How to hire the best people for digital marketing

A business’ most important resource is its people.

Hire the right ones, and your business will develop the kind of brand loyalty that results in consistent growth. Hire the wrongs ones, and you will fail to deliver the level of service your customers expect and end up with an HR nightmare.

So, how do you hire the right people for digital marketing?


Identify the perfect employee


Hire for culture fit and not for skill. Skill can be taught and acquired, but attitude cannot. Look for people who share a similar outlook toward your industry. Our reason for being is to grow agencies, so we look for people who are passionate about digital marketing and its ability to grow small businesses into serious competitors. Without that entrepreneurial instinct – one of our six cultural pillars – even the most skilled digital strategist is going to underperform.


Use inbound marketing to attract digital marketing prodigies


Let’s imagine that there are two bosses: Fix-it-now Frank and Think-ahead Thelma. They both head digital marketing agencies, but when it comes to recruitment, they do things very differently.

Fix-it-now Frank hires people only when he needs them. Let’s say he takes on a new client. All of a sudden his content team is pushed to the max, and he has to hire a new writer. He places ads in the classifieds and soon receives dozen of emails from prospective employees. He arranges interviews for the four candidates with the best resumes, but is impressed by only one. And even this one fails to inspire confidence. The guy can clearly write but he comes off as somewhat aloof. Frank hopes that it's only nerves, and, with no other real options, hires him. Two months later, Mr Aloof has failed to gel with the rest of the team and is underperforming, claiming that he doesn’t find the work stimulating. Now Frank has to fire him and find a replacement. Rinse, wash, and repeat.

The problem with Frank’s approach was that his ads were seen only by people who were actively seeking employment at the time. Some of them might have been great, but they were quickly snapped up by competitors. The majority, unfortunately, were unemployed for a reason. Think-ahead Thelma knows this, and she hires the right people in anticipation of a need for their skills. She applies the inbound methodology to her hiring practices to ensure that she fills the bottom of her recruitment funnel with only the most suitable candidates. Let’s take a closer look at how she does it.



Ads don’t attract. If you’re in inbound marketing, you already know this. Content attracts. But it needs to be the right content. When most companies start content marketing they write about themselves. That’s material that really belongs at the bottom of the funnel. They soon realise that no one wants to read about their company, so they start to write content that provides answers to the challenges their personas face. At this point, the once massive pool of potentials is reduced to a smaller group, and the company learns who these people are.


Your perfect employer - that person who is the best fit in terms of both culture and skill, is probably happily working for another digital marketing agency. If you sent her an email asking whether she wants to work for you, she would trash your message and add your email address to her ever growing junk email filter list. You need a long term nurture programme to warm her to the idea of working for you. You need to give her the information she needs to convince herself that she wants to work for you. Even if you fail to recruit her, you might still gain a customer.



If a candidate is a good fit for your business, it might not take much to convince her to sign on. By the time she has reached the bottom of the funnel, she already knows that your business is an awesome place to work. Simply drop her an email announcing the availability of a position and your belief that she might be a good fit.


Use HubSpot to manage your talent programme


Once you have created personas for your ideal employees, create the kind of content they want to read and distribute it through HubSpot. Once they have become leads, keep them engaged with more blog and social content until the time comes to fill a position. Then segment your database according to your prerequisites and employ an emailer to get your best candidates to respond. Make sure that you have a workflow set up in such a way that as soon as your new recruit signs up, she gets a personalised welcome letter.

If, however, your resources are already stretched and you’d prefer to leave such activities to an expert, consider outsourcing your digital marketing efforts. You can learn more about outsourcing digital marketing by downloading our guide, Effectively Scale your Agency or Marketing Department.


Author: Daryn Smith

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