10 Questions You Should Ask
When Hiring A Digital Marketer

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Finding the right candidate is important, but it is challenging, especially difficult with digital talent. However, when you find the right ‘fit for your team’ it raises team morale, increases productivity, improves performance, and avoids a lot of costs when you hire the wrong person.

The Recruiting Trends Report suggests that talent acquisition specialists spend more than 30% of their workweek sourcing candidates for one position. This equates to a lot of hours finding potential candidates before other team member’s time is taken for the interview process. Then, if the hire is wrong, you spend a lot of time on an onboarding process for someone that isn’t effective. Additionally, the Harvard Business Review states that as much as 80% of employee turnover stems from bad hiring decisions.

To help you reduce the risks associated with bad hires, here are 10 questions you should ask when hiring a digital marketer:

01

How do you measure success in digital marketing?

This is an important question straight out the gate that incites conversation focused around the success or goal of a digital marketing strategy. While there are many ways to define success within digital marketing, it’s important that the candidate uses appropriate terminology for the industry, such as CPE or CPC.

Being able to discuss the objectives, metrics and benchmarks that must be exceeded, will help define the way success can be measured. If a candidate does not speak about measuring the digital marketing goals or ROI, this may raise a red flag.

02

How do you keep up with the rapid change in digital marketing?

With an industry that is constantly evolving, you’ll want to hear what the candidate says about remaining relevant. A growth mindset is key to stay relevant and remain up to date with the latest trends, digital marketing platforms and other innovative marketing tools.

This question will allow you to assess the willingness of the interviewee to stay knowledgeable within the industry.

03

What is your experience with managing digital or social advertising methods? Which channels?

A digital marketer in today’s world should be able to manage and run paid social ads through various platforms. However, some specialize in certain platforms and thus you can somewhat identify where their skills lie, within digital advertising. Social advertising is such an integral part of marketing that understanding this marketing channel is a must.

For example, The Social Media Marketing Industry Report states that Facebook ads are used by approximately 72% of marketers, which means digital marketers should at least have an idea of the Facebook ads manager platform.

Hiring-a-Digital-Marketer

04

What makes a great content piece?

Did you know that 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing? This is because content is a crucial way to add value by educating or entertaining your target audience on a specific topic. Marketers who understand content marketing know that their efforts are relevant and can contribute content to achieve great results. This question opens up the discussion as to what makes a great content piece and why, from the perspective of the candidate.

05

Which digital marketing channel is your strength?

When hiring a high-level digital marketer, it’s important to understand which marketing channels they consider themselves skilled within. While marketing offers a wide range of different channels, marketers are usually T-shaped which means they may have worked with many digital channels (The horizontal section of the T) but their strengths and experience lie in specific channels (The vertical section of the T indicating deeper knowledge). Whether it’s SEO or Data Analytics, it’s important to have a wide breadth of marketing knowledge but a specialization within at least 1-2 marketing channels.

06

What successful campaigns have you run? And why were they successful?

This is an important question to hear from the candidate whether they have run successful campaigns; what learnings they have gained from running a marketing campaign, and the measured outcomes thereof. You may want to see if they ran a campaign by themselves or within a team.

This allows you to gain an understanding of their skills in running campaigns, being organised and working as a team player or team leader. Additionally, you’ll want to know why a campaign was successful and how it was measured in line with the strategy and objectives.

07

What digital marketing areas do you feel you can improve on?

This question allows the candidates to be transparent and show the weakness within their marketing knowledge. While it may not technically be a weakness there is always something to improve upon.

Listen and ask further questions as to what they feel they can improve upon, and how they see themselves improving on a specific skill (or skills). This is also about taking responsibility or ownership as to what one needs to work on.

08

How would you go about changing a client or CMOs mind if you feel as if they are wrong, or lack the knowledge in a certain area?

While most CMOs like to believe they are dynamic and agile, it is impossible to know absolutely everything about marketing. CMOs may be opinionated and strong-minded, so this question allows the candidates the opportunity to explain how they may respectfully and professionally discuss a topic or area that demands change. 

A team needs to be aligned and communicate effectively. That is why you’ll want someone who is able to use design thinking methods, critically assess things, and communicate this effectively to whoever; be it CMOs, clients, or a team leader. Persuasion and influence with this communication is often necessary; coupled with the art of articulating ideas and opinions leads to a strong candidate.

Digital-Marketing-Logos

09

What platforms do you have experience with? And what type of experience?

What experience does the candidate have with various marketing platforms and tools? Soft skills are important but the hard skills of a digital marketer makes them a marketer by trade. Have they used social media platforms, Google Analytics? Adwords? Adobe Analytics? Hot Jar? CRMs?

How they select the platform is important too, in terms of how they chose it specifically, or if it was “just always used by the team.” The actual platforms matter as well, as it shows how up to date within the current industry they are. Just as the digital marketing industry evolves, so do the instruments and tools marketers use.

10

If you had a budget for one digital marketing tool only, how would you spend it, and why?

Managing a budget boils down to management skills, organising and listing priorities, strategic thinking and other important elements that should inherently belong to a digital marketer. While a lower level-marketing manager or junior hire may not have the exact answer, you can judge the thought process based on what they say. A higher-level candidate should be able to break down the budget fluidly as an exercise, and answer the follow up questions that the hiring professional may ask. The key is to see money well spent and ROI maximised.

 

Want to work out the cost of bad hires on your business?

Projected Cost of Bad Hires = 

(No. junior to mid hires) x (Average annual salary of junior to mid) x (Cost of a bad hire = 30%)

The US Department of Labour reports that the cost of a bad hire can accumulate to a staggering 30%. This equates to a significant monetary leakage throughout the ‘career’ of the bad hire. Ensure you eliminate projected costs of bad hires, and reduce your risk by asking the right questions. 

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