How Are You Hiring Candidates for Marketing?


It’s that time of year again. If you’ve been struggling when it comes to hiring candidates for your marketing department, you know that thousands of new college graduates have joined the small pool of job seekers. How have you been trying to recruit candidates? Is it time to make a change? To help you think this through, Jason Tabeling has revealed some of his hiring practices in a recent SearchEngineLand post.

Hiring Candidates for Marketing

In the current tight labor market, don’t get locked into the idea that you need a candidate with a four-​year college degree. As Tabeling explains, you can make hiring decisions based on a candidate’s “aptitude and desire to show up and do the work.” There’s no better way to get at a candidate’s aptitude than to ask them to take a psychometric assessment.

Analyzing Skills

When hiring candidates for marketing, some hiring managers focus on whether a person knows the difference between SEO and SEM. They’ll nitpick about whether a candidate can handle the Oxford comma. A better approach is to distinguish between hard and soft skills. It’s easy to see whether a person has specific certifications. It's not always easy to determine whether a candidate has the soft skills necessary to work in a team environment.

During an interview, it can be challenging to learn whether an individual possesses empathy or curiosity because they'll tell you what they think you want to hear. Ask them to take a psychometric assessment, and then you’ll have a better idea about whether they are generally positive, resilient and apply attention to detail in their work – all important skills in the marketing department.

Psychometric assessments also indicate whether an individual is open to coaching. The new college graduate sitting across the interview desk from you may hold a degree in geology. Before you dismiss them because of a lack of relevant education, consider their soft skills and their coachability. You may be able to develop this person into a digital marketing star. 

Interview Questions

While assessment data will provide you with good information about a candidate, you can learn other critical details about them in a personal setting. But the interview can be a disaster unless you prepare. Too many interviewers making the mistake of talking about themselves and their companies. Through all this talking, they aren’t learning much about the candidate. Use the assessment data to probe areas you’re curious about. If employees at your company are expected to work closely with other team members, ask the candidate to describe their best and worst team experience. Even if they talk about team sports, you’ll get a sense of how team dynamics work for them.

Setting Expectations

To avoid a failed hiring experience, make sure the candidate understands what your organization expects of employees. These days, it’s tempting to sugarcoat the work experience just to get a person onboarded. But you don’t want to lose a new hire and have to start the expensive and lengthy recruiting process all over again because you weren't truthful or specific enough.

One key factor surfacing in many hiring discussions these days centers around whether employees can work remote. Some of today’s younger employees are eager to work in an office environment. They want the social interaction, and they hope to learn from more experienced employees. They haven’t been burned out by frustratingly long commutes. That’s great. But there are other folks who prefer to work from home. You’ll need to be clear about your expectations. We can’t all be Elon Musk, who recently demanded employees work in the office and announced, “If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned.”

Finding great employees has never been easy. But you can improve your odds by using psychometric assessments when hiring candidates for your marketing department.

Photo on Pexels by Tima Miroshnichenko.

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Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.