How to Hire Your First Full-Time Marketing Employee - 3 Answers from an HR Pro

How to Hire Your First Full-Time Marketing Employee – 3 Answers from an HR Pro

By Joel Widmer | Content Marketing

Mar 06


The role of a full-time digital marketing employee is a tough position to hire.

Not because it’s your first hire, It’s difficult because you don’t know what you don’t know.

How do you evaluate a potential marketer’s knowledge when your a small business and your not sure exactly what your digital strategy should be?

This is a question I’ve encountered with several clients and finally decided to tackle it here.

But then again, I’m NOT a hiring expert so I asked my friend, Kayla Barrett, Owner of Organization Impact, and  an authority in hiring amazing people and HR. She was gracious enough to share the answers to the three biggest questions she gets about hiring the right people in marketing.

How do you get the job description right the first time?

The job description is key in the process as it should create the roadmap for your interview questions. A few key components include the technical skills (tactical, hands-on, measurable aspects) required for the job along with the relational skills (communication, ability to get along with others, initiative, etc.) that are equally as critical to success.  State clearly how the role relates to other functions in the organization (leadership responsibilities, community roles, etc.).  Finally, the job description should include the expected deliverables of the role (what will the employee be accountable for, what results are expected, etc.).

Should you ask for outside help when hiring?

The need for external assistance in this search really depends on 1) the employer’s knowledge of what they need in the organization, and 2) awareness of the marketing space today.  What has become the norm in marketing and branding in the digital world?  A new set of skills will likely need to be added to the organization which broadens the organization’s thinking and capabilities.  External input can ensure a comprehensive approach is taken with the role.

How do you qualify something like social media experience?

Most applicants today will tout some degree of social media prowess on their resume.  However in this important role for your organization, a Facebook and Twitter account does not qualify a marketing professional.  Instead, focus on candidates who can qualify their experience by showing you the results of proven marketing leadership.  For example, based on their performance, which customers are reading digital ads and how long are they staying on your website?  A proven (and potentially) successful candidate will have evidence of skill and can quantify it for you in some way.  As equally important, determine the cultural fit for the applicant as well.  Ask questions that force the candidate to show you how they have handled the “people” dynamics of the workplace – difficult co-workers, demanding deadlines and individual accountability.  A technically competent employee who cannot fit into the team is as dangerous as someone who cannot perform the job.

You can’t have a successful and consistent marketing system without a dedicated person championing it. This isn’t a position to rush and is one that I’ve found you really need to have a wide range of applicants to evaluate fairly. By doing this, you’ll find an employee who is sure to be an excellent fit for your company and deliver great results!


About the Author

Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife, son, and daughter.

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