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How to Hire Marketers: 6 "Outside the Box" Tactics

Recruitment Marketing featured

It's not just engineering roles that are hard to fill, nowadays hiring top marketers can be a tough nut to crack for organizations of all shapes and sizes.

It's hard to test competence and increasingly tough to even find the best candidates (Benji Hyam digs into exactly why it's so hard to hire marketers in this great piece).

With that in mind, we've pooled together a few of the ways that we find top marketers to join our team at Beamery.

We've left out obvious places like LinkedIn on purpose - this is where everyone else is looking. To find the best candidates it pays to think outside the box instead.
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What Makes an Effective Marketer?

There is no dictionary definition of an effective marketer, it depends entirely on your business. Before you start your search, it's important to define a measure of success.

What is your ideal candidate persona - what blend of skills, experience and characteristics are you really looking for? For marketing, it could be content crafting, social media experience, Demand Gen, PPC expertise and more.

Sit down with your team to define the exact roles and responsibilities of your new hire, invest time in writing a clear job description and make sure everyone is keenly aware of what "good" looks like.

How to hire marketers

When you have a new role open, the first impulse is to post it far and wide. The more people that see your role the better right?

If you're concerned about volume of applications then sure, but if you want quality then you need to get creative. Here are 6 places to find marketing candidates that no one else is looking.

i) Existing talent pool

Whether you've been actively curating it or not, every company has some kind of talent pool.

For anyone currently scratching their head, a talent pool is a list of candidates that are not currently being considered for a role (i.e. not applicants).

These could include candidates that you've found on LinkedIn, leads from Careers Fairs or other events, even people that applied in the past and were rejected.

Tapping into this pool doesn't always lead to hires, but it should always be your first step. These candidates usually have some kind of relationship with your company, are more likely to reply to outreach and can be brought into the building faster (there's no time spent "searching" for candidates, the data is already on file.)

ii) Communities

There are a range of different online "watering holes" that marketers frequent to network and share ideas. Tapping into these communities can be a great source of new marketing candidates.

There are a couple of ways you can use these communities for recruiting:

  • Look for people that are socially active in these communities, and regularly ask questions or share content.
  • Look through the comments section on popular posts to find profiles of candidates that could be a good fit.

Hiring from communities

The two biggest marketing communities are: - a network of more than 200,000 marketers and growth professionals - a community of over 170,000 online marketers

While these communities often have a "jobs" section where you can pay to promote roles, be mindful that these communities are designed for knowledge sharing and networking. If you find people that you want to contact, try to find them on LinkedIn (this should be listed in their profile) or contact them via email.
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iii) Newsletters

The ability to write compelling content or copy is a crucial trait in many of the marketing roles you need to fill. (Most of us have heard the tired adage "Content is King" at least a few times right?)

Most companies have jumped firmly on the content bandwagon, in fact 2 million blog posts are written every day! This means that not only is it hard to make your content stand out, but it's hard to find great content marketers. There's so much noise that pinpointing the best writers is hard.

Fortunately, there are a multitude of different newsletters that make it their business to surface great marketing content for their subscribers. These offer a great recruiting opportunity.

Where else can you find a succinct list of hotshot content writers and examples of their work?

Hiring from newsletters

Not only can you easily pin down the writers that appear regularly in these newsletters, but you have plenty of evidence to decide whether they're a fit for your marketing department, AND ammunition for your outreach emails - it's easy to reference recent articles that someone has written to make messages more personal and boost responses.

There are plenty of lists breaking down good marketing newsletters to follow (here's an example), but these are two of our favourites:

Raise the Bar - content curated by Mattermark on marketing, growth and sales

SaaS Weekly - SaaS content curated by Hiten Shah

iv) Slack groups

Slack is the hottest internal messaging and collaboration tool on the market. It’s pretty much a requirement at every startup due to it’s ease of use and integrations.

It’s actually become so popular that it isn’t just used by companies, many groups of friends or collections of people with similar interests now use Slack to communicate.

This means that marketers often belong to a number of different teams or ‘channels’. Some of these are open to the public, while some are private and require an invitation.

Joining these groups is a great way to find fresh talent.

To help you find relevant communities, SlackList is a good resource to get you started (it provides a handpicked selection of many of the most popular groups), but a little research should help you find a range of marketing communities.

We recommend starting with:

Online Geniuses

Conversion World


Product Marketers

Getting started with Slack for recruiting

It’s best to take a backseat role initially. Monitor the conversation to get your bearings.

If you have a some marketing chops feel free to get involved in the conversation, but remember your main aim is to find great candidates.

The best way to do this is to refer to the channel’s team directory (upper right hand side).

Slack for recruitment

Here you can usually find every user’s photo, title, current company and email address – pretty much every data point you would want.

Any interactions you have on Slack should be purely conversational. The marketers here are interested in private knowledge sharing and discussion, not recruiting messages. If you want to reach out to someone about a specific role, try to take the conversation offline.

v) Quora

If you haven’t checked out Quora, now is the time to get properly acquainted with it.

Quora is a question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by a community of users.

The ‘questions’ asked are on all manner of different topics, from career success to hiring assassins (see below), and it’s the only place (at least that I’ve seen) that you can expect a world expert to answer you.

How to hire a hitman

Content on Quora is broken up into a huge range of different topics, so if you’re interested in hiring marketers make sure you ‘follow’ a range of different topics related to online marketing.

How to use Quora for recruiting

We recommend starting off your search with pretty broad categories like ‘Digital Marketing'. This will return a lot of results, and therefore a lot of potential candidates, so if you’re hiring for a very particular skillset (e.g. 'Content Marketing') you should start with a narrower search.

Many of the people answering questions here will be the real ‘rockstars’ of their field. Often their bio will tell you exactly where they work, but even if it doesn’t their name should be enough to kickstart your search.

finding candidates on quora

Just make sure you don’t use Quora to reach out to these candidates directly. The site is only for ‘value-adding’ content, and you’ll come across as spammy.

Contact them via email or LinkedIn. If you want help composing a great outreach message, take a look at this pretty extensive guide.

What you can do though is reference material they have contributed to Quora to show candidates that you've done some research. It’s unlikely that other recruiters have put in the time that you have and it’s therefore a great way to stand out.

For additional information on getting started with Quora, take a look at this resource.

vi) Goodreads

Goodreads is an online community where users rate and discuss books with other readers. Sounds like it might be great for spotting the next great American Novel, but how can it help you when it comes to recruiting? Well, the beauty of Goodreads is that you can browse reviews of popular marketing books. This can be a goldmine.

Goodreads reviews - hiring marketers

Picking a popular book is important (you can find the most popular marketing books on Goodreads here). These are the ones with the most reviews, and therefore the most potential candidates! Once you choose a book, you can just scroll down the page to see the reviews.

By reading through reviews of marketing books, you can quickly build up an idea of expertise and fit. Reviews will illustrate the opinions, interests and personality of candidates, and give you every a range of data points that you can use to start a conversation.

It doesn’t just stop with the reviews though. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that Goodreads member profiles are a recruiting goldmine.

Hiring from goodreads profiles

This is partly because members often list their contact details, personal websites and social profiles to help them connect with other ‘Goodread-ers’. This makes it easy for you to reach out to them and share your opportunity. Even more valuable though is the fact that you’ll also get direct access to their Goodread friends’.

These are people who usually have similar interests (and capabilities), and make great additions to your leads list. You can repeat this trick to your heart’s content (or until you’ve found enough relevant candidates for your role).