Finding candidates to fit the niche marketing roles that require an expertise in inbound marketing can be very challenging. Traditional marketing and advertising techniques are taught around the globe in colleges and universities, but unfortunately, inbound marketing is still not a discipline that graduates know when they enter the professional workforce. After graduation, individuals are typically not ready and able to directly jump into inbound marketing roles that require extra training to get fully on-board and learn how it integrates into an overall marketing strategy. The scarcity of digital marketing training, and more specifically, inbound marketing training, can make it all the more difficult to find that perfect inbound marketer for your team. We see this issue over and over again while working with organizations that want to practice inbound marketing, but either don’t have the talent on their team to support the initiative, and / or don’t have the budget or desire to work with an external inbound marketing agency.
There are four questions to ask when you are crafting your inbound marketing job description and interviewing candidates for your job. These questions will help you find the right talent to ensure the candidates have the skills, or at least the motivation to quickly learn the required skills. Remember, just because someone has a marketing or communications background doesn't mean they can adequately perform in an inbound marketing role. Be sure to ask the tough questions before making an offer for your next inbound marketing hire.
4 Must-Ask Questions When Hiring an Inbound Marketing Professional:
- Do they have an inbound marketing certification? HubSpot has created a free inbound marketing certification that is available to individuals around the globe to learn the concept of inbound marketing completely online. While this is a certification taught by HubSpot, the candidate does not need to have an active HubSpot account to access it. This certification immerses individuals in all things inbound marketing. It provides training, resources and a global community of other likeminded inbound marketers. If you’re hiring an inbound marketing professional and they don’t have this certification, I would definitely consider other candidates. Given that the cost is free, and over 60,000 people are certified around the globe, you should make this a top priority in your hiring requirements.
- Can they concisely describe the inbound methodology? The inbound methodology, or inbound marketing pillars, should be memorized by every inbound marketer (even if they are just trying to break into the inbound marketing space). The inbound methodology is the holistic view of how you can leverage all your digital assets to get found online, convert traffic to leads, convert those leads to customers, and ultimately nurture your customers to be promoters of your brand. Any inbound marketer should understand that strategy and each and every fundamental tactic under these pillars of inbound marketing.
- Have they implemented an integrated online marketing campaign? Always ask for examples, and samples of prior work. This will help you evaluate how your inbound marketing candidates have integrated their online marketing campaigns in the past. For example, did they develop an eBook at a prior company and build a landing page, form, email, automation campaign, social strategy, and web conversion strategy behind it? These are critical pieces to every part of an integrated online marketing campaign. It’s essential to have them articulate exactly HOW they integrated all these aspects into a holistic campaign. If they don’t have experience with that, they may not fully understand the scope of inbound marketing, and you may lose valuable time if you’re looking to start ramping up your inbound marketing initiatives quickly and efficiently.
- What experience do they have with marketing automation platforms? Depending on the automation tool you are using, your future inbound marketer on your team should ideally have experience with that tool, or should be so well-versed in digital marketing that they can learn a new marketing automation tool quickly. If they just say they have “heard of the tool” or “know what it does”, I would dig deeper before moving forward in the hiring process. Marketing automation is not something that can be picked up in just a week or two. It’s important to keep that in mind when you’re interviewing inbound marketing candidates.
All too often, we have seen individuals go completely through the interview process to a job offer simply because they used the term “inbound marketing” on their resume or LinkedIn profile. However, very often, they don’t fully understand the complexity of inbound marketing and how to make it work for their new employer. This is a disservice to you as the employer, and to them as the candidate because they are potentially taking on a role where their success may be unrealistic. This mistake can set you back weeks, months, or sadly, even years, if the knowledge isn’t there in the beginning and willingness to effectively learn the concept and tactics behind inbound. You run the risk that everyone on the team is on completely different levels with their knowledge and skillset.
If you’re looking to hire an inbound marketer, you can go to inbound.org to help source candidates. This site only accepts applications from individuals who have clearly met the inbound marketing criteria you have outlined in your job description. It will help you target the right resumes to keep you from being overwhelmed with resumes. You can focus on only the most qualified individuals to move forward in the interview and hiring process.
Since we have seen this problem happen so many times when hiring inbound marketers, we have started an advisory service that can help you interview inbound marketing candidates to find the best individuals and give a third-party, technical and strategic, perspective. If you’re interested in learning more, you can schedule a 30-minute consultation to discuss the job and hiring opportunities for your next inbound marketer.