Posts Tagged ‘staff’

How to Hire a Marketing Person Part 2 – Interviews Begin

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Finding a great marketing person is difficult and a key responsibility for a hiring manager.    A previous post was on what to do before the interviews begin while this post will describe the process to hire a great marketing person, once the interviews begin.


Here is a typical timeline for hiring a new marketing person once top candidates have been selected:

  • Hold phone call interviews (1 week)
  • Select top candidates (up to 5) (1 day)
  • Set up face to face interviews (1 week)
  • Hold face to face interviews (1 week)
  • Make determination (1 day)
  • Make offer and send paperwork (3 days)
  • Possible new employee gives notice to previous company (2 weeks)
  • Start date of new employee and onboarding begins

Here is a suggested process to find a great marketing individual when interviews begin:

  1. Set up the phone interviews with the selected candidates.  This is done by the hiring manager who will rank the candidates against each other.    Suggest about 30 minutes for each phone interview.  But could last up to an hour so allocate an hour time slot.
  2. The interviewer should prepare a pitch about the position and the company that will start off the call.
  3. The interviewer should look up the candidate on LinkedIn.    Especially their connections to see if you know anyone in common.  Look at how complete their profile is.  A marketing person should know how to promote themselves and have a complete profile, that is written well.  Look at the groups that they are a member of.
  4. The interviewer will need to come up with a list of questions to ask each candidate (some will be the the same for all candidates while other questions will be specific to the candidate).  Here are a few items to consider when creating questions:
    • A great marketing person needs to be an excellent writer.  Ask them questions about their writing capability.
    • A great marketing person is organized.  One of your questions you ask them is to find out how they stay organized.
    • A great marketing person needs to be a good project manager.  Ask them questions on the projects they have managed and how they managed them.
  5. Hold the phone call interviews.  Take good notes on the candidates.  If it is obvious that the candidate is not a fit during the call, be considerate but cut the call short as soon as possible.
  6. Create the blank feedback form for the position to be filled out by the panelists.
  7. Create a written exercise for the candidates.  A great marketing person needs to be an excellent writer so create an exercise that job candidates must complete before the interview.  Keep it simple, maybe an email response to a situation or website content on a particular subject.  Look for the organization and grammar in the writing examples.
  8. If the position entails public speaking then determine a short presentation that the candidates can do during their interview.
  9. Select the face to face panel members who should include the hiring manager and peers in the same department, as well as others outside the department that would interface with this position.
  10. Select the candidates (up to 5) to continue on and set up the face to face interviews.  Send the written exercise to the candidates.  If speaking is part of the job, then have each candidate do a short presentation on something at the face to face interview. Notify them in advance on what is expected of them.  Notify the other candidates that were not selected and that they will no longer be considered for the position.
  11. Communicate to interview panel.  Send candidate’s resume, written exercise by candidate and blank feedback form in the interview meeting request.  Ask the panelists to be prepared with questions for the candidate.
  12. Check references of the candidates (either before interviews or right after interviews)
  13. Hold face to face interviews and have interviewers fill out feedback form.  During the interviews you are looking for expertise, energy, stamina, culture fit, personality and getting along with all members of the team (not just the hiring manager).  You probably want someone that has a specialty but you are looking for a marketing generalist as well.  And someone that can handle change and pressure.  Do a group session first with each candidate and then have them do individual sessions with each of the hiring panelists.
  14. Have a meeting with all the panelists and discuss the candidates.  This meeting should occur as soon as possible after the final interview.
  15. Make determination and send offer.  If two candidates are too close to make a definite decision then discuss other ways to decide (an interview with the President of the company, a personality test, additional reference checking, an additional written exercise, etc.).   Or if no good candidate, repeat cycle.  Notify the candidates not selected once an offer has been accepted.

Hiring is one of the most critical responsibilities of a manager.  It is not easy.  It takes time and energy.  And a bad hire is stressful for a manager and can be disastrous for an organization.  Be organized and do what is necessary to hire a great marketing person.  Also, if you haven’t done so already check out the post on what to do before the interviews begin.  Please let me know your thoughts on hiring.

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Successful Marketing Onboarding

August 29, 2016 2 comments


The onboarding of new Marketing employees has a significant impact on both employee retention and benefit to the organization, no matter if non-profit, B2B technology company or a law firm.  Many exiting employees cite the lack of an effective onboarding program as a contributing factor in their decision to quit.  New employees want to be trained well at their start so that they can be a valuable asset to their new organization as soon as possible.

You want your onboarding experience to be consistent for all new hires.  Start off your new working relationship with momentum.

Before the new employee starts, the hiring manager should have an onboarding plan specific for that individual in place.  I have found that a 10 week training is effective so a 10 week onboarding plan should exist.  Every position in the company should have a different onboarding plan.  If it is a new position or if a previous onboarding plan does not exist for an existing position, several members of the existing Marketing team should meet and come up with the items that should be on the onboarding plan for the new employee.  The plan should include meetings and training that the new employee should attend, who they should meet or talk to, and tasks for them accomplish.  The plan should be documented and in a public place so all can review the plan when necessary.  On the new employee’s 1st day the hiring manager should review the onboarding plan and the job description so that the new employee is confident in what they will be learning during the onboarding period.

The onboarding plan should be broken into 4 different areas:

  1. Company Related – This training is usually done be HR and is usually the 1st training that occurs.  This training could consist of the following:
    • Company values, mission, culture and branding
    • Enterprise-wide objectives and goals and how the new employee can contribute to these goals
    • Company offerings such as the products the company sells or the services it offers
    • Target market for the company and how the organization makes money
    • Company terminology and acronyms
    • Organization of the company and how decisions are made
    • Policies of the company such as travel / expense policies
    • Specific office items such as office alarm setting
    • Review of the tools that the company uses (expense software, wiki,  status reports, etc.)
  2. Marketing Related – This training is usually done by the hiring manager and includes the following:
    • Organization of the Marketing team and discuss more specifics on individual team members
    • Marketing team objectives and goals and how they relate to the organization’s goals
    • Review of how the Marketing Team operates including status reports and staff meetings
    • Review of all the marketing activities that the team produces so that the new employee understands what the team produces and the benefit to the company
    • Review the tools that the team uses (website content, social media, marketing automation, project management, etc.)
  3. Specific Position Related – This training is usually done with the person that is most knowledgeable on the position and includes the following:
    • Review the actual tasks that they will be doing.  This could be shadowing the person while they do it or reviewing the written process
  4. On Your Own Learning – This is done by the hiring manager and is a list of items that the new employee could review on their own when they won’t have a person available to them.  These could be any of the following:
    • Company collateral (brochures, case studies, data sheets, white papers, eBooks, etc.)
    • Company blog posts
    • Company website
    • Recorded webinars
    • Recorded company meetings
    • YouTube channel videos
    • Intranet
    • Buyer personas
    • Marketing plans
    • Company goals
    • Competitor review
    • Written procedures or how to documents

Make sure that a team lunch occurs that 1st week so that the new employee gets to know their teammates better.

Provide breaks in the training so that the new employee does not feel like they are drinking from a fire hose.  Don’t exhaust them.  Pace the training properly.

Also the hiring manager should make a list of people in the company and outside the company (partners, vendors, etc.) that the new employee should meet or contact.  Decide on the format for each of the contacts (group or 1on1, formal or informal, by them self or with another marketing person).  A list of questions should be created for each individual that will be contacted.  The new employee should take notes during these conversations so that they can be reviewed with hiring manager and shared with others on the team.

At the end of every week the hiring manager should review the onboarding plan with the new employee and make adjustments.  HR should survey the new employee and hiring manager periodically to see how the training is going.  Hiring manager should sit down with the new employee and come up with some longer range goals that should be included in the employee performance reviews.  Provide the new hire a chance to share comments on the training and to ask questions.  And in the one on one sessions a standard topic should be what additional training does the new employee need.  An important part of a manager’s job is making sure that the right training resources are available to a direct report.   Remember to have the new employee update the project/task management system with their completed tasks.

A good onboarding plan is beneficial to the new employee and the company.  After you have hired the right individual you want them to stay in the company.  You want them up to speed as quickly as possible.  Be a good manager and do your part.  Create a plan, review the plan regularly with the new employee and make any necessary adjustments.  You will be glad you did. If you follow what is in this post your onboarding process will instantly become more efficient, more effective and better at keeping your employees productive and happy with your organization.

Let me know your onboarding or training thoughts for new marketing employees.

Invest in Your Employees

July 15, 2016 Leave a comment


A lot of this post is obvious, but in this post I will discuss what employees want from their organization, what managers should do for their direct reports and what the organization can provide their front line employees.  This is the same no matter if the org is a law firm, B2B tech company or a non-profit.  Employees are the most important part of an organization. Invest in them.


What does an employee want:

  • To matter and they want the work that they do to matter
  • To establish their own identity
  • A manager who cares about them
  • The opportunity to do what they do best at work
  • To feel valued and valuable
  • To be managed.  Everyone deserves to be managed.
  • To be paid fairly so that money is not a reason to leave
  • To be communicated to about the goings on in the organization
  • To get clear direction.  Not an instant message on what do do.  Not a quick hallway discussion with a it would be nice mention.  Not an email with a whiteboard photo attached to it.  A great manager gives clear direction with reasons for the task.  Usually this is a written direction.

Here is what a good or great manager should do to their direct reports:

  • Treat them as people.  Not resources, objects, functions or machines.  A manager is a leader who should be genuine, which is the secret sauce to great leadership.  People have feelings and leaders need to remember this.
  • Mentor them as their success leads to organization success.
  • Strive to send them home safe, healthy and fulfilled.
  • Instead of using people for the manager’s success, a better principal to follow as a manager would be measure success by the way organization touches the lives of people – customers, employees and partners.
  • Trust them.  Managers need to have an optimistic view of them.
  • Encourage them to develop and express their talents.

Here are a few things that an organization can do to invest in its employees:

  1. Send them to a conference.  Allow them to talk to others outside of the normal day to day job.  Getting away from the office and listening/talking to others gives them ideas and allows them to be creative.  After the employee attends the conference have them present their conference knowledge back to the team.  Make sure that in the budget there is money to have employees (those over a year at the company) attend conferences.
  2. A nice thing done at a company I worked at was that in its weekly status reports (15Five was used) a question was added where someone could recognize other employees who did great work or helped someone out.  These comments were mentioned at company meetings and displayed on the monitors in the kitchen area.  Employees like to know that they were appreciated.
  3. Employees appreciate being given a service day a year so that they could give back to their community in a way of their choosing.
  4. Create a training program for managers.  But they only  need to attend training sessions that apply to them.  Some examples of sessions could be the following: Handling Remote Employees, Negotiation with Employees, Motivating Employees, and How to Do Performance Reviews.
  5. Hold a once a month company meeting that gives an update to employees on what is going on in the company.  Employees want to be communicated to about the organization they work for.
  6. Make sure that performance reviews are done on a regular basis.  Everyone deserves to be managed and given feedback.  It should be part of the culture of the company.
  7. Provide training on tools especially for new hires but make sure there is ongoing training as well.
  8. The company should have a community service program where the company encourages the donating of time and money to certain programs / non-profits.  I know that I have had a great time and much satisfaction when I do charity walks with my fellow employees.  And I appreciated when my company donated money to the non-profit and encouraged employee participation.

I am a big fan of Daniel Pink’s book, Drive.  Every manager should read it.  Not everyone is driven by money.  Some people (like me) are driven furthest and fastest in pursuit of what we love. A manager needs to find out how each of their direct reports is motivated.  Many lead themselves!  Do not treat every employee the same.  Get to know them and what motivates them.  I love teamwork and it is a big motivator for me.

Organizations should invest in employees not as a resource but as a human being.  And managers need to understand this as well.  I hope that my direct reports have felt that I have followed the above as their manager.  Yes, I know that the above is obvious.  But it is amazing how few organizations really invest in their employees.  Let me know what you think.


Have Organizations Forgotten How to Hire? Absolutely!

January 8, 2010 Leave a comment

With the economy the way it is, companies and nonprofit organizations have had to go short staffed. They let many good people go, including managers that knew how to hire and human resource personnel that understood how to recruit, respond to prospective employees and hire employees. Many times hiring processes are not documented and how to hire a new employee is located in someone’s head that is no longer there. If organizations don’t know how to replenish their staff or hire to tackle new projects they will slowly erode away. In my past job searches, I have dealt with a few companies that frustrated me so much, I have decided to never work for them, even if they did offer me a position. Just the common courtesy of responding to my resume submission would be nice. I’ve taken the time to submit, please take the time to say thanks for the submission. A job submission usually takes at least 30 minutes, so taking a minute or two with a thanks for submission email, preferably by a human, would be nice. I have a long memory and companies that did a poor job of handling my resume I will always remember. And I tell my friends not to bother interviewing at these organizations as well. I’m not surprised when I hear of prospective employees and recruiters putting certain organizations on an informal blacklist. They deserve it. If a company treats prospective employees poorly, I wonder how they treat their customers. My guess if very similarly.



Organizations need to have a hiring process in place and documented. Here are some examples of questions that need to be answered by an organization in its hiring process:

* Who writes the job description and who approves it?
* Who determines the compensation for the position?
* How and where do we post job openings? (Monster, Linkedin, etc.)
* How do we respond to people that submit resumes to us?
* Who will review candidates?
* How will references be checked?
* Will we work with a recruiter or staffing company, and if so, what kind of fee would we pay?

Organizations always need to be in the hiring frame of mind. Make sure your organization has the following:

* Career section to your website.
* Templates for documents that you send to prospective employees.
* Document explaining the organization’s benefits.
* Overview sheet on your organization on who you are, which could be the company marketing brochure.
* Employee referral program.

You need to sell the organization to a prospective employee just as much as they are selling to you to get hired. If you look disorganized or if you don’t respond properly to a prospective employee you will lose them. If you find someone that you want, don’t make them wait. Respond to their emails or phone calls. Be honest with them. Let me know that there will be a meeting to discuss the position the next day when the boss is back in town.

An organization who emphasizes hiring and who is always looking for key talent has an advantage over those that don’t. And in this competitive times, you need an advantage over your competitors. Maybe your hiring process and your employees are your advantage. An organization needs a culture that emphasizes hiring excellent people. Upper management should mention to the current staff that they should be always be on the look out for good and great talent that would fit into the organization. Explain to your employees who they should pass this person’s information to.

Top talent it out there. Much like an organization needs to be consistent with social media, an organization needs to be consistently attracting excellent talent. Organizations that know how to hire also usually know how to keep their existing employees happy since they are well run.
Thanks for allowing me to rant and let’s remember how to hire again.