and training a new employee. However, if you have a larger team, you should hire a full-time employee to ensure your marketing efforts are well-coordinated.

If you are still trying to decide which option is right for you, talk to other businesses in your industry to see what they are doing. Consider consulting with a marketing consultant who can help you assess your needs and develop a plan.

Use skills-based hiring to find and hire the best marketers

Testing for marketing skills is crucial to finding the right person for your marketing efforts. Using the right talent assessment tool ensures that you hire a marketer who will help your company put its best foot forward.

Choose TestGorilla's skills-based hiring tests for a more sophisticated, successful hiring process. For a start, test your entry-level marketing candidates with our tests for a Marketing Associate.

Get started with TestGorilla today.


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