Today, I interviewed a young-whipper snapper for a digital marketing job on my company. And while I was talking to him, I remembered that few people have extensive experience in this new web world. So, what’s a hiring manager to do? I think it’s first important to focus on what type of DNA you want on your team, and not worry about if he has done it. Does he have the CHOPS for an action-packed, constantly-changing Digital job. Can he ‘go the distance’ – without thinking that they will come if he builds it.
For example, I have to admit that I have a basis towards East Coast Liberal Arts Schools. Call me an Eastern Snob, but those schools attract, develop and create students with strong ‘intellectual curiosity.’ And if you want to be in the Social Media Space, you need IC!
Secondly, I look for WIT – a Whatever-It-Takes- attitude. Usually this will come out with some basic questions, such as “tell me about some your successful and not so successful work experiences.”
Thirdly, I try and see if this person would be a good learning and teacher – would they learn, teach learn (LTL), as we used to say at Camp Intuit. And finally, I look at whether or not they would be a good team player. This is important cause nobody knows it all in this space, because you need to quickly work with others to leverage user feedback, and because ‘it’s no fun to go it alone’
And then I do the math. Scoring each of the items below – and even weighting them.
(I am sure there’s a good acronym with those 8 letter. I just haven’t thought of it.. yet)
Next, I do what most people do; I look at their background. First, I want to see what different disciplines they worked in. Are they more marketing? Or are they more Customer Service? Or are they more product development?
But it is too simple to just lump someone into marketing. I want to know if their (early) training is in brand marketing, direct marketing, product marketing, event marketing, or some other area. This will tell me how they have been trained to think about things, such as analytics, for example. Traditional brand marketers are not used to thinking in terms of cost per contact, cost per lead, etc. Although they can relate to ‘how many eyeballs’ have seen some merchandise on the site. Yea, they can try and fake it and say they know what a CPC is or what the current CPC rates are. But when it comes to digging in and thinking about the numbers, that’s something else.
Lets look at another example, product development. Some of the questions I ask are:
- Have they ever interacted with a customer or prospect
- Are they old school and come from off the shelf shrink wrap software development or have they been agile like a tiger in the SaaS world.
- Are they used to huge monolithic releases or a flow of constant spoon full releases.
- Have they worked and interacted with other disciplines such as customer service and finance? (Customer Service is important cause they are the Special Forces and Army Rangers – out on the front line always getting real time feedback AND Finance because this will show me that they are really interested in the bottom line and the impact their work has on the business
And there is a third area I focus on, although I don’t like to admit it. I usually focus on personality type, leveraging Myers-Briggs or the Enneagram. I do this because I believe teams increase their probability to succeed when there is more diversity on the team. (I also happen to be a student of how to form and storm good teams).
Of course, you don’t have to do any of the above. However, if you want to hire someone who will make your life better — who will help you sleep more soundly, I recommend you consider this approach