A strong VP of Marketing can make a significant difference in the success of a company, and finding the right person to fill this critical position is key.
But finding the right VP of Marketing can be a challenging task. The recruitment process should be thorough and meticulous to ensure that the candidate possesses the requisite skills and experience to drive the company’s marketing efforts forward successfully. This involves crafting a comprehensive job description, conducting a broad search, and conducting in-depth interviews to assess the candidate’s fit for the role.
Using a specialist Marketing recruitment agency can give you the extra support and knowledge needed to make the best hire.
What is a VP Marketing?
The VP Marketing role requires a unique combination of skills, including a deep understanding of market trends, consumer behaviour, and data analysis, as well as strong leadership and communication abilities. They must have the vision to craft a comprehensive marketing plan that aligns with the company’s objectives, and the ability to manage a team of marketers to execute that plan effectively.
This role is instrumental in ensuring that a company’s products or services are visible, compelling, and effectively communicated to the target audience.
In today’s market, a salary of £130,000 to £180,000 would be expected at this level.
When should I hire a VP Marketing?
Ultimately, the decision to hire a VP Marketing will depend on the company’s goals, needs, and growth stage. Below are a few examples of when a start-up or scale-up might consider hiring a VP Marketing:
Launching a new product
If a start-up or scale-up is launching a new product, they may need a VP Marketing to help develop and execute a comprehensive marketing strategy to ensure the product’s successful launch.
In general, start-ups may start considering hiring a VP Marketing when they reach a headcount of around 50-100 employees. At this stage, the company may have a more established product or service offering and may be looking to scale its marketing efforts to attract new customers and expand into new markets.
Branding and positioning
A start-up or scale-up may hire a VP Marketing to help refine and communicate the company’s brand and messaging, and to ensure the company’s positioning in the market is aligned with its objectives.
If a company faces stiff competition in its industry, it may need a VP Marketing to help develop and execute a marketing strategy that differentiates the company’s products or services from those of its competitors.
With the growing importance of digital marketing, a start-up or scale-up may need a VP Marketing to help develop and implement a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that utilises the latest technologies and platforms.
If a company is seeking funding or investment, a VP Marketing can help develop a marketing strategy that resonates with potential investors and communicates the company’s vision and value proposition effectively.
How to hire a Vice President Marketing
Using an executive search firm
A business may choose to work with an executive search firm that specialises in recruiting high-level executives. The benefits of using an executive search firm or retained search for hiring a Vice President Marketing include:
- Access to top talent: executive search firms have extensive networks and can tap into a wide pool of qualified candidates.
- Expertise in executive recruiting: executive search firms specialise in recruiting high-level executives and have the expertise and experience to manage the hiring process effectively.
- Confidentiality: an executive search firm can maintain the confidentiality of the search process, which may be important for sensitive or strategic hires.
- Time and cost savings: by outsourcing the hiring process to an executive search firm, a business can save time and resources and focus on other critical business operations.
- Reduced risk: an executive search firm can help ensure that the company hires a candidate with the necessary qualifications and experience, reducing the risk of a bad hire.
Want to find out more about the benefits of working with an executive search firm? Read our dedicated blog.
Promote from within the company
Another method of hiring a Vice President Marketing is to promote from within the company, if there are internal candidates that meet the criteria and are competent to do the job. This approach can be beneficial as it allows the company to leverage the expertise and knowledge of an existing employee and can be great for retention and employee engagement. It also means less time is spent on training a new hire, as the existing employee will be more familiar with the company’s culture and operations.
Posting the job on relevant job boards, social media platforms, and the company’s website can help attract a wide pool of candidates. This can be an effective way of reaching a more diverse talent pool, although it is important to consider the appropriateness of specific job boards for C-suite level roles. For example, LinkedIn is more likely than Indeed to have a range of senior and experienced candidates.
LinkedIn can be an excellent resource for tapping into a vast array of both actively looking and passive candidates. A viable option to reach potential VP Marketing candidates is to expand your LinkedIn network and interact with them through the platform. However, this approach can be quite time-consuming, particularly as it involves networking activities in addition to your regular responsibilities. You can pursue this strategy by either sending connection requests to prospects and following up with an InMail message or by acquiring a LinkedIn Recruiter license to streamline this process.
Recruiters who specialise in Marketing often have connections with hundreds of qualified senior Marketing professionals on LinkedIn, and have developed a strong network behind the scenes which means they can quickly gauge a candidate’s attention and interest in a particular role.
Vice President Marketing interview questions
After compiling your shortlist of candidates for the VP Marketing role, it’s time to think about the design of the interview format, structure, and content.
Always ensure you refer back to the job description and person specification, as well as any other important selection documentation, to identify the competencies that should be assessed throughout the interviews. Using structured, competency-style questions that are specific to the needs of the business reduces the risk of unconscious bias and enables interviewers to score candidates against a set of standardised criteria, making it easier to ensure fairness and objectivity in the hiring process.
Some key factors to consider when formulating interview questions include the specific reason for hiring a VP Marketing, such as improving the current marketing strategy, launching a new product, expanding into a new region, or requiring industry-specific experience. For start-ups, it’s also essential to gauge the candidate’s experience and track record in a start-up environment.
We have compiled a guide to more than 30 marketing interview questions that can be used when recruiting a VP Marketing.
Vice President Marketing interview assessment
Below are three examples of tasks that can be assigned to assess the competencies of a VP Marketing candidate:
Marketing plan review
Provide the candidate with a sample marketing plan and ask them to review it and provide constructive feedback. This task will demonstrate the candidate’s ability to assess the effectiveness of a marketing plan, identify strengths and weaknesses, and make strategic recommendations.
Case study analysis
Present a case study of a previous marketing campaign and ask the candidate to analyse and evaluate its success. This task will help assess the candidate’s critical thinking skills, ability to apply marketing principles in a practical setting, and strategic decision-making ability.
Ask the candidate to prepare and deliver a presentation on a hypothetical marketing campaign for a product or service of your choice. This task will evaluate the candidate’s communication skills, ability to develop and present a coherent and persuasive marketing strategy, and creativity.
Please feel free to contact us if you require help with recruitment for this position, or other senior marketing roles.