Resource Centre Employer’s Corner How to Hire a Marketer

How to Hire a Marketer

So your organisation needs to hire a marketer, but where do you find a good one? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know to recruit new marketing employees in Kenya. From ideal attributes to writing the job ad and interview questions. Step 1: Know who you are looking for The […]

Hire a marketer

So your organisation needs to hire a marketer, but where do you find a good one? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know to recruit new marketing employees in Kenya. From ideal attributes to writing the job ad and interview questions.

Step 1: Know who you are looking for

The first step to hiring is to know what kind of person you need in this role. Marketers possess a completely different skill set than say, sales or customer service. However, it is not just the skills alone that you need to concentrate on. Most people, given the time and sufficient resources, will happily upskill themselves and learn about marketing strategy from the wealth of information available. What makes an effective marketer is their attitude towards success.

And it’s not just us who think that. Mark Schaefer, the Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solution hailed by AdAge as one of the Power 150 Marketing Bloggers, and Scott Stratten, the President of UnMarketing concur attitude is the largest determinant of success in a marketer.

Other than the right attitude, a successful marketer should also possess the following must-have attributes;

Must-have personal trait: Adaptable

“Adaptability is more important now than ever. Not only because of the changing market landscape but also changing demands of the client/brand” says Scott.

It seems that there is an endless supply of new marketing channels; social media marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing and so on. Not to mention Google and Facebook algorithm updates. To keep up, your marketer must be adaptable. This includes the willingness to take on work outside of their job description. One day they may be doing user experience analysis, the next competitive environment deep dive, followed by a little bit of light coding before joining sales for a pitch to better understand the customer. Hire a marketer who will never work only within the lines of their set job role, but one who will learn from, collaborate and share with all their colleagues (no matter the department).

Must-have personal trait: Curious

“Good marketers cannot be complacent. You cannot be satisfied with past accomplishments. You need to be restless.” comments Mark.

The marketer you want to hire reads about industry trends, constantly. Takes it on themselves to network with thought leaders. Has attended multiple marketing conferences (even at their own expense). They have a good grasp of all marketing channels but are experts in the fields they love. What Rand Fishkin, one of the key influencers in the digital marketing sphere, calls a T-Shaped Marketer.

In order to develop this profile, good marketers never rest on their laurels. They are dedicated to continual learning. They are constantly curious.

Must-have personal trait: Results-oriented

“Successful marketers will have a results-orientation mindset. Speak the language of the business,” says Mark.

In an effective marketer’s world, if it was not tracked and correlated back to a cause, any increase in KPIs doesn’t count. Hire a marketer who has a passion for data. It drives them, not only at work but in real life. They probably have a plethora of apps on their phone to track their lifestyle habits. They are self-described geeks. They are the definition of data-driven.

Mark goes on to say “It is important to have some strong analytical skills, specifically some competence in statistics. More and more, marketing is about math!”

It may sound like I am only describing a digital marketer where metrics are readily available. What if your company needs someone for partnerships, media buying or event marketing? Those too have a wealth of data, if you hired the right marketer!

Hiring a marketer

So now we know who we are looking for, how do we attract them?

Step 2: Write the job ad

Chances are, the marketer you want to hire know a little (or a lot!) about search engine optimisation (SEO) – a cornerstone of digital marketing. And they will employ this style of searching when looking for their next career step. So my friends, now it is time to SEO you job ads to attract them!

Don’t worry. We will keep it simple. Follow 4 easy guidelines:

  • Job title: Use a common name yet a descriptive name for the job role. Avoid uncommon terms such as “Content Curator”, “Executive Brand Manager” or “Consumer Activation Consultant” as no one will think to search for those words. Use the more traditional “Senior Marketing Manager”, “Freelance Content Marketer” or “Junior Digital Marketing Assistant”. Notice that you should specify the role type (intern, executive, part-time, etc) and focus (digital, PR, events, etc). If you only have two words, it’s not enough! Ideally, have the word “marketer” or “marketing” in there.
  • Job summary: Tell the prospective candidate what industry the marketing role is in and the key points about working for your about your company. Here is the area to communicate your employer branding. For example, “Be the voice of our hotel chain as a content marketer. Join our blogging team to work in a fun, travel-focussed environment & learn on the job”. A more senior role could read like; “Leading a team of 12, take on a 6 figure budget for full marketing channel coverage to drive growth in Kenya’s B2B sector.”
  • Job description: Use this space to give more details about your company and why employees should work for you. Who does the position report into and who will they work with? Give details about the specifics of the role (your existing marketing team – or a friend who works as a marketer if there is currently no team – should provide this section). The minimum requirements. And what you want with the application. Ideally, this should be 3-4 paragraphs.
  • Posting online? Fill in all fields: A good jobs website will ask for additional information, such as location, category, job level, work type, salary, minimum years of work experience, etc. Utilise all these fields and make the data publically available. Chances are, the top marketers will filter by exactly these classifications. So if you don’t fill it in, your ad won’t show.

Following these guidelines, you will end up with a job ad that looks something like this one:

How to hire a marketer

Why ask for marketing skills relevant to tasks, rather than a normal cover letter? Remember those 3 key traits we are looking for, flexibility, curiosity & results orientation. Ensure you job ad requires people to show those strengths. For example, ask your candidates to research your company and identify your core value proposition (showing curiosity) and vs your competition (results orientation) and submit their findings as the application cover letter. Or if you need a marketer more on the creative side, why not ask them to write an article, make a short video or screenshot a post they made about your products on social media.

Will you receive fewer applications? Yes. Is this a bad thing? No.

You have effectively eliminated all those candidates who are not qualified for your role. As well as those who can’t follow simple instructions or are not truly motivated to work. Saving you time on processing their applications.

“Don’t ask a marketer for a cover letter. Ask for a blog article, video or market analysis to get good candidates.” Click to Tweet

But what if with that first hurdle you are not getting enough applications? For that, we have the solution, list your job ad on BrighterMonday. Leverage our reach to find you the qualified candidates you need.

What’s more, with our newly improved applicant management system, you can easily filter by the qualification level, years of experience, current profession and more, to ensure your candidate pool is limited to the job ad requirements. Then easily move candidates to be rejected, in review, shortlisted, offered and hired. This allows you to hire a marketer, quickly and easily.

Marketing job ad

Step 3: Hold interviews

So now you have your candidate shortlisted for interviews. You have already weeded out those who have no attention to detail, do not possess enough motivation or do not meet your minimum requirements. And you know who you are looking for. So really, your only remaining job is this: To uncover the competencies and experience of your shortlisted marketing candidates. To again check for those needed personal attributes from step 1.

There are 3 types of questions to ask:

  • The situational questions: “What would you do in a situation where…” type questions. These highlight how candidate’s thought processes work. Can they think of their feet and come up with viable solutions. Here the candidate can show their adaptability.
  • The behavioural questions: “Tell me about a project where you…” type questions. A person’s past behaviour is an indicator of future behaviours, and by extension, future success. It also helps you to understand what they value. If they speak only of tasks they completed, not about KPIs they achieved, they may not have the results orientated trait you need in a marketer.
  • The fact-based questions: This is simply asking about hard facts of their performance. Ask questions for two reasons. Firstly, for information to confirm with their references. Candidate integrity is essential for any position. But specifically for marketers, you can ask facts to bring to light their curiosity traits. “How many conferences did you attend last year?”. “What blogs do you read to stay up to date with marketing strategies?”.

Want more? Here are some other questions specifically for hiring a marketer:

  • What would you do in a situation where you are receiving negative feedback from the market because of the quality of the product you’re selling?
  • Tell me about a time when you went beyond your job role as a marketer.
  • Tell me about a marketing tactic you executed that failed?
  • What new marketing strategies are you learning about now?
  • What is your understanding of ROI? Is it important in marketing and if so, how important?

This is not intended as an exhaustive list, but it should inspire you for question relevant to your specific hiring situation. If you need more guidance, our own marketing team is always available to answer your questions on LinkedIn & Twitter.

Ideally, this would be the first round interview. As a second round, have a marketer from your team sit in to ask technical questions. If this is not an option, have the candidates submit a written task and show it to a friend who is a marketer for feedback. We employers, recruiters & HR professional know many things, but we can’t know the details of every jobs role in our company. Yet, checking expertise is key. If it is for an executive position, you many want to consider BrighterMonday’s recruitment consultant services.

Step 4: Onboarding

Marketers are often social by nature and tend to form strong team bonds. If you haven’t already included your existing team in the recruitment process of the new marketer so far, be sure to do so before your new hire’s first day.

This could be as small as giving them a shout out that a new marketer named X is joining on date Y to do job Z (and how they will work together as a team). Or could be as in-depth as having the new hire come in for a trial day and the existing team must ‘vote in’ the new hire from a team fit perspective.

The key point is if you don’t involve other key staff members, and post-hiring there is not a good team fit. You may cause yourself more work that could have been avoided.

So go do this: Write your job ad. Interview qualified candidates. Plan the onboarding. You now have all the information you need how to hire a marketer.

Bonus area:

What if you feel in the near future you will need another marketer? If your company is going through a growth phase, that is very likely and it’s good of you to think ahead. In some cases, you would find in your first process more than one qualified candidate and it comes down to a hard final decision or you will find marketers who are a good culture fit, but not quite that the level of experience yet for this position.

Save those applicants in a candidate pool. Then when the next marketing position becomes available, you have a group of relevant job seekers who have already shown interest in working for your company who you can reach out to. Saving you the hassle of posting another job ad for the new position. Making it easier to hire that next marketer.

Create a BrighterMonday employer account and post that first job ad with us. As applicants roll in, you can add those who are not relevant now, but maybe in the future, to candidate pools.

Hire a marketer

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Jessica Scholz
Notification Bell