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Guide to Recruiting Marketing Staff

Marketing Recruitment > Guide to Recruiting Marketing Staff

Your guide to recruiting marketing staff 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a small start-up or a large, well-established company – recruiting the right marketers can be a challenging process, especially when there’s so much conflicting advice.

However, by taking the time to build an effective marketing recruitment strategy, you’ll help ensure that any marketing staff you employ will be ideal for your business needs, someone who is not only experienced but who will fit with your company culture.

The price of getting recruitment wrong

Every business has made a bad hire in its time, and in a discipline as competitive as marketing, it’s vital that you get your selection right.

According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), as many as two out of five roles are not filled by someone suitable. Far more than many of us might have imagined, but how much do these recruitment mistakes cost?

Firstly, there’s a financial impact on your business. Not just from paying this person a salary, but from other areas, too. This can include:

  • The resources you used to recruit your marketers, such as the price of an agency, job advertisements or similar.
  • The wasted time for your managers or HR staff spent on interviewing and then onboarding the individual. They then perhaps had to go down a disciplinary route and start the recruitment process all over again.
  • Your new recruit’s lack of productivity, such as missing deadlines, excessive absences or poor work ethic, etc.

But that’s just the start of it. Your marketer is employed to show your business in its best light and help that business grow. At worst, this marketing recruit could cause customers or clients to lose faith in your company.

Now you can begin to see how important it is to have an effective marketing recruitment strategy.

Your effective marketing recruitment strategy

It’s understandable for hiring managers to overthink and become nervous over every employee choice. However, there is never, and absolutely perfect team, even Pep Guardiola after winning fourteen straight games to win the 2019 Premier League title felt that his squad lacked height! Nor is there a one-fit process that will guarantee you employ the ideal marketer. Instead, you should aim to build the best team you can, based on your business goals and the best available talent.

For instance, if you’re looking to rebrand the business, a marketer that has experience in communications or PR would be ideal. For business growth and improving/maintaining your reputation, you should look for a recruit with expertise in digital marketing and advertising, together with disciplines like content marketing and SEO.

To get you started, here’s an essential checklist for your recruitment process:

  • Know what the role will entail
  • Create your person specification and job description (see ‘The Difference between a Job Specification and a Person Description’)
  • Choose where you plan to advertise the job
  • Review the applicants
  • Conduct interviews
  • Check references, create your contract and offer the job
  • Welcome your new marketer to the team

Advice on key parts of the process

Of course, a recruitment planning checklist can significantly improve your hiring process, but if you want to ensure that you employ the right marketing professional, you need to be wise about crucial areas in the process.

Creating your job specification

Like the foundation of a house, taking the time to research and plan your role specification can help make the entire recruitment process as easy and successful as it can be. Indeed, by creating a detailed job specification, you are effectively building your own checklist that you tick off when you start reviewing job applications.

Here are some key questions that will help you build your job description and people specification:

  • Why do you need a new marketer?
  • What roles and responsibilities will your marketer adopt on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?
  • What skills or experience would you like your marketer to have? These should be split into essential and desirable skills.
  • How will this marketing candidate fit into the broader business structure?
  • How will you track and measure this marketer to ensure that they are meeting your expectations?
  • Are you willing to invest in training for a potential candidate?

Shortlisting candidates and conducting interviews

One of the most common mistakes is to pick the candidate with the most expertise over one that fits the culture of your business. True, knowledge and expertise is wonderful, especially if this person has marketing experience in multiple areas, but this means nothing if your recruit doesn’t gel with your team.

The greatest marketing strategies come to light when you have a superb team that can work together, bouncing ideas off each other.

If you choose a marketer that doesn’t fit in with your current team, then there’s a strong possibility that your staff will clash. This can lead to a negative workspace, friction, competitiveness and even some of your current marketing team looking for a job elsewhere.  You may want to consider including values based interviewing questions into your recruitment process.

Never underestimate students or graduates, either. They might not have the experience of running multiple marketing campaigns under their belts, but they are willing to learn. Even better, if you invest in training, you can help mould your graduate to your business, inspiring them to grow with it.

Conducting interviews

The most important thing to remember is that interviews are a two-way conversation. As well as allowing you to see if a candidate is right for you, your candidates will also use this time to ascertain if they’d like to work for you. So, always remember to be courteous, friendly and sell the benefits of working for your business (see ‘how not to lose the very best candidates’). Otherwise, you might find that your favoured marketer is snapped up by someone else.

Before you arrange your interviews, take the time to prepare suitable questions. Try to create a short list of interview questions that will help you to quantify a candidate’s experience in marketing as well as helping you to see if that candidate will work well with your other employees.

Always keep in mind that, although you had a favoured marketer based on their application, the interview process allows you to see if you gel with this marketer in person. Never be afraid to change your mind and always choose a candidate based on all the evidence – not just a good interview or job application.




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10 top digital marketing interview questions to get the most out of your interview process.

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About the author

Rob Scott

Rob is the Managing Director of Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, a national recruitment agency specialising in sourcing sales and marketing staff for businesses across a broad range of commercial sectors. Before setting up Aaron Wallis, Rob spent ten years at a specialist Sales and Marketing recruitment division of a £0.5BN recruitment group, leaving in 2007 as Marketing & Sales Director to establish Aaron Wallis.
With over 24 years of experience in sales recruitment, Rob is a History graduate with an MBA (Merit) and a PgCert in Management Practice.  In 2007, 2009 and 2013 Rob conducted the most extensive surveys of sales professionals in the UK and is a trusted authority in the sales industry. From guiding employers through the recruitment process to helping candidates find their dream job, Rob's advice has been quoted in leading publications such as Business Insider and The Independent, as well as OnRec, which host The Online Recruitment Awards every year.

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