How to hire a marketing professional

How to hire a marketing professional

Our blog How to hire a marketing professional
How to hire a marketing professional

Your marketing team is responsible for making sure your company puts its best foot forward. The results of their efforts are customer-facing, so they have a huge impact on the way your brand is perceived. That's why it's crucial to get the right people in place.

In this post, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to make the best marketing hires for your team. 

Important marketing roles and skills they require

Regardless of the role you're hiring for, your top priority should be making sure you find 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 a scientifically validated test created by an expert.

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 what to focus on for three of the most important marketing roles.

Social media marketer skills

The average person spends three hours on social networking sites every day. 94% plan to purchase from a company they follow on social media. Your social media strategy is an integral part of your company’s success. A smart social media hire will make all the difference to the business you generate online.

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

  1. Social media management. It goes without saying that your social media marketing hire will need to understand key social media management practices. Make sure a candidate has the ability to apply their knowledge to optimize reach on social media channels before making an offer.
  2. 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 needs to have the ability to make the right decisions when problems arise.
  3. Attention to detail. Sometimes people can be too quick on the trigger when it comes to publishing social media posts. It's important to find a social media marketer who will take the time to make sure everything is right before anything goes live.

Demand generation manager skills

As HubSpot notes, the responsibilities of a demand generation manager are broad. “Demand generation captures the umbrella of marketing programs that get customers excited about your company’s products and services.” As such, a demand generation manager should have a proven history of expertly using a range of marketing channels to generate leads and grow revenue. Your demand generation manager needs to excel at all things data analysis and testing in order to meet KPIs. 

Here are three important skills to look for in a demand generation manager:

  1. Google Ads. Google Ads are 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.
  2. Facebook Advertising. Like Google Ads, Facebook Ads are another great way to raise brand awareness and generate leads. Any demand generation manager worth their salt will be familiar with the platform.
  3. Google Analytics. It's not enough to just generate results. A good demand generation manager needs to be able 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 that will help you reach your business goals and objectives.

Content marketing manager skills

Your content marketing manager will need to think strategically about the topics you cover and how you cover them. They will also need to be able to measure the results of your content marketing campaigns to figure out what topics and types of content are performing the best.

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

  1. Reading comprehension. A content marketing manager needs to be able to read and understand in-house content, the content of your competitors, and relevant research.
  2. 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.
  3. Google Analytics. Like demand generation managers, your content marketing manager will also need to be able to report on their results and glean actionable insights from those reports.

Soft skills for marketers

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 important to avoid mishires. You can narrow down your list of potential candidates by including personality. 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 good questions to explore during an interview.

Here are some of the tests available in TestGorilla's growing Test Library.  

  1. 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.
  2. 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. It is similar to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
  3. DISC test. This test is based on the model developed by psychologist William Marston for behavioral assessment. It classifies how we express emotions into the four behavior types of DISC: dominance (D), influence (I), steadiness (S), and conscientiousness (C).

You can also test for culture fit. TestGorilla's culture fit test assesses how a candidate’s values, traits, and interests align with the values of your company and the traits and interests that would make your ideal hire successful in a specific role, based on a customized survey you fill out.

Digging deeper

After you narrow down your applicant pool to the most qualified candidates, it’s time to dig deeper with your shortlisted candidates. Here are some things to look for as you begin to evaluate resumes and interview candidates.

Social media manager qualifications

Look for someone who can nail your brand voice. Ask to see an applicant’s previous campaigns to get a sense of the personality they bring to projects. Past work will also show how well they can emulate specific tones of voice. Beyond that, look for someone who has a strong understanding of your target market and how best to communicate with that audience. 

Your social media manager also needs to be adept at using a range of different social media platforms – with an awareness of the latest social media channels and social media trends. 

Your chosen social media marketer should also be comfortable with the test-and-learn cycle integral to running successful social media campaigns - they need to show an aptitude for taking data-informed risks and learning from experience to build on a solid social media marketing campaign. 

Demand generation manager qualifications

The right hire should talk confidently about how they’ve developed demand generation strategies that provided noticeable boosts to lead generation and revenue, and tweaked campaigns for success by analyzing data and metrics. 

Content marketing manager qualifications

Companies spend an average of 46% of their budget on content creation. If you're like most companies, then your content marketing manager will be one of the most important hires you'll make for your marketing team. The content marketing manager will spearhead your content marketing campaigns. 

As your content marketing manager will spend the majority of their time writing and creating strategy, look for a hire who has:

  • The ability to show tangible results from content strategy campaigns 
  • SEO expertise
  • Excellent grammar and spelling and the ability to weave a story with flair 
  • Impressive project management skills 

Questions to ask in an interview for a marketing professional

Many people can present a polished persona in an interview. The only way you’ll get to test someone’s capabilities face to face is by asking the right questions. Armed with a list of illuminating interview questions, you’ll be able to see how well a candidate’s character and approach will fit in with your team. Double-check your impressions by looking for evidence of them in an applicant’s references. 

Michael Page offers some great example questions that you can use to test an applicant’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?

Put your best foot forward

Testing for marketing skills is a crucial part of the hiring process. By using the right tools, you can ensure that you're hiring a marketer who will help your company put its best foot forward. Make sure you make the best hiring decision for your marketing team by testing a prospective employee’s skills before welcoming them to the team. 

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