The Top Mistakes People Make When Hiring Marketing Talent and How to Recruit Top Performers

If you are thinking about hiring a Marketing Manager or other marketing team members for your company, you probably have a few unanswered questions floating around in your head. With that, I thought I’d share with you some of the mistakes I’ve seen managers make when making hiring decisions. I’ve also outlined some pointers to help you hire the right people.

Entrepreneur #A: 

Power woman. Amazing drive. Amazing confidence. Amazing vision and a really beautiful heart.

She consistently recruited her friends, or friends of friends who were looking for a job and had the level of marketing experience she was looking for. She hired people who were like her – visionaries, driven, confident, enthusiastic, generous but didn’t have the finishing ability that she was looking for.

She was also impatient and wanted to get things happening quickly so the thought of hiring someone and going through the recruiting process was something that she didn’t want to do because she wanted results immediately.

Hiring people she already knew made sense to her because it enabled her (in her mind) to have a new person on board immediately.

The challenge was, 9 out of 10 times these people, although they were likeable and often had the experience she was looking for, they didn’t have the personal attributes required to perform the position. Needless to say, the people she hired didn’t stay around very long as employees.

Example #2: 

This happened recently with a client in the IT industry. She ran an ad on Seek, looking for a marketing assistant/PA. We worked on the ad and had a discussion about the traits, the background and the type of experience  that would be ideal.

She was offering good money for the position and it was going to be an interesting role.

She received a number of applications for the position. We evaluated the applications and she selected people to interview and interviewed them.

Three people were shortlisted. Two of them had the marketing support experience and the attitude that she was looking for. The third one had some level of expertise plus she had a very bubbly and outgoing personality and had a background and hobbies that were similar to the background of the employer. They hit it off straight away and she decided to hire the candidate, even though the candidate wasn’t the most qualified in terms of attitude/personality traits and skill set.

She was jovial and vivacious but she didn’t have the level of expertise required for the position nor did she have the industry background or attention to detail required, but she was a heck of a lot of fun to be around. The employer found that she needed to spend all her time training the woman and for a very small business with only two employees that was proving to be a big drain on resources.

Once the entrepreneur trained her, the employee was still making a lot of mistakes with email blasts going out to the wrong people, major errors in copy, data going missing and people not being followed up.

The employee is a lovely woman – don’t get me wrong. And she would have been perfect in a customer service role or a sales role however she simply wasn’t  a good fit for the role that the employer was recruiting for.

The point is, be careful about the “I like you best so I’ll hire you” syndrome. Just because you get on like a house on fire in an interview doesn’t mean they’re the ideal candidate.

Sure – in a sales role that is probably high up on the list of traits required in someone but not for a marketing assistant/marketing management role.

The Importance of Psychometric Testing

I find DISC profiling to be a priceless tool for shortlisting candidates. It’s fantastic in particular for identifying the personality traits in a person that are a good match (or not) for a particular role. Sure, it isn’t free to arrange but it really is peanuts when you consider how much money you can save by not hiring a person who doesn’t have the strengths you’re looking for.

For a marketing management position a person with a D/C (Dominant/Compliant) profile has the creativity, the drive and the attention to detail required for the role.  Different marketing roles require different strengths so it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the DISC profiling system to identify what strengths you are looking for in a person and which profile is a good match.

Obviously, DISC profiling is only one of the tools you’ll use in the recruiting process but it’s an invaluable one because it tells the truth. In other words, candidates can tell you they are organised even when they aren’t but a DISC profile identifies with accuracy whether they really are or not.

The Assignment

One of the things that I do when hiring people is to provide them with a project a sample project where they have the opportunity to prove themselves.  Doing this project will identify five things:

  1. Their attention to detail
  2. Their curiosity levels
  3. Their creativity
  4. Their knowledge of the industry/various marketing techniques
  5. Their attitude

All of these aspects are obviously important to consider when recruiting marketing people yet a face-to-face interview simply gives an indication of personality and attitude NOT their ability to deliver. It provides them an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak.

If you’d like more feedback on how to find a marketing recruit who has the experience, skills and personality to drive your business growth efficiently, just send me an email to or call us on +617 5448 9465 .



About Kristina Mills:
Kristina Mills is a highly regarded direct response copywriter, marketing strategist, entrepreneur and success strategist having worked with and produced great results for some of Australia's most inspirational entrepreneurs, speakers, event companies, professional services firms, property companies, and internet entrepreneurs. She is the author of Invisible Genius Vol1 and 2, Freelance Copywriting Fast Track Course, Direct Mail Mastery, Web Copy Mastery, Invisible Genius Vol.1 and 2, Mortgage Broker Letters that Sell, Real Estate Letters that Sell, How to Create a Sales Explosion With Every Ad and Letter Your Write. To find out more about how Kristina can help you live your potential, arrange a free 15 minute phone chat.

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