The 10 most important things to finding and hiring great marketing talent

Hiring is hard…Finding qualified candidates is challenging in itself, but then you have to determine whether someone will fit in and perform based on just a few short conversations! It’s crazy, and yet we’re all asked to do it and we have to try to do it well. We don’t have all the answers, but we do have some lessons to share from over 100 collective years of marketing experience and more than 500 hires made. 


Here are the 10 most important things we’ve learned about finding and hiring great marketing talent over the years: 


  1. Hiring is the most important job you do. People are the most important part of your business and the biggest factor in your success or failure. Prioritise getting the right people on board above all else. 


  1. Hiring right is really hard. Even the best and most experienced get it wrong a lot of the time. 


  1. Take your time. You might be drowning, you might have targets you need to hit. Do not rush a hire you’re unsure of. Better a short-term struggle than the very long-term pain of making the wrong hire. 


  1. Do not rely on an unstructured interview. They say unstructured interviews predict less than 20% of performance. This feels about right (even generous?) based on our experience….


  1. Make sure you use a test or working session. It shouldn’t take a lot of their time and it shouldn’t hold business value for you, but you need to see how people work, not just how they talk. 


  1. Align everyone who’s interviewing on the “yes factors”. There’s the job description, then there are the 3 – 5 things that really matter most for the role. Make sure everyone on your hiring team knows what they are and are focused on sussing out whether the candidate has them in the interviews.


  1. Make people feel comfortable. An interview is not an interrogation. It’s about getting to know someone. 


  1. Get to know them as people, not just professionals. Culture fit matters as much if not more than skill set. Don’t just focus on what they’re done, get to know who they are. (Just keep in mind what you can and can’t ask.)


  1. Be open and honest. If you have doubts about their experience or skill, tell them (in a kind way). There’s no point holding anything back. Plus, you want to know they are someone who can accept  feedback and be transparent with you.


  1. Don’t forget to sell as well as buy. Even if it’s someone you don’t end up hiring, you want them to leave the interview knowing what’s great about your business (and hopefully sharing it with others), and having had a positive experience interacting with your brand


Let us know if you have any more lessons to share, we’re always looking to learn!


Have a thought on this? We'd love to hear it.

Rival ZAG Website Transparent
Think more like a challenger in 5 minutes a week

Fast, actionable tips on challenger marketing straight to your inbox every Monday