In a perfect world, figuring out how to hire a marketing manager would be easy.

It would be as easy as posting your opening on a few job boards, receiving piles of relevant applications from quality candidates, choosing the best candidate, and making an offer. 

(Of course, there is a shortcut.)

In reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but you can save yourself a lot of headaches by being well prepared.

This article will cover some of the considerations you should keep in mind as you begin the process to hire a marketing professional.

Difficulties You May Face When Hiring a Marketing Manager

Before posting a vacancy you need to have a clear concept of what kind of skills your marketing manager will need, what tasks you need them to perform, and what criteria you’ll use to evaluate their resumes and interview performance. 

Gary Nealon, the Founder of Nealon Solutions, identifies two reasons that make it difficult to find a perfect candidate for the marketing manager role.

One of them is that marketing requires a broad range of skills: creativity, knowledge of social media platforms, analytical tools, Google and Facebook ads, content marketing, and more.

There is hardly a person who can manage it all at once, so you need to prioritize, which is crucial for you and your company.   

Usually, candidates who can boast of having experience in all of the above fields will cost you a lot of money and most likely they are already hired, so you will need to offer something extraordinary in terms of the compensation and the projects they will work on.

Then, in addition to those skills, the person must have the ability to manage. Hiring for leadership qualities can be especially difficult because it involves a lot of soft skills that are harder to quantify.

Trust But Verify

In addition to quantifying candidates’ achievements, verifying them presents another challenge.

When a candidate makes a claim like “I’ve increased a Company X’s social media followers by Y,” you’ll need to do some digging to see how true that is and how involved they actually were.

Here’s how:

Interview questions

The obvious answer is to ask some questions.

For instance, ask:

  1. How they scaled the company’s social media following
  2. What strategies they implemented
  3. If they worked alone, or within a team

For any accomplishment that you feel shows the candidate is a good fit, be sure to ask for specific examples if the candidate doesn’t bring them up on their own.

Use pre-employment skills tests

Better yet, use a skills assessment test. One of the companies I work with provides assessments you can use at the top of the hiring funnel to be sure the candidates you’re reviewing really have the skills they say they do. That way you don’t waste time reading the resumes of unqualified candidates.

I save time on resume evaluation (and give myself more time to spend reviewing the resumes of candidates that are actually a good fit) by testing skills like

I also sometimes ask candidates to take a personality test like the Big 5 (OCEAN) test (although I don’t use this to make hiring decisions, but rather to get an idea of how to approach the interview).

You can see more of their tests in their Test Library.

Defining the Marketing Manager Role 

A further challenge in finding the right marketing manager for your company is developing a clear definition for the role.

Sometimes companies looking for a marketing manager do not have (or just don’t take) the time needed to identify exactly what they are looking for in a marketing hire.

They might not realize that they have missed something when the first applications arrive or even when they meet candidates at the interview.

Here’s how you can avoid that.

First of all, think about the marketing manager’s responsibilities at your company.

They should be based on your objectives and the problems this specialist will need to solve.

After you have identified the position’s responsibilities you can estimate whether you need a full-time marketing manager, a contract-based specialist, or maybe a marketing agency will suit your goals better.

Once you’ve determined what you need in a candidate and in what capacity you want to hire them, you can start looking for the right candidate using a job board like FarFarJob.

How to Choose a Marketing Manager with the Right Skills

When selecting from numerous candidates you will need to have in mind (or better yet, on a notepad) a list of skills essential for the marketing manager position at your company.

For example, Lisa Schneider, the chief digital officer at Merriam-Webster, emphasizes qualities like creativity and initiative. She considers the ability to work independently and produce fresh ideas is more important than following the guidelines and already existing patterns. 

Here are some other qualities you might look for:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Experience in marketing analysis
  • Selling skills
  • Ability to take the buyers’ perspective
  • Ability to hire, train, and lead talented people
  • Strong writing and storytelling skills
  • Planning, prioritization, and measurement
  • Technical and math skills 

Finding a Marketing Manager by Asking the Right Questions 

During the interview, you should ask questions not only about a candidate’s education or experience, but also their creative thinking.

Ask questions that will show whether a candidate is capable of thinking out of the box.

You might try asking how they would promote a specific business (maybe yours).

As mentioned above, be sure to ask for examples when necessary.

Marketing Manager Compensation

Before initiating the hiring process, you’ll need to think about how much you can pay the right candidate.

To figure out what would be a competitive salary, use resources like PayScale or Glassdoor. For example, according to, the median marketing manager salary in the United States is $104,940 as of May 18, 2020.

You’ll need to consider a candidate’s education, the cost of living in your area, any additional skills the candidate has, the number of years a candidate has spent in the profession, and a variety of other factors. 

If you allow remote work, you could potentially find the ideal candidate in an area with a lower cost of living.

Make an Offer

Once you’ve found the right choice, it’s time to make an offer! Put everything in writing and have HR go over it (if you have an HR department).

Don’t reject anyone on your short list until you’re sure your first choice is going to accept. That way, if they say no you can move on to your second choice.

A Shortcut to Hiring a Marketing Manager

If all that sounds like a lot of work, you could just end your search now and hire a marketing manager today.

You can take a shortcut by hiring lead generation expert and experienced marketing manager Roy Harmon.

When you’re ready, just fill out the form below!

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