Marketing requires a diverse set of skills, which can take a while to develop. The best marketers have both creativity and a mind for data, and it is unreasonable to expect a new hire to immediately shine in the industry without developing plenty of experience first.
However, sometimes a firm is able to source top talent with a rigorous hiring process. If you are looking for your next great marketer, here are some of the things you should be aiming to spot in candidates.
Experience over education
A marketing degree - or something similar - can be a good indicator of talent, but many professionals believe that it is rarely ever a sign of greatness by itself. The best hires almost always have good experience in the industry to rely on, and this is a much better indicator of their ability.
In fact, even negative experience can be a good sign. Justin Gray, CEO and chief marketing evangelist of LeadMD, told VentureBeat:
If the candidate has been through failure, it means they tried something big. It means they had the wherewithal to get some power, the curiosity to go somewhere with that power, the leadership to get people invested in the project, and the chutzpah to try something crazy.
This is one of the most important characteristics of a successful marketer today. The industry is always changing, so hiring someone incredibly talented is no use if their mentality doesn't evolve with the wider world. Hubspot agrees that adaptability is therefore a key sign of a great marketing hire.
Spotting the most adaptable candidate is not always simple, of course. This is mainly something to find out about in interviews, although you might be able to spot it on a CV. Maybe your candidate's previous role was an ever-evolving one, in which they had to take on a large number of different responsibilities over time, for example.
Dedication to learning
In addition to being adaptable, truly great marketers are voracious learners. They have a drive to absorb information beyond what is immediately necessary, which in turn gives them insight about areas of the industry that might not seem relevant to your company at first. This is how great campaigns evolve.
Joanna Lord, vice president of marketing at Porch, says you should invest in "students" to get the best hire. This doesn't mean those still in college, but instead it refers to people with a dedication to learning that will continue throughout their lives. These people will be valuable assets to your business.