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How to Attract, Hire, and Grow a Rockstar Marketing Team

The best way to put together a top-notch marketing team? Search out marketing rockstars, convince them to work for you, and most importantly, keep them happy and growing.

Making this all work can be a bit of a challenge, so we asked some of the industry’s top marketing recruitment experts how to they accomplish this trifecta to build amazing teams. Want to develop your own top-notch marketing team? Read on!

Attract

Use Social Media to Engage New Talent
Chloe Rada, senior marketing manager of talent acquisition at Sodexo, says the company began incorporating social media in 2007 as a way to build relationships with candidates. “To this day, this is still one of the key business objectives as we continue expanding our social presence and build our talent communities,” Rada says.

“[Using] social [media] has allowed us to connect with and pipeline talent early on,” Rada says. “Not only does social [media] open up the lines of communication for candidates – it helps them determine if we are a good fit for them.”

Find Marketers whose Personalities Match your Company Culture
Curtis Rogers, president and CEO of CKR Interactive, underscores the importance of being extremely diligent and critical during the hiring processes. Be sure to take enough time to find ideal candidates.

“The key is making sure that their personalities and skills fit into the company culture,” he says. “Without this, you will have a pattern of turnover.”

Rogers also says to make sure that the experience necessary for the job closely matches the candidates’ experience. “The bottom line: Take the time to hire correctly, find the right personality to fit the culture, and make sure that the individual has the correct skill set.”

Hire

Seek Out Multi-Talented Marketers
David Honig, a recruiter at MarketSearch Recruiting, recommends finding the Jacks and Jills of all trades for your marketing team. “Integrated marketing managers must be multi-channel experts, navigating online, offline, social, organic, and many other innovative channels to do their jobs day to day, let alone be a rockstar.”

Seek out candidates who are “competitive, passionate and… at the forefront of an energized marketing landscape that’s built around planning by the numbers and intelligence,” Honig advises.

Marketers must be dynamic communicators who believe in the power of marketing automation and business process innovation, and are successful at developing data-driven marketing campaigns, Honig says. And, he adds, they must be experts in building awareness, along with acquiring the right customers through progressive tools and campaign strategies.

Look at the Numbers - Results!
Ben Eubanks, the founder of upstartHR, believes that marketers are easier to hire than many other professions. But when you want to hire someone for your marketing team, he advises, talk to candidates about their results in “real, hard numbers.”

“Don’t let them get away with ‘I improved sales by doing XYZ,’” Eubanks says. “Ask them exactly how much they improved sales, and what the return on investment was for the ‘XYZ’ activity.

“Maybe they improved sales numbers, but didn’t stop to think that they doubled expenses on each of those sales, resulting in a net loss.”

Josh Woody, who founded eMarketingSilo, agrees. He says a marketing recruit can get his attention quickly with a results-oriented resume or LinkedIn profile.

“In a field where almost everything is trackable and measurable, there is no excuse to lead with a boring task-oriented summary of yourself, or a laundry list of acronyms and past clients,” Woody says. “Dazzle me with numbers and data, but then explain to me how they related to your defined business goals."

Watch Out for a Marketer with “Passion”
Todd Raphael, editor in chief of recruiting at ERE.net, says you should be wary of a marketer who is “passionate.” “That word I see thrown into job listings all over the place is a loaded one,” Raphael says. “Often, hiring for ‘passion’ means a company ends up hiring the person who’s bubbly and loud and talks a lot about themselves. I’m not so sure that correlates into doing the best marketing job.”

“A lot of people who are supposedly ‘passionate’ aren’t any more passionate than anyone else – they’re just better at selling themselves,” he says.

Raphael says there’s a difference between selling oneself and marketing a product. “You can be understated, but great at homing in on what’s good about a product,” he says. “Instead of hiring for personality, how about asking people for a suggestion for marketing their product – a real-life scenario – and seeing if they have good ideas?”

Grow

Cultivate Your Team Members and Their Strengths.
Kris Dunn, chief human resource officer for Fistful of Talent, believes it’s not enough to hire a candidate and tell them what’s best for them. You must help candidates work on things that not only interest them, but also on things that will make them more marketable as time goes by.

“Managers who are truly agents for their employees’ careers have a way of measuring performance goals by getting employees to do cool things toward that goal – [things] that they can market internally and externally to the broader world,” Dunn says.

The best managers are the best because they serve as career agents for their employees, Dunn believes. “They’re not authoritarian, as in ‘Do this because I told you so,’” she says. “They view and communicate everything they do through the lens of the employee.”

Give Your Rockstars a Challenge
Brian Johnston, the founder of Johnston Search, believes that a lot of the responsibility for attracting top talent lies with a company’s leadership, who must fully support marketing as a critical component.

“You need to convey what the person will do and ultimately become,” Johnston says. “After all, why would they leave a current job for yours?

“Top people need to understand what the growth opportunity is and what are the significant problems that need to be solved. Top people love challenges.”

To retain the best marketers, companies must keep employees motivated, solve challenges, work with people they respect, and learn new things, Johnston says. “Believe it or not, top marketers are not as motivated by money as you think,” he says. “They are motivated by fair market value, but mostly want to work with good people and executives, and be challenged daily, weekly, and quarterly.”

Succeed!

It takes a great deal of time, patience, and creativity to attract, hire, and grow the right team of marketers. However, if you follow the lead of these industry experts, it will be an investment well made and you will have a group of rockstars who not only help market a product, but who will eagerly dig in together to make the company a success.