As the number of marketing channels and technologies continues to grow, so does the need to hire experts on your team.
However, hiring managers—and even industry professionals—are rarely experts in all areas of marketing.
How do you ensure your company selects the right marketing specialist for the job?
Questions about past experiences
These are the questions candidates should ask candidates for a marketing position that specializes in question generation, business development, email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing:
Generating Questions: Consider…
What percentage of revenue were you responsible for? How is your overall process? How is each step in the process defined? What were the top five stats you tracked every day? What were your conversion rates at each stage? How have you improved them over time? What were your main channels and what percentage did they correspond to? What kind of programs were most successful? How did you improve the improvements for each one? What was your approach to integrated campaigns?
Business Development: Consider Asking…
What methods and frequency did you use to communicate with sales? What productivity tools made the business development team more effective? What have you done with your team members to make the biggest performance gains? What were your conversion rate goals and how have you improved them over time? How did you measure the performance of each team member? How did you ensure that your team met or exceeded their quota? How did you handle underperforming team members?
Email Marketing: Consider Asking…
How was your database in terms of quantity and distribution among different people? What percentage of your database was opt-in with? Third-party paid instructions? How have you measured and improved the quality of data in your database? What fields do you consider “must-have” and “nice to have”? What creative techniques did you use to organize your database? How did new leads get into the database and from what sources? How often have you cleaned the database to ensure data quality? How did you improve your click-through rates? How did you implement A/B testing? What kind of drip campaign did you run? How did you measure effectiveness?
Social Media Marketing: Consider Asking…
Which channels were most successful for you in your previous roles? How did you determine what kind of content should be distributed on each channel? What tools did you use to analyze and identify opportunities? What was your postal frequency? What were your top stats for each channel? What achievement are you most proud of in each channel? Which tactic worked best for increasing engagement across channels? How was your process for each channel? Was there any content you shared across all channels? If so, how did you make this decision?
Content marketing: consider asking…
How was your content strategy in your most recent role? What was the most successful content type? How did you measure content marketing performance? What type of content works best for each stage of the funnel in your experiment? What was your frequency for each type of content? How to balance quality and quantity? How many target groups have you created content for? How did you make your content resonate with this audience? How did you come up with creative ideas? How is your content process? Which stakeholders and internal team members were critical to your success?
Five Questions to Help You Understand Why They Work
While it’s important to describe candidates’ marketing experiences with questions like the ones listed above, it’s also a good idea to include high-level questions that will help you learn more about them, such as how to define their success and measure them Companies and marketing leaders they admire and their favorite marketing technologies.
Consider asking the following five questions:
- What would success be like for you in this role?
Your candidate’s answer to this question will tell you how he defines success for the role and how he can contribute to his team and company. People interested in taking the business forward will likely ask to participate in sales and business growth. Look for people who mention growth in their responses and people who associate their success with greater business success.
- What is the best way to measure your success?
Find someone who comes back with clear answers that can be measured, such as specific, measurable conversion rates, clickthrough rates, and results. They are likely to be goal-oriented and can help you think in terms of statistics from the start, including about your performance.
- Who are your main “gurus” and main sources of continuing education in this field of marketing?
Candidates who are involved in the game don’t need to think about these things too much. If they can’t say anything, they’re not experts in the field. That’s fine if you hire a generalist, but not if you need someone with experience in a specific area of marketing.
- What activities do you most admire in this area of marketing?
This question gives a slightly different view of the candidate and says more about their ambitions. If they can’t name a company that works well in this industry, it’s a sign they might not be as passionate as you’d like.
- What is your favorite technology for this area of marketing?
This is a somewhat tricky question. Candidates must be willing to experiment with many marketing technologies, even if they have strong preferences. Look for people who quickly master new technologies and who have experimented with different tools relevant to their work.
The priority of corporate culture
Company culture is an important consideration when making an appointment.
Each person you hire can have a dramatic impact on team morale, productivity, and, ultimately, team success. So make sure that multiple team members are interviewing candidates and that their feedback is serious.
In addition to the questions that appear here, your team members will ask many more questions to help you determine if your candidate is the perfect fit for your company’s specialty role.