Everyone matters in your organization, whether they work in the accounting office or are front and center at the reception desk. One of the most important people you’ll hire is your marketing strategist. Your marketing team generates the revenue that makes everything else run, so choosing the right person for the job is essential. How do you find someone who will go beyond managing your marketing strategy and transform it into a revenue engine?
Creativity and innovation are useful anywhere within your organization, but nowhere is it more important than in your marketing team. The work doesn’t stop once you’ve hired your candidate, either. After finding your marketing rock star, you will have spent an estimated $1,200 on training and incurred as much as a 2.5 percent loss during that period from diminished productivity while the new marketer gets up to speed. That’s a major investment – and that’s if you get hiring right the first time. How much more would a poor fit cost your organization?
Here’s what you need to know to help you find the superstar you need the first time.
Just the Facts
In addition to the baseline facts you’d establish in any interview, probe a little deeper into marketing-specific details about a candidate:
- “How long have you been in marketing?” – As fundamental as this question is, it reveals a lot about the scope of a candidate’s experience because marketing has evolved tremendously in the past decade. Someone who’s new to the field may not have the depth of perspective of a longtime marketer, but newer marketers who are digital natives are often highly conversant in the latest tech – a key element of digital marketing.
- “What did you love to study in school?” – You already know the details about your prospective marketing strategist’s education, but what can he or she tell you that isn’t on the resume? Extra points if your marketer had an interest that intersects with your industry. If you work for a biotech firm, for example, and your candidate has always loved STEM classes, that’s a natural fit.
- “What’s your biggest win as a marketer?” This question tells you not only what the candidate has accomplished, but how he or she feels about that. Learning about his or her most successful campaign is interesting; discovering the methodology behind the campaign is downright fascinating.
Situational questions give you a great deal of insight about candidates, and they can often take the interview in directions both you and your interviewee find enlightening:
- “An upset client claims a mistake went out in your latest banner ad, but your records show that you ran exactly what the client requested. How do you handle it?”
- “You’re in charge of social media management, and your latest campaign has gone viral for all the right reasons. What do you do to capitalize on the attention you’re getting?”
- “Google’s latest algorithm has just shut down an SEO technique you’ve used successfully in the past. What are the steps you take next?”
- “Your role is to redesign this organization’s brand strategy. Take me through the process you’d use to accomplish it.”
- “What marketing technology or strategy sparks your interest the most now, and how do you learn more about it?”
Your rock-star marketer awaits – all you need to do is ask the right questions.