It can be daunting to hire your first marketer as a business, whether you are an established company that has just recently started feeling the need for a marketing function or you are a start-up still finding your feet. A senior consultant that works with numerous organisations on their first marketing hire discussed the things that you should think about when looking to find your first great marketer, which are listed below.
Think About the Level of Seniority
If you haver a smaller budget, as most start-ups do, but still need a performer, you shouldn’t hesitate to hire at mid-management level first. You want people that will be happy rolling up their sleeves and not simply used to managing massive teams that do things for them.
Consider the Size of the Company
It is a similar point, but if they come from a matrix or corporate structure, candidates will not be as used to the autonomy and responsibility associated with a start-up role. If they have previously worked with massive budgets and massive teams, it will take them longer to a start-up set up.
You Won’t Have It All
Start-ups often want a full mix, multi-channel marketer that’s great at everything related to PPC/SEO, who’s also a copywriter, events manager with a sales edge, and so on. The reality is that it is quite rare, if not impossible, to find someone that is great at all these things.
Even if the person manages the full mix in their previous role and is able to tick those boxes, you should still consider outsourcing some of the things so that the person maintains oversight while still being allowed to excel at the things they are great at managing in-house.
Juggling too many plates and failing to draw on their natural strengths is the fastest way to exhaust a good marketer. Not too many people have a creative brain and data brain in equal measure.
Where Do You See Your Team Growing?
You need to think about the future when you hire your first marketer. If you believe that you might require an events or content specialist down the road, since it is a major focus for your brand, you need to consider ensuring that your generalist is glad to delegate in that area.
If your generalist is very passionate about content, be it aromatherapy distance learning or technology manufacture, it will be tricky to define the exact point where their role ends and that of a content specialist begins, should you decide to hire one down the road.
Do You Have a Budget?
Marketers are sometimes used to working with small budget and have no problem doing the same in a start-up. However, it is important to let them know upfront what they will be dealing with. The budget will let them decide what channels to focus on since this may completely change the kind of hire you make.
Candidates that are used to managing massive budgets for paid campaigns cannot use that skill, in the same way, a business without a budget for such things. It is also a question asked by most marketers at the interview, so it is worth having a rough idea before the interview process starts to manage expectations.
Do You Need Multiple Marketers?
You might have areas you plan to focus on in the immediate future as previously mentioned. If you have a heavy events schedule, but still want a comprehensive marketing events strategy going, do you perhaps require both a Head of Marketing and a Junior Events Executive?
The Growth Potential
The first marketing hire might be joining simply because they see a massive potential in their career as well as a path to becoming a director or shareholder in the business as it grows. Keep in mind that it can be tricky to bring somebody in “above” somebody that’s used to having autonomy. Ensure that the first hire has the potential to be that director in time in case they are not coming in at the first level.