How to Screen Candidates for a Growth Marketer Position
Once you launch your hiring outreach for a growth marketer, you’ll be seeing some level of interest from potential candidates. How do you weed out those who are not a fit for your role early and focus your hiring efforts only on the most relevant ones?
A well-thought-out screening process ensures that you weed out the candidates that are not a fit for your role early and focus your hiring efforts only on the most relevant ones.
An effective approach to screening candidates entails both a review of the growth marketer’s profile and digital assets, as well as asking questions or even giving small assignments to understand who is worth moving to the next step in the hiring process.
The goal here is to rule out obvious no’s, so you can make the rest of the hiring process more productive.
CVs are terrible at predicting how a growth marketer will perform on a job, but they can be helpful in the initial evaluation phase. As a basic document narrating the professional journey of the candidate, CV helps you evaluate their track record and learning abilities.
When looking at their CV or a LinkedIn profile, assess how growth- and results-oriented this person is:
- What type of growth results has the candidate produced?
- Are they specific in the numbers they hit?
- How did their work impact the company’s success?
Here is an example of a LinkedIn profile section from a top-notch growth marketer.
As you review the candidate’s profile, see if you can get a sense that this growth marketer can market himself by telling a compelling story of how they learned and progressed.
Also, look for strong LinkedIn profiles that include samples of previous work that showcase the growth marketer’s abilities and achievements.
It should be noted that many busy growth professionals, who are not actively looking for opportunities, do not bother polishing their profiles. But if the candidates are coming to you inbound, their LinkedIn profile needs to shine.
Aside from professional achievements, look for other indicators of the quality of the candidate. While there are no professional certifications in growth marketing as a discipline, look for marketing certifications from recognized platforms, such as Google AdWords, Google Analytics, or HubSpot Inbound to help you gauge the candidate’s skills.
Similarly, graduation certificates from one of the growth marketing bootcamps, such as GrowthX Academy or General Assembly, are a strong positive signal of the candidate’s dedication and desire to learn, as well as the base level of knowledge across the growth marketing spectrum.
CV’s are imperfect, so if you limit your review to a CV, you may miss a true talent or invite someone who you won’t be excited to meet.
Gain additional insight into the candidate by evaluating their digital footprint and the assets they are creating for themselves. Are they what Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah call “digital citizens”?
Many growth marketers do blogging. Read their thoughts and analysis. You can learn where the person’s passions lie and who that individual really is and if that’s in line with what you are looking for in a growth marketer on your team.
Check out their social media accounts. Can you get a sense that this person knows how to build an audience and interact with a broader community?
Cover letter alternatives
Even in today’s tight job market, it is a good practice to ask a candidate to answer a few questions online when indicating an interest in the position you are offering.
Structuring it in the form of specific questions is a better way to gain additional insight into the candidate than a typical cover letter.
The best practices that we have seen combine both personal questions and those on growth marketing.
Here are survey questions from Ladder, a growth marketing agency:
- Why do you want to leave your current role and work at Ladder?
- What’s your desired salary?
- What company’s marketing do you admire and why?
- You have a $0 marketing budget for selling 100 iPhones / day. What do you do?
- How do you decide if a marketing channel is doing well? Be specific.
- What marketing campaign have you run that you’re most proud of?
- What type of marketing activity do you really hate doing the most?
- You have $1m to invest in a startup. Which startup do you choose and why?
Canva has a similar approach. Here are some of its 10 questions.
- Given a list of 10 random growth tactics, how do you choose which one to do first?
- Look at canva.com and list 5 things you’d do to grow the business
Asking to submit a video cover letter highlighting the candidate’s motivation for the role and how his skills and expertise would contribute to your team is another great tactic. It doesn’t have to be more than a few minutes long, but it’s a good tool for screening out poor personalities.
These alternative approaches require both you and the candidate to invest more time upfront but represent a win-win for both parties.
It helps you avoid anyone without sufficient motivation and objectively identify people you should focus on in your hiring process. For candidates that are rejected, it saves the time they would have spent interviewing if they are clearly not a fit.
In his book Work Rules!, Laszlo Bock, Google’s head of People Operations, says that the best predictor of how someone will perform in a job (better than an interview) is a work sample. This makes sense since the actual work the candidate will be doing doesn’t consist of answering questions in a one-on-one setting.
Using this logic, some companies give growth marketers assignments even before an interview to assess their performance relative to the expectations for the role.
We see this approach applied by more established companies. It typically works if you have previous experience with growth marketing and can structure the assignment in a way that is challenging and informative.
Here is an assignment that CROmetrics, a growth marketing agency, uses to screen applicants for a Growth PM role.
Ladder asks the candidates to tackle a timed Excel test. The company sends an email with the test out to the candidate and you need to send it back in one hour.
It’s a three-part assignment. First, a candidate need to do data analysis based on mock campaign data.
The next section is a creative test, where the applicant needs to write an ad copy for a new iPhone on Google AdWords and on Facebook. Finally, the candidate is asked to submit a short video talking about their experience with the test.
Filtering through the candidates for your growth marketer role can be a time-consuming process. While most proven experts will not surface, there is always a chance you may find some diamonds in the rough.
A thorough screening process, designed to look at the candidate from multiple angles, can help you move efficiently and identify those high-quality candidates that you want to bring into an interview.
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