Day One Strategy – Part 9

Welcome to the latest installment of the Day One Strategy series. This is a weekly blog series that will address how to start from scratch. Each week we’ll discuss a new topic and offers tips for the business that is taking their very first step. Last week’s topic was Signing a Marketing Agency.

Today’s Topic = Hiring a Marketer

The way you build your company matters. But there is no one-size-fits-all model. Some companies begin with a marketer as a key member of the founding team. But many do not. That’s who we want to focus on here, the companies that are out there looking to hire someone to manage their marketing.

Defining the Job

Before you start the process, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for. No two marketers have the same set of skills, so it’s important that you outline your goals for this position before you start looking or interviewing. Develop a job posting that is as specific as possible, including what tools you expect the person to know, how much experience they should have with different processes, what they will be held accountable for.

A well-crafted job ad should narrow the pool of potential candidates to those who can actually do the job. And it will be used by you, the hirer, later as a measuring stick for who fits the bill.

Conducting the Search

Use all of the tools and channels at your disposal. Online job boards, LinkedIn, employee referrals, and head hunters can all help you find the right person. If this is your first marketing hire, it will be important to find the right person. You don’t want to settle for the first decent person you find. Your goal should be to find as many qualified candidates as possible before you start narrowing them down during the interview process.

When candidates apply for the position, look for a clear demonstration of skills on their resume and in their application. Weed through the cookie-cutter cover letters and find the people that are truly passionate about this position. A good candidate can prove that to you in his or her application.


If your candidate pool is large, start with a brief phone interview to narrow it down. With some prepared questions, you will be able to find out who knows what they’re talking about and who is not telling the truth on their resume.

Bring the best people in to meet with you in person. Use the interview to get to know the person, remembering that it is important you can work with them day in and day out. Are they passionate about the business? Are they coachable? Can they demonstrate expertise in the areas you care about? How would they respond to real-life situations they are likely to encounter if hired?


When you narrow it down to your top two or three people and still can’t make a decision, it can be a good idea to test them. Offer them a real-life scenario and give them a chance to tell you how they would handle it. This gives you a sense of their work style and creativity, and can help the very best candidate shine.

Hiring and Managing

When you do find the right person and make them an offer, be sure to do two things right away. First, make sure everyone is on the same page as far as roles and responsibilities. This way the new hire knows exactly what is expected of them. Second, set a timeline for reviewing progress. By making it clear from the start what is expected and how you will judge performance, you give the relationship the best chance to succeed in the long run.

In the end, hiring the wrong marketer is a costly mistake, so you want to handle this process with care and find the person that is going to really help you grow your business.

Stay tuned next week for another installment. If you have a topic you would like to see covered in the Day One Strategy blog series, use the comments below or contact us today.