How to Avoid Hiring Bad Marketers


You want to hire a great marketer to fill the job opening. But how do you spot a bad marketer?

Since poor hires can result in lost productivity and expenses in hiring, and training replacements, many hiring managers like you would like to know how to identify a bad marketer.

Making a bad hire can be very costly. The U.S. Department of Labor says that the cost can be up to 30% of the employee's first-year earnings. However, some research indicated poor hires cost as high as $240,000 in expenses. The costs broken down relate to hiring, retention, and pay.

Here are some key qualities to avoid when hiring a marketer:

Watch out for marketers who cannot build a business plan based on data.

A good marketer relies on information and analytics to drive marketing decisions. Without these, a marketer is just shooting in the dark.

Businesses look to the marketing department to drive more business by enabling campaigns that drive more awareness, traffic, leads, sales, etc. So it is no surprise that management will expect marketers to explain and articulate how their investments in marketing will give a return on investment.

It doesn't matter if the data doesn't exist for the future or if there is no baseline. Marketers need to understand that they're expected to set the right expectation based on assumptions, and that is okay. There is no right or wrong answer to building a plan, but it has to be based on something logical and constructive.

Be wary if a marketer comes to you and asks for a budget with no plan. A bad marketer relies solely on their gut instinct or personal opinion to make decisions. This can often lead to poor decision-making.

Make track record a key factor in making a hiring decision.

So many marketers cannot well explain a situation where their prior experience has led to positive results for the business. This is so sad.

I feel every marketer has some win, no matter how small or big the budget or the outcome. However, if the candidate can't explain what they did and how that contributed to a win, it is like saying they have work experience, but it has never led to any positive result.

Bad marketers don't have a track record. Even if they do have, bad marketers aren't able to articulate it.

On the other hand, great marketers will try to test their hypotheses and make business cases based on good judgment, so they're making their track record somehow.

Bad marketers don't listen and make their personal agenda over the organization's priorities.

I have often seen marketers who think they know what's best for the business and try to push their agenda. Unfortunately, this often leads to them working on projects that are not aligned with the organization's priorities, eventually leading to crappy outcomes.

A great marker is someone who can listen and understand the organization's priorities and adapt their own goals to align with them.

Bad marketers also tend to have an ego and are not coachable. They think they know everything. This often leads to them making decisions that are not in the business's best interest.

When people have a high ego, the first sign of an issue you may notice is that they may not be good listeners.

In summary

When looking to hire a marketer, make sure to avoid those who:

  • They can't build a business plan based on data and rely solely on their gut instinct or personal opinion to make decisions.
  • Don't have a track record.
  • Don't listen and make their agenda over the organization's priorities.

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Kris Twitter

As a data journalist, I enjoy curating and analyzing marketing trends, and data. The things that fascinate me the most are the transforming business landscape due to evolving marketing technologies.