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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.

More relevant marketing recruitment articles & guides

In-House vs Marketing Agency Campaigns

Manage your marketing operations in-house or procure an external agency?

Internal Marketing Team Structure

Setting up an in-house marketing team? What roles should you recruit for?

Managing a Marketing Team

Tips on getting the most out of your marketing team to increase your bottom line.

Digital Marketing Interviews

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

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Rob Scott, Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, Author Photo

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 26 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 the FT, Business Insider, Forbes and The Independent, as well as OnRec, which hosts The Online Recruitment Awards every year.

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Our employers say...

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

Generally good standard of candidates. Especially liked the personality profile. Overall good value for money and will certainly use you again.

Managing Director, Medicash

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

I could not suggest anything I would like you to do better. The service you provided materially exceeded my expectations. I would especially like to commend Simon Bonner; he is easily the best recruitment consultant I have ever dealt with. I particularly valued his advice and guidance throughout the recruitment process. 

UK Sales Manager, BTS Holdings Limited 

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

As always we were extremely impressed with Rob's understanding of the role and our specific needs.

Managing Director, Speck & Burke

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

George is a rare find in the world of recruitment - communicative without being pushy or over-bearing. He listens and understands what the customer needs as gets to know the business to ensure he provides fully competent candidates who fit.

HR Manager, Big Dug

I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

Thank you for your dedicated help during the recruitment process - we came to you after unsuccessfully searching elsewhere, and hired, not one, but two! Quick response times, and a really personal approach, without being pushy.

Managing Director, Accora Ltd

Very professional service and will certainly be in contact for future recruitment.

Director, Blakedown Sport & Play Ltd

George is a joy to work with, and I'd recommend him to anyone seeking that unicorn hire - he found me mine, and I'm delighted!

Director, Education Support

Sophie did a great job at understanding our business and our needs, she is extremely professional and we hugely benefitted from her experience and expertise.

HR Manager, The Data Privacy Group Ltd

George came recommended by a colleague and has been a pleasure to work with. He was great at updating us on his progress and ensured a great experience for both client and candidate.

HR Manager, Annapurna Recruitment Ltd

Really good service. Just the right amount of contact and easy to deal with.

HR Manager, Zircon Software Ltd

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

I can't fault Sam or AW! Sam was a pleasure to work with and provided great support from the start. Sam always provided me with timely updates when required and provided outstanding candidates!

Director, Waste Managed Ltd

We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

Our candidates say...

George is a fantastic recruitment agent and provides a great service. It was a pleasure I thoroughly recommend George to anyone.

C. Beaugie, Candidate

Professional and responsive from start to finish. I would highly recommend. Special thanks to Sophie J for her help and support throughout.

N. Leney, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

Sophie helped me secure a new role I have been searching for. She took her time to explain clear and concisely all I needed to succeed at the interview stage. Thanks again Sophie!

O. Oladejo, Candidate

Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.

C. Caine, Candidate

The detail put into the preparation for interviews and the detail of the job description was first class. Rob and Simon in particular are amongst the best I've ever dealt with.

K. Peacock, Candidate

Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)

K. Everitt, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

I had the absolute pleasure of working with George Humphries on finding a placement best suitable for me.

A. Van Der Mescht, Candidate

For anyone looking for work, I can't recommend Aaron Wallis highly enough.

C. Rockliffe, Candidate

Friendly, proactive, communicative. Overall a really positive experience.

R. Houston, Candidate

I would highly recommend thank you to Darren for helping me secure my new job role! Excellent service all round!

G. Thompson, Candidate

Simon was knowledgeable on his clients history, background and what their requirements were and he worked around time zones, holidays and a pandemic to get the right result.

J. Tooze, Candidate

Sophie contacted me about a role explained the details clearly and made sure I was ready for the interview. She kept in touch every step of the way till I started the job. Thank you Sophie for a great experience.

S. Powell, Candidate

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

S. Bartlett, Candidate

I have to say using Aaron Wallis Recruitment has been nothing but an absolute pleasure. I've used many agencies over the years as the client and the candidate and its not always been a pleasurable experience!

L. Knowles, Candidate

The most professional recruitment agency I've ever worked with. Robert Scott was extremely proactive and send me a detailed briefing before each interview, ensuring I was well prepared.

D. Bermant, Candidate

Excellent experience. Knowledgeable staff and really went the extra mile. Found my ideal position and I couldn't be happier. Special shout out to Sam and George: who made the process smooth and easy for me. Highly recommend.

K. Pearce, Candidate

Sophie has been fantastic and always so attentive, highly recommend.

T. Ashbourne, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

I had a very good experience with Aaron Wallis. The company itself is offering great content for all things related to the hiring process. I definitely recommend.

J. Ostermeier, Candidate

I had a great experience. Helped me every step of the way to get my new job. Sophie was very polite, kind and helpful!

J. Parnham, Candidate

Darren at Aaron Wallis was really encouraging and helpful. He was very responsive and regularly made phone calls to explain the job opportunities available, and guided me through the application process.

A. Brown, Candidate

Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

Managed to get me placed within a week! Really friendly and easy to deal with. Always available for a call and my biggest challenge was I was in work at the time I was looking for my next opportunity (which is stressful) but Sam made that easy.

P. Fitzsimons, Candidate

Rob was really helpful when I was putting together a presentation for the second stage interview. Overall their communication was great and kept me updated of any progress

J. McGrattan, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate

The staff at Aaron Wallis were fantastic. Throughout the process, they maintained excellent communication and I always knew where I stood.

M. Owusu, Candidate

When talking with Simon you felt relaxed cared to help you find a position that suited your needs

D. Pinder, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate 

Very polite and friendly and was very helpful finding me my next new role.

K. Craggs, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with he was supportive really quick at replying and really put me at ease.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

George above and beyond to make sure I had everything I need to secure my new role. Outstanding Professional.

A. Kirkland, Candidate

I would highly recommend Aaron Wallis Recruitment, Darren was extremely helpful and provided me with plenty of advice and support throughout the whole process.

D. Bretherton, Candidate

Sam was by far the most professional and helpful of any individual I've ever dealt with through a recruitment agency. He was supportive and thorough throughout the process. He definitely goes the extra mile for you. A pleasure to deal with. I would highly recommend him. An asset to Aaron Wallis

M. Wyer, Candidate

George Humphries was a complete professional at every point, from our first phone conversation to his “good luck tomorrow” text on Sunday before I started in my new role.

E. Fry, Candidate

The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.

L. Colagrossi, Candidate