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175: How To Hire Marketers For Your Startup

In this episode, Steli and Hiten talk about the process of hiring marketing people. They are two things they look for in potential marketers and Steli and Hiten show you how to assess for both traits. They also share a few tips from the marketer’s side so that those looking for a job are not only prepared, but competitive.

Time Stamped Show Notes:


00:03 – Today’s show is about how to hire marketing people

00:59 – Some things are universal in terms of hiring people, like being a fit to the culture of the company

01:12 – There are also specific things to look for in certain types of people

01:27 – “What are some of the key things when you think about hiring marketing people that you are looking for?”


01:58 – Hiring individual contributors, people who are “doing the work”

02:03 – Hiring marketing managers


02:39 – Regardless of who the marketer is, they really need to understand marketing

02:57 – There are people who say marketing is bad

03:07 – Great marketing can help businesses thrive

03:14 – There are people who are in marketing that hate to be in marketing

03:34 – It is important to see if a marketer has a level of curiosity about how marketing works in the world

04:06 – Hire people who know their role and what they do with it

04:23 – In hiring juniors, it is okay if they may not have all the skills, but they should have an opinion regarding marketing

04:35 – A lot in marketing is opinion driven, at first, then it will progress to analysis and experimentation


04:43 – Creativity versus analysis

05:01 – “I want someone who is great at both”


05:18 – A lot of marketers are creative—it can come from within themselves, from brainstorming with others, or from understanding customers

05:35 – The best marketers are also hyper-analytical

06:10 – You can assess their creativity by asking “How do you generate ideas for marketing?”


06:20 – There is no right answer here

06:35 – Look at where their creativity comes from


06:55 – For the analytical side, just show them analytics


07:14 – Try to understand how they would measure in optimals


07:37 – If you are hiring a senior marketer, expect them to understand the data more thoroughly and in greater detail

07:44 – High level two things to watch for: creativity and ability to analyze data

08:33 – People will be surprised by how many people are in marketing, but do not like it

08:37 – There is also a case where a person has a lot of positive traits and experience, but is not interested in the product

09:46 – You need to be good at marketing and be able to show it

10:18 – Do I get a sense that this person understands how to market an idea?

10:45 – You can assess someone before they even come in by checking their social media or LinkedIn  

11:03 – In the pre-contact side, look at the assets they have online


11:18 – If you are a marketer, you better know how to market yourself all the time

11:25 – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram posts matter, as well as the email you use


11:44 – Lars Lofgren started as a marketing analyst and is now the head of growth at “I Will Teach You to be Rich”


11:56 – His resume shows all his accolades while at Kissmetrics

12:09 – He knows how to frame himself as a marketer and talk about his successes


12:38 – Ask them why they did certain things on their social media

12:48 – While Instagram is a personal thing, a lot of people think about a post before they put it up

13:22 – On the second stage assessment, the best thing to do is make them do an assignment


13:41 – One to two pages on what we should be doing about email marketing

13:59 – Or ask what they would do on their first 90 or 30 days once hired

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