In today’s competitive business landscape, a company’s marketing strategy plays a pivotal role in driving growth and establishing a strong brand presence. To ensure success in this ever-evolving digital era, it is crucial to have a skilled Head of Marketing to lead your marketing team.
In this blog we will delve into the essential steps your business will need to take to find and hire the right Head of Marketing. Whether you’re a start-up looking to establish your brand or an established company seeking a fresh perspective, this blog will equip you with the knowledge and insights to make an informed decision.
What is a Head of Marketing?
A Head of Marketing is often tasked with developing and implementing strategic marketing plans to promote the company’s products or services, increase brand awareness, and drive customer acquisition and retention. The Head of Marketing plays a vital role in shaping the company’s marketing strategy, identifying target markets, analysing consumer behaviour and market trends, and determining the most effective marketing channels and campaigns.
They collaborate closely with other departments, such as sales, product development, and creative teams, to ensure cohesive and impactful marketing initiatives that align with the company’s overall goals and objectives.
Those within Head of Marketing roles are often strategic thinkers who leverage their expertise to drive brand awareness and revenue growth. To do this, a Head of Marketing needs to stay up to date with the latest marketing trends and technologies to stay ahead in a competitive market.
In today’s market, a salary of £80,000 to £110,000 would be expected at this level.
When should I hire a Head of Marketing?
A business should consider hiring a Head of Marketing when it reaches a stage where its marketing needs have become more complex and require dedicated leadership. Here are a few key indicators that may suggest it’s time to bring a Head of Marketing on board:
Growth and expansion
If your business is experiencing significant growth or planning to expand into new markets, hiring a Head of Marketing becomes crucial. They can develop and implement strategies to support the company’s growth objectives and ensure effective market penetration.
When your marketing efforts require a more strategic approach, it’s time to hire a Head of Marketing. They will bring the necessary expertise to align marketing initiatives with overall business goals, identify target markets, and develop comprehensive marketing plans.
If your industry is highly competitive, having a Head of Marketing can provide a competitive edge. They can analyse market trends, monitor competitors, and develop differentiated marketing strategies to stand out and capture market share.
When your business aims to establish or strengthen its brand identity, a Head of Marketing can play a crucial role. They can create brand guidelines, implement consistent messaging, and devise brand-building campaigns to enhance brand recognition and reputation.
If your current marketing efforts lack the required expertise or strategic direction, hiring a Head of Marketing can fill that gap. If the VP Marketing or Chief Marketing Officer is too busy, a Head of Marketing acts as a buffer – bringing in a wealth of knowledge and experience in various marketing disciplines, such as digital marketing, advertising, public relations, and market research to manage to the day-to-day operations effectively.
As marketing activities become more demanding, it may become necessary to have a dedicated leader who can allocate resources effectively, manage budgets, and optimise marketing ROI.
Ultimately, the decision to hire a Head of Marketing will depend on the unique needs and goals of your business. Assessing the complexity of your marketing requirements, growth plans, and the strategic importance of marketing within your business will help determine the right time to bring in a seasoned marketing professional.
How to hire a Head of Marketing
Retain a specialist marketing recruitment firm
Hiring a high performing Head of Marketing is crucial to the running of your marketing department. So, employers often invest in a using a specialist marketing recruitment agency – an agency that knows the market, already has an established candidate network and has evidence of success within the specialism.
Using a specialist marketing recruitment agency is also beneficial when:
Seeking specialised skills
If your business requires specific marketing expertise or niche skills, a specialist marketing recruitment agency can help identify candidates with specialised knowledge, such as SEO, content marketing, social media management, or data analytics. They have access to a wide range of professionals with diverse skill sets.
Saving time and internal resources
Recruiting for marketing positions can be a time-consuming process, especially when you have multiple roles to fill. Engaging a marketing recruitment agency allows you to offload the time-consuming tasks of sourcing, screening, and shortlisting candidates, freeing up your internal resources to focus on other critical business priorities.
Marketing recruitment agencies often possess up-to-date knowledge of industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices. They can provide valuable insights into the current marketing landscape, helping you align your hiring strategy with the latest industry developments and stay ahead of the competition.
Access to passive candidates
Top marketing professionals are often already employed and may not actively search for job opportunities. Marketing exec search firms or headhunters excel at identifying and engaging with passive candidates who are not actively looking but could be open to the right opportunity. Headhunting in this way widens your candidate pool and increases the chances of finding highly talented individuals.
Streamlined assessment process
Marketing exec search firms have established processes and tools to streamline the selection process. They can conduct initial screenings, skill assessments, and reference checks to ensure candidates meet your requirements, saving you the hassle of managing these steps internally.
Building a long-term relationship with an agency can provide ongoing benefits beyond a single hiring process. They can become your trusted advisor in talent acquisition, understanding your business objectives, and consistently delivering top marketing professionals as your company grows and evolves.
Overall, partnering with a specialist marketing recruitment agency brings expertise, industry knowledge, and access to a wider talent pool, offering a strategic advantage in finding and attracting top marketing talent for your organisation.
Internal candidates already possess an in-depth understanding of the business, its operations, objectives, and effective marketing channels. They are well-versed in the company’s unique ways of working and have a proven track record of delivering tangible results. Moreover, promoting from within can boost employee morale, loyalty, and motivation.
However, it is important to consider the candidate’s readiness for a leadership or management position, as this may be their first experience in such a role. Providing mentorship, training programs, and ongoing support can help them navigate the challenges of transitioning to a leadership position and ensure their success.
Additionally, the fresh perspective and innovative ideas that an external candidate may bring should also be taken into account to strike the right balance between familiarity and new perspectives.
Advertising on job boards is the obvious place to start your hiring process for a Head of Marketing. Job boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Reed, CV Library are all useful places to upload your job specification and hope the right candidate applies to your role.
Based on our extensive experience, relying solely on internal promotions for senior positions is often ineffective, particularly in today’s competitive market. To secure the best candidates, a comprehensive search strategy is necessary.
This involves diligently sourcing both active and passive candidates, including those who are currently employed by competitors and may not be actively seeking new opportunities through traditional job sites. By casting a wider net and proactively engaging with these high-calibre individuals, you increase your chances of finding exceptional talent that can bring fresh perspectives and contribute significantly to the success of your business.
To effectively reach potential candidates for the Head of Marketing position, leveraging LinkedIn and growing your network can be a powerful strategy. However, it’s important to acknowledge that this approach can be time-consuming, particularly when managing it alongside your regular responsibilities. Here are a few tactics to make the most of LinkedIn networking without overwhelming yourself:
- Optimise your profile: ensure your LinkedIn profile is polished and showcases your company’s brand and culture. This will attract potential candidates who align with your values and goals.
- Actively engage: regularly share industry insights, thought leadership articles, and company updates to establish yourself as a knowledgeable and engaged professional. This will help you build credibility and attract the attention of potential candidates.
- Join relevant groups: Participate in LinkedIn groups specific to marketing, industry trends, or professional development. Engage in meaningful conversations, contribute valuable insights, and connect with individuals who demonstrate expertise and leadership potential.
- Personalised connection requests: When reaching out to potential candidates, craft personalised connection requests that highlight their achievements and explain why you believe they would be a great fit for the Head of Marketing role. Tailoring your approach shows genuine interest and increases the likelihood of positive responses.
- Leverage LinkedIn Recruiter: cconsider investing in a LinkedIn Recruiter license, which provides advanced search filters, enhanced messaging capabilities, and the ability to track and manage candidate relationships more effectively. This tool can save time and streamline the candidate outreach process.
- Employee referrals: Encourage your existing marketing team and colleagues to refer potential candidates from their networks. Employee referrals often yield high-quality candidates who are a good cultural fit and come with a recommendation from trusted sources.
Head of Marketing interview questions
Once you have gathered your shortlist, you’ll need to quickly decide on interview formats and questions for your candidates.
To do this, you’ll need to use the job description to determine the competencies that need to be investigated throughout the interview and the questions that will help you do that.
Are you looking to hire a Head of Marketing to review your content strategy? To generate more MQLs? To work with the Head of Sales to convert more leads? Will this candidate also need to show experience in branding, creative, photography etc? If you are a start-up, what experience and impact can they demonstrate within this environment?
We’ve written a guide to 30+ marketing interview questions designed for when you are looking to hire a Head of Marketing and above. This isn’t a comprehensive list of questions – you should add specific competency questions too.
Head of Marketing interview assessment
Here are 3 examples of tasks that could be set to determine the competencies of a Head of Marketing candidate.
In no more than 20 minutes, outline the strategy you would use to tackle our marketing and business objectives. Provide more detail on the 3 biggest priorities, including why they are priorities, and what resources you would need to achieve the objective.
Our biggest business challenge is responding to the increased presence of our competitors in the market. In 20 minutes, outline your approach to combating this and in turn increasing our brand awareness and market share measures.
Our biggest business priority is to optimise and improve our Google organic search rankings. What process would you undertake to achieving this? Detail the steps and resources you would need to achieve this.
If you are looking to hire a Head of Marketing, Intelligent People are happy to help. Discover more about the Head of Marketing position and salary expectation in our guide and contact us if you need help hiring for this vacancy.