How to Hire the Right Marketing Specialist for your Business
Hiring a marketing professional with any experience costs money, yet can mean the difference between bottom-line success or thousands of dollars (or more) wasted on ineffective initiatives.
Hiring a marketing person is a big step for any small- to medium-sized business. It’s a milestone that usually signals a company has acquired funding or reached a certain revenue target to justify the salary of a full-time professional to handle its marketing needs. However, hiring a marketing professional with any experience costs money, yet can mean the difference between bottom-line success or thousands of dollars (or more) wasted on ineffective initiatives. When your marketing department consists of just one or two people, hiring the wrong people can prove catastrophic.
At Creative Niche, we help pair companies with marketing professionals every day. That means we get to see how strong marketing professionals can drive organizations’ sales and growth. Of course, we’re also exposed to the mistakes many companies make in trying to fill a crucial position that often entails wearing multiple hats and doing the job of several people on any given day.
Many chief executives, for example, decide they need a full-time marketing specialist when a part-time hire — or even contracting duties to a third-party firm — might make better financial sense. Other times they fail to realize that marketers tend to have drastically different talents, and finding a generalist who’s great at everything is almost impossible.
With that in mind, here are three tips to help narrow the search and find the ideal marketing professional for your organization:
Be strategic —
Ask yourself a simple question: what marketing objectives does our organization need to achieve to be successful? The end benefit of those initiatives will likely be an increase in sales, but getting there means earning little wins along the way. That may involve attending trade shows to earn face-time with target customers, for example, or producing content that helps solidify your thought leadership in a given subject area. It’s only when you have that conversation and determine those strategic objectives that you can hire the right person to get the job done.
Focus on specific skills — Decide whether you need a specialist or a generalist, as well as the specific expertise and experience they need to do the job. Do you need an event planner, or someone who can do that as well as write copy and manage your corporate blog? Is yours a business-to-business, business-to-consumer or even a non-profit organization? These considerations will help narrow your search by honing in on the exact skills you’ll need to produce great marketing results.
But again, remember that marketers’ skills tend to be wide-ranging. It’s sort of like hiring a corporate lawyer to do the work of an HR lawyer. Both are legal professionals, but one can’t necessarily do the other’s job well. Just because someone has managed Google Ad Words campaigns doesn’t necessarily mean she can also design brochures or write press releases.
Create the right job description — The recruitment process often gets derailed at this stage. Organizations that haven’t thought strategically about what they need from their marketing hire will either create an inaccurate job description, or give their recruiter the wrong information. Either way, they usually wind up hiring a person who quits in a few months, who they have to fire, or who fails to deliver the right results. The job description should outline the exact skills and experience required for the job, depict what the position will entail and give an honest description of your organization’s culture. That last part is crucial. If your company is a fast-paced startup, the hours of work and the expectations might be very different than if it’s an established company.