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10 Tips to Finding a New Marketing Manager
Written by Molly Nagy, Senior HR Coordinator
When it comes to hiring a marketing manager for your company, there are many aspects to consider. Hiring a marketing manager can be a complicated process because marketing experience means something different to nearly everyone. In this whitepaper, you will find 10 tips on how to successfully hire a new marketing manager.
1. What Marketing Matters to Your Business?
As an in-house recruiter, this is the primary question that needs to be answered if I am tasked with hiring a marketing manager. While business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) are two main categories of marketing, there are many different strategies within those categories that your marketing manager can use to focus their efforts. Are you clear on what strategies really drive your business? I encourage you to be open to exploring this idea further than what marketing strategies you are currently implementing.
For example, as a digital marketing agency specifically focused in pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, you may assume that we only hiring marketing managers who have PPC experience. In fact, most of our internal marketing team (for example, email marketing coordinator, graphic designer, etc.) does not have in-depth PPC experience because most of our prospects and clients find us through the content that we publish through our Hanapin Marketing parent brand, as well as our blog, PPC Hero. It is important to establish what key aspects of marketing drive your business so you can set expectations for your future marketing manager.
2. Do Your Research
Once you understand what type of marketing matters most for your business, it is now time to do your outside research! As a smaller agency, we always benchmark our positions to ensure that the marketing manager we are hoping to hire exists. This outside research will also help you in developing your job description once you are ready to post the position.
A quick search on Indeed yields 209,779 results for a ‘marketing manager’ position. However, as you look through the results for these positions, each listing has its own spin on what a marketing manager looks like at their company. By getting a good understanding of what other companies are looking for in their marketing manager roles, you can start to define and customize what a successful marketing manager looks like at your company. You will notice that I have not told you what key aspects to include in your marketing manager role because your company needs are likely quite different than our company needs. However, being able to benchmark against your industry will help you to set realistic expectations for the role.
After completing your outside research, you should use this to complete your hiring requisition form. Even though the name of this form sounds like an archaic HR requirement, this form can be extremely useful to keep your hiring team aligned as you move through the interview process. The hiring requisition form is also your primary resource when creating your job description, which we will get to in a few steps.
Not familiar with hiring requisition forms? A hiring requisition form is a simple form that outlines the true requirements for your marketing manager position. This form can help to set the tone for your entire hiring process. While the hiring team will know the position better than anyone else, as a recruiter, it is my role to make sure that we have a pulse on what is happening in the industry.
Example Hiring Requisition Form
3. Talk to Your Hiring Team
Did you notice we still have not posted the open position yet? To create a positive experience for both your team, the candidate, and you, it is important to take your time when opening a new position. A marketing manager is an important position in any company because the position is instrumental in driving your future company growth. You should consider and ask the following questions to your hiring team:
- Why are you hiring for this position?
- If someone was previously in this role, why did they leave your company?
- If this is a new marketing manager position, what are the spoken (and unspoken) expectations for someone filling this role?
To open the conversation with your hiring team, discuss the hiring requisition form with them. The natural inclination for anyone on a hiring team is to paint the picture of an ideal candidate. If you have previously been involved with hiring, you know the ideal candidate does not exist. Dig deeper into all the recommended requirements when you are speaking with the hiring team to understand the true requirements for the role versus the wants and desires for the role. Some questions to consider:
- Is the education level chosen required for this position? Would we be okay with someone who has a combination of education and experience?
- Do we NEED someone with a specific type of marketing experience – inbound, outbound, SEM, e-mail, content, social media, etc. or are we open to someone with different experience? What is the depth of experience required?
- Are the years of experience required realistic? Does it match the budget you have available to compensate your new marketing manager?
Do not be afraid to ask your hiring team ‘is this requirement truly required to be successful in this role or is it something to keep in mind as we are talking to candidates?’ It is important that everyone is aligned on realistic expectations for the role in the beginning to make the process valuable and efficient for both the candidates and your team.
4. Define the Interview Process
Once you have clear expectations for a realistic marketing manager candidate (notice I did not say ideal), consider what candidates can do during the interview process to demonstrate their ability to do the job.
While interviews help to shed light on how candidates will interact and perform in the role, having a position-based assessment in the interview process can give you further insight into whether a candidate can do the job. At Hanapin, we create a position-based assessment for every position that we hire. Typically, the position-based assessments are a regular part of their role and low barrier to entry. Some examples of past position based assessments include a strategy presentation, basic Quality Score analysis, or a reverse job shadow. Depending on how technical your marketing manager role is, this is the step where truly qualified candidates can shine.
The assessment also serves as a realistic job preview for the candidate of what they can expect to do as your new marketing manager. Realistic job previews can serve as an integral part of the interview process so a candidate can start to get to know you better and understand whether your marketing manager position is a good fit for them.
Not only should you understand how candidates can demonstrate their ability to do the job during the interview process, but you should also define who should be involved in the interview process. Of course, your hiring manager should be involved, but it is often beneficial to involve other team members if you can do so.
If you are involving multiple team members, you do need to ensure that they are trained to interview. At a basic level, you want to protect yourself legally. No one on your interview team should ask questions about age, race, ethnicity, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, disability, marital/family status, or pregnancy. It is easy to avoid those illegal questions when your interview team is focused on the role requirements for the position.
Beyond the basics of legal compliance, your hiring team should understand what good interview questions and answers look like, as well as have an awareness of where they should focus their questions. My recommendation for anyone new to interviewing is to think about current issues or problems you are facing in your role or department and frame questions around those situations. This too helps to provide a realistic preview for the candidates during the interview process.
5. Write a Realistic Job Description
Now that you have the true requirements for the position and a good understanding of how your new marketing manager fits into your company, it is time to write the position description! While I know that the initial four steps mentioned seem like a lengthy process (you needed a marketing manager, yesterday, right?), I guarantee that if you put in the time up front to do your research and clarify expectations, this will save you and your team time down the road.
At Hanapin, we view interviewing as a two-way street. This means we hope to provide as much information to the candidate about Hanapin, so the candidate can get to know us as we are getting to know he or she even better. This transparency starts with a realistic job description.
Creating the job description should be easy given that you already have all the requirements for the position from your hiring requisition form. When you are writing the job description, think about the frequently asked questions that come up when you are interviewing for any role at your company and include them in the position description:
- What are the requirements for this position?
- What will I be doing on a day-to-day basis?
- How will success be measure for this position?
Do not forget to make your job description legally compliant by including the following items:
- Position title
- Supervisor and department
- Employee classification
- Equal Employment Opportunity statement
- Required physical duties
6. Be Transparent
Whether you realize it or not, there is a lot of information about your company that you cannot control. Hopefully this is not something that worries you, but rather it can help you to understand what your presence is beyond the information you control. Do a quick search on Glassdoor, take note of the questions candidates ask you, and understand their perception of your company.
So that candidates can evaluate if your company is a good fit for you, you should be honest about the status of your company. Not every candidate – top performer or not – is a great fit for your company. Be okay with that. Tell them what it is really like to work at your company and let them decide. Often, they will figure out what it is really like to work at your company sooner or later. As a recruiter or hiring manager, do your part in helping candidates figure that out.
7. Understand Your Pool of Candidates
While it may be easy to find someone who you think is a great fit and bring them in immediately, you should understand your entire pool of candidates before making an offer. The marketing industry changes rapidly and you should understand the impact of this position and how your new marketing manager can help your team grow.
Going back to tip #1, you should consider if the candidates you are interviewing have the depth of experience in the marketing area that matters most to your business. Pay attention to the subtle responses from candidates during interviews. Where do they focus their answers? What do they get excited about during the interview? If it’s not an area of marketing that is important to your company, that will likely be an uphill battle about setting and resetting expectations.
Every new position is an opportunity to reset and understand the current pool of candidates. I recommend an initial screening over the phone or video to understand the trends in applicants. Be patient during this initial screening process so you can bring in a diverse of candidates to your team for in-person interviews. Even an initial 30-minute interview to sync up with the candidate can be extremely beneficial for you and the candidate to understand the role. That initial call could lead to further interviews or you could mutually discover that the position is not a good fit. Transparency during this initial part is key!
Once you understand the pool of candidates, bring in a diverse group to interview in-person with your hiring team. Think about the candidates that could add value to your team with different marketing or industry experience. This allows your hiring team to see what is available and choose the best fit for your team’s needs.
8. Listen Well
As the primary filter for any candidates that interview with us in-person, I push myself to listen well throughout the interview process. It is important to prepare for your interviews with candidates and listen to what the candidates are saying to see if your expectations for the role align with the candidate’s perception of the role. If you are finding a lot of friction with the candidate’s perception, review your position description with your hiring team to see if there is something you are missing.
Not only should you listen to the candidates you are interviewing, but when you bring in candidates for in-person interviews, you should also listen to your team. At Hanapin, anytime we bring a candidate in for in-person interviews, we have a live debrief to discuss feedback from everyone who interviewed the candidate. During debrief, the interview team discusses their rubric scores, as well as any additional feedback from their conversation with the candidate. It’s extremely important to keep everyone aligned during this process and refer to the hiring requisition form if expectations are not aligned. If you interview a few candidates that are not a good fit, do not be afraid to pivot and restart this entire process from the beginning to get everyone on the same page.
9. Extend a Prompt Offer
If you interview at Hanapin, it is a relatively long process. As mentioned, we view interviewing as a two-way street, so we have a comprehensive interview process that typically includes an initial phone screen and position based assessment prior to in-person interviews. Once we have interviewed candidates in-person, I make it my goal to follow-up with those candidates as promptly as possible. They have invested time and energy into our process, so I want to make sure to extend a prompt offer or let them go so they can continue their career search as needed.
Whether you are extending an offer or not, you should follow-up with all candidates to close out the process with them. Everyone knows that searching for jobs is a tough and often draining process. I encourage you to treat your candidates as if they are now a part of your talent pipeline. Even if they are not a fit for your current opening, they could be an even better fit for a future role!
10. Integrate Your New Marketing Manager
If you did not notice, we take hiring seriously at Hanapin. Like hiring, we take onboarding new hires seriously too. Onboarding should not just be about making sure your new marketing manager has a place to sit, it should be about integration with their new team. Before your new marketing manager starts, consider the following questions:
- How you can help this team member bond with their team quickly?
- How can you share pertinent information with them about benefits, company history, company vision, and performance metrics?
- Do they know how they can be successful in this role from Day 1?
At Hanapin, we lay out 90-day goals and expectations for every new hire. For your new marketing manager, the first 90-days are a crucial time to ensure integration with the team and successful ownership of their metrics. Every new hire wants to come in and contribute to your company quickly. The only way for your new marketing manager to do that successfully is to fully understand the expectations for the role.
Hopefully throughout this process you have found a great candidate to fill your marketing manager role! While it may seem like your role is done once you’ve filled the position, you should take some time to reflect on the process. Consider whether you noticed things during the interview process playing out the way you expected or differently than you expected. You will want this information if you are tasked with hiring a new or additional marketing managers in the future!