My Favorite Question to Ask When Hiring Marketing Professionals

Throughout my career I have hired a number of people into marketing roles, and have also aided other companies and organizations in finding, interviewing, hiring and onboarding marketing staff. It can be challenging to effectively assess job candidates for any role—when hiring for creative roles it can be even more challenging. How can you determine whether applicants have both the aptitude and the innovative chops to be a valued member of your team?

Creativity With a Purpose

I value creativity. But, I especially value “creativity with a purpose.” I don’t want to hire people who just have random “great ideas.” I want those great ideas to be aligned with my, or my clients’, business goals, mission, vision and values.
I don’t want to hire people who simply take orders. I want to hire people who can think—and think strategically—about the marketing challenges they will be faced with.

My Favorite Question When Hiring for Creative Positions

My favorite question to ask when hiring for these types of positions is a hypothetical question:
“If an internal customer, or client, came to you with a request to run a Facebook campaign (or create a video, or launch a new social media channel, or any type of marketing tactic), how would you respond and what specific steps would you take to help them out?”
Most candidates do not give me the response I’m looking for. Most will start talking about the tactical steps they would take to produce whatever deliverable I’ve provided them with.

The Response I’m Looking For

What I’m looking for is a response that takes strategy into account—instead of just telling me how they would go about creating the requested deliverable, I want them to step back to question the colleague/client about their goals/objectives, target audience, competition, etc. Only after they have those key pieces of information can they determine whether or not the specific tactic requested would be the right one to meet the client’s needs.
In my career, I’ve found that marketers who think strategically do the best job and contribute the most value to any organization. It is tough, though, to identify those people. Sure candidates often bring examples of great collateral and samples with them to an interview—or point to online examples of their aesthetically pleasing and “creative” work. But being creative isn’t all that’s required of those in creative positions.
They must be creative with a purpose. Are you?

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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21st Century Secrets to Effective PR

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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Strategic Planning

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

Best Practices in Influencer Marketing

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