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How to Hire for Your Marketing Agency + 20 Interview Questions to Ask

Making the right hire for your marketing agency means high-quality work, great client communication, and in turn, long-term growth. We've made it simpler than ever to make the right hire, use our step-by-step guide and sample interview questions to find the team member you deserve. 👩‍💻👨‍💻

Dov Rawson
November 28, 2023
4. min read
Article Content
Why the right hires make an outstanding marketing agency
Why hiring the wrong candidate will cost you dearly 
How to Hire For Your Marketing Agency: A Step-By-Step Guide 
13 Sample interview questions
3 essential tips for digital marketing companies looking for new talent 
7 Growth mindset questions
Take your digital marketing services to the next level

Hiring a new employee for your marketing agency is like buying new underwear - make a hasty decision and you might find yourself in a rather uncomfortable situation.

Great employees are essential to the success and growth of every digital marketing agency. Marketing campaigns will simply fall flat on their face if agencies fail to put the right team in place.

There are some simple strategies that are easy to employ that will ensure your new hire adds value to your marketing team.

Follow these steps and use our sample interview questions to ensure your marketing firm places itself in a position to thrive and grow.

Why the right hires make an outstanding marketing agency

There are a few important qualities that set marketing agencies apart. Like a magic potion, the success of a marketing agency relies on a specific concoction. These ingredients come together to deliver outstanding client results.

Creativity and innovation are central factors for agencies hoping to deliver a successful marketing campaign. Ingenuity and creative talent are necessary for creating original and compelling campaigns. And this spark of genius has to come from your team members.

To see their business grow, marketing companies also need to be adaptable.

The business and the employees must be capable of adapting to new technology and tools. Plus, maintaining open and transparent communication with their clients is just as important.

Poor communication is the hallmark of a marketing agency destined to fail.

Why hiring the wrong candidate will cost you dearly 

Perhaps you noticed that everything that makes a marketing agency stand out relies on the ability of the employees. So what will happen if a marketing director hires the wrong candidate?

Well, the consequences may not always be immediately apparent. The issues often snowball over time in these situations. A bad hire will negatively impact various aspects of your agency's operations, reputation, and bottom line.

A new hire that lacks the necessary skills will inevitably lead to missed deadlines, reduced quality of work, and client dissatisfaction. And the inevitable failure to achieve business goals will ultimately damage your agency's reputation.

Giving the wrong candidate the job can also put your client relationships at risk.

A blundering new hire that is client-facing can erode client trust if they show a lack of competence or professionalism. Losing clients due to a mismatched hire not only affects revenue, but can also harm your company’s standing in the industry.

If they lack soft skills, a new employee can also disrupt the harmony in your agency. This may lead to low morale and cause good employees to abandon your company.

Hiring the wrong person will cost a marketing firm considerable time and money.

Not only may they cause you to lose clients, but the process of hiring and onboarding a new employee can be very expensive. You’ll waste that investment if they’re not the right fit. So, without further ado, let’s see how you can avoid this nightmare scenario.

How to hire for your marketing agency: 11 Steps to get it right

Tips for hiring for a marketing agency

There’s an art to hiring a marketing whizz, and we’ll walk you through the process of finding the perfect match.

These 11 steps are just as useful for a small business and a global digital marketing agency. And they’re just as relevant whether you’re looking to hire a specialist or a generalist.

Let’s dive straight into the first stage of hiring the right person who will help your company achieve its marketing goals.

1. Be specific about what you’re looking for

Don’t rush bringing in a new face before you’re 100% sure about what your marketing firm actually needs. This critical first step sets the foundation for a successful recruitment process. Plus, it ensures that the new team member aligns with your agency's goals and culture.

Take time to consider what skills and experience will improve your agency.

Perhaps a certain type of personality may be a better fit in your workplace. Do you want a generalist who can handle a broad spectrum of tasks, or a specialist who can strengthen certain areas of your business? 

Take inspiration from other agencies, but remember that a search engine optimization agency will likely have very different needs to a web design agency. It all depends on their current team and their client requirements.

Many digital marketing companies fail to properly consider their unique objectives before searching for a new hire. And they often pay for this further down the road. By clearly defining what your company is looking for in a new employee, the next step becomes a breeze. 

2. Write a detailed job description 

Once you’ve defined what your marketing company is looking for, it’s time to create an accurate job description. Recognize that you get what you give.

An amateurish job description will attract inferior applicants.

The job description should be written clearly and precisely to ensure your agency finds the right person for the role.

The position’s various responsibilities should be laid out in full. Expectations regarding skills, qualifications, and experience must be clear. Define important behavioural characteristics for the position too, such as interpersonal communication.

Creating a meticulous job posting in this manner ensures that both the hiring team and the potential candidate understand what the position entails. A detailed job description will attract candidates whose skills and experience align with your company’s marketing needs. It's sure to help you save time and resources that might otherwise be wasted on interviewing unqualified applicants.

Moreover, businesses need not throw out the job description after hiring a new employee. A well-written job description can serve as a roadmap for performance evaluation. It provides a clear basis for setting expectations, conducting performance reviews, and measuring success in the new hire’s marketing activities.

Don’t rush the process of posting a job description. Take however much time it requires to create something that will attract qualified candidates that align with your culture.

3. Post the job listing online 

Once you’ve written an effective job description, it’s time to begin the active search process by sharing it on the World Wide Web. 

A marketing agency should post the listing on popular job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and industry-specific sites. For specialized roles, it may be worth posting the listing on niche marketing job boards to zone in on the perfect candidate.

Every marketing agency knows the value of social media in today’s day and age. It’s strongly recommended to share the job listing on your agency's social media channels, encouraging your followers to spread the word.

4. Think outside the box to attract the perfect candidate

Many business owners post their job listing on LinkedIn and are happy to receive applications from there alone. Yet, a good marketing agency always thinks creatively, even during the hiring process. 

It’s important to use job boards and social media, but there are plenty of other ways to find the right candidate. Many marketing companies offer an employee referral program. And it’s not uncommon for businesses to target competition to find the crème de la crème in their field.

Partnering with educational institutions can help a marketing firm set up a talent pipeline, offering paid internships for young, hungry, and enthusiastic people to enter the workforce.

There has been a considerable movement towards remote working over the last few years, and a business can try and use this to their advantage.

A perfect new hire might be living in a country thousands of miles away. Most agencies do their own marketing in house. Yet, it may be worth considering offering remote work to attract talented employees who are tired of going into the office.

5. Conduct interviews in an effective way

The interview stage is pivotal for ensuring you hire the right candidate for your marketing firm. While assessing their skills, this is your best opportunity to get to know them and see if they’d be a good fit for your team. 

By asking open-ended questions and listening carefully, an interviewer can understand many things about the candidate, such as:

  • Why they want to join your company
  • Why they left/are leaving their most recent job
  • Their ethics and personality
  • Their technical skills
  • Their soft skills

Dedicate some time to research effective interview questions and tailor them to your own digital marketing agency.

Here’s a list of great questions to give you some inspiration:

Interview questions for marketing agencies

Download the full list of marketing agency interview questions here.

6. Make the candidate want to join you 

Bruce Lee once said “We are told that talent creates opportunity, yet it is desire that creates talent.”

It’s important to remember that the candidates are also using the interview stage to form an opinion about your company.  Making candidates enthusiastic about your firm can help you attract the best talent in the industry.

Enthusiastic workers translate to improved productivity and retention. They’ll create a positive workplace culture and may accept a lower compensation package if they are genuinely eager to come on board.

The interview is not just about grilling the candidate. You should be highlighting benefits beyond their salary. This is your opportunity to convince them that you’re the right marketing agency for them to develop their career and flourish.

7. Check references of top candidates

You may be tempted to skip this step, but marketing companies should be making the most informed decisions possible when bringing on new talent. It’s essential to verify that the candidate possesses the skills, experience, and education they claim.

Interviews are great for getting to know potential new hires.

Yet, previous employers can offer a more objective evaluation of the candidate's abilities. Reference checks can uncover any potential red flags or concerns about the candidate's work ethic, reliability, or professionalism.

8. Ensure they’re the right fit for your digital marketing company

By completing a comprehensive interview stage and checking their references, you should be well-placed to decide if a candidate is the right fit for your marketing firm.

Sit down and consider a few questions before proceeding to the offer stage:

  1. Do they fit your company culture? 
  2. Do they possess technical skills suitable for the role? 
  3. Does their experience align with your business goals?
  4. Can they work collaboratively in a team?
  5. How will they improve your marketing efforts and benefit your clients?
  6. Do they have a positive attitude and strong work ethic?

9. Negotiate salary and benefits

It’s crucial to negotiate contract terms that are fair for both you and the new hire.

It’s not only the salary you should pay attention to during the negotiation stage. A marketing firm becomes a more attractive place to work if it offers flexible hours, remote working options, and other perks. By offering a comprehensive package, agencies will be more likely to attract and retain the best talent.

When candidates feel they have been fairly compensated and their negotiation efforts have been respected, they are more likely to start their employment with a positive attitude and a sense of loyalty to your marketing firm.

10. Implement a probation period 

A probationary period is a timeframe at the beginning of an employment relationship where both employer and employee can assess if the job is a good fit. It typically lasts for a few months.

The probation period is an essential step when bringing in new hires. It allows employers to assess the employee's performance and adaptability.

A marketing firm will often use this timeframe to communicate clear objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) that the new employee should meet. The probationary period provides a learning curve. And it also helps the employee integrate into their new role in the team.

At the end of the probation period, the marketing manager of the business should have a much clearer idea of whether or not the new hire is the right fit. 

11. Develop a comprehensive onboarding plan 

A marketing firm can put in all the work to find the perfect employee, but a weak onboarding plan will undermine all those efforts.

A new hire unimpressed by the company’s processes and culture may leave the digital marketing team within a matter of months.

Just like with new clients, thorough onboarding plan sets the tone for a successful and productive employment relationship. It gives the new employee the necessary training, tools, and resources to understand the firm's marketing strategies and workflow processes. This accelerates their ability to make meaningful contributions to marketing campaigns.

A comprehensive onboarding plan shows new hires from the very start that they’ve joined the right agency. An excellent onboarding is likely to have a major impact on employee satisfaction and loyalty. This not only benefits the new hire, but also strengthens the marketing firm as a whole.

Follow these simple steps and your digital marketing company will put itself in a much stronger position to hire a marketing whizz that will add value to your business. 

3 Essential tips for digital marketing companies looking for new talent 

We’ve walked you through the process of hiring a new employee. Yet, many marketing agencies still manage to slip up despite having an effective recruitment method in place.

Fortunately, we’re here with three expert tips to help you avoid hiring a dud.

1. Don’t hesitate to pull the trigger on the right candidate

It’s essential to move quickly once you find a candidate who aligns with your agency's vision, culture, and needs. Hesitation can be costly because your candidates are also likely to be interviewing elsewhere.

Top talent is in high demand and losing a top candidate to another offer may force you to settle with a less ideal hire.

Time can often be wasted on too many rounds of interviews, protracted decision-making, and inefficient administrative processes. It’s important to trust your intuition and make an offer to the candidate if you think they’re the right fit.

2. Prioritize soft skills alongside technical expertise 

You’re hiring a human being to join a team of other human beings. They’re not robots, so getting them to work effectively in a team requires much more than quantifiable skills.

No one can deny the importance of technical skills for executing marketing strategies.

Yet, soft skills are a necessity for enhancing collaboration, communication, and adaptability. These character traits are equally crucial as technical know-how in a dynamic industry like marketing.

Many marketing companies make the mistake of failing to look beyond the candidate’s resume. But, they must also consider their ability to work in a team and critical thinking skills. Soft skills underpin strong leadership, which is vital for guiding teams, clients, and projects to success.

The combination of hard and soft skills is a winning formula for marketing agencies.

3. Look for someone with a growth mindset

Hiring someone with a growth mindset means that you’re bringing someone on board who will become more and more talented over time.

You want to ensure the person you hire enjoys to be challenged, strives to learn, and wants to develop further in their role and career.

Someone with a growth mindset may not always be the most qualified for a role, but they’ll create more value for your marketing company in the long run.

So, how can you avoid hiring someone with a fixed mindset?

Well, there are certain questions candidates can be asked to help identify whether they have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset:

Growth mindset interview questions

Download the full interview questions list here.

Take your digital marketing services to the next level

Any experienced marketing expert will tell you that success stories don't just come out of thin air. A company that wants to hire a marketing expert has to put energy into finding them.

The steps detailed above may seem like an expensive process, but a marketing agency that hires the ideal candidate will save heaps of money in the long run.

Evidently, employees are essential to the success of your digital marketing agency.

Yet, it’s also important to use technology to improve productivity and client relationships.

Leadsie is a time-saving tool that can make life easier for you and your clients. With Leadsie, you can onboard new clients in a matter of minutes, not weeks and skip any frustrating access request processes.

Get access to client marketing assets in just 2-Clicks

Put a stop to the access request headaches and start getting the work done for your clients straight away. 

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Dov Rawson

Dov is a freelance writer who prides himself on offering insightful content that will engage your audience and solve their problems. In his free time, he's often found wandering through the Himalayas, sometimes with a hiking pole, but almost definitely with a book.