I was prompted to write this after having a very similar conversation with a few people this week around hiring a digital marketing person to work in their business. Between each conversation there were some common issues:
Digital skills are important for all staff to have however before you start the process to hire a Digital Marketing manager you need to consider the following questions. Taking time to address them will help you with the hiring process.
What skills should you expect them to have? You have to be realistic and not want 4 people in 1 when it comes to digital. I see this so often in job ads where the person hiring basically wants a digital & social media strategist, web designer, graphic designer and search marketing manager all rolled into one. It’s the same as saying I need a medical specialist – what type? What are your current issues? You don’t expect an orthodontist to have the same knowledge and skills as a gynocologist do you? So why do you expect it when it comes to digital?
Define where you need the most help and hire someone with those particular skills > Eg: if you need mainly need help with social media management and content then hiring someone with strong web design skills and very poor social media or content skills isn’t going to work. List the top 5 core areas you want them to focus on and hire according to those skills
What are your goals for your digital channels? Where are you now and where do you want to get to (and in what time period). If you are starting out and only have the basics set up you want someone who has the knowledge and skills to take you to the next level (not a junior). Ideally you also want a person with strong planning & strategic skills who can provide a clear direction.
Do you want an employee or a contractor? Do you actually need a full time person or are you better to hire a specialist contractor or several with different expertise. Often this gives you a much wide breadth of experience and each one can focus on their area of speciality. For example: you shouldn’t hire an SEO specialist to manage your social media or create an overall digital strategy. By contracting you will also save in super, taxes, workers compensation etc (all those expensive additional staffing costs)
Test them out > if you are unsure if you want to commit to a full time staff member, a good place to start is by contracting them as you can both test each other out to make sure it is a good fit. And there will be no messy firing and 3 warning scenarios.
Do your research on current salary rates > ask around and look online to see current rates to give you a guideline. Be mindful that with more experience, should come higher rates so don’t expect to hire a full-time person with 10 + years of experience for $40K. However, you might be able to contract them for that amount with less hours. Be realistic in your expectation
Get feedback from an existing digital expert – If you are unsure if someone has the skills reach out to a specialist you know and trust and ask them to sit in on the interview, or even just provide you with some relevant questions to ask them in the screening & interview phase
Look for credibility & experience > Unfortunately there are a lot of so called ‘digital marketers’ out there with little experience. Doing an online course on Udemy or doing some Facebook posts for your friends does not make you an expert or experienced enough to be charging people. I recently came across someone who was saying they are an expert despite only do some social media in their last year on top of there role as a recruiter. That does not qualify as being a specialist so ensure you look for credibility and track record. Do they have collaborations with credible companies? Are they active in sharing advice on social media? What companies and projects have they worked on?
Do the Google test > If you Google them, what comes up about them? Someone what has credibility and experience will most likely have a lot of content showing on Google. You have access to these resources so use them.
So, if you are considering hiring a digital manager the above tips can help you get started in the process. If you want specialist advice then be sure to start the digital conversation with me.