How to Evaluate Marketers Based on Their True Inbound Qualities

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Ben Ratner
Ben Ratner



Earlier this week I wrote a post about how you can use find and hire your next inbound marketer. But here's the thing: once you've posted your jobs and eager candidates start sending applications, how do you determine who's the true inbound rockstar? You'll first need to know what to look for in an inbound marketer.

When evaluating your applicants, you should look at three things: behavioral characteristics, marketing skills, and inbound experience. Behavioral characteristics are the traits that determine a person's day-to-day personality. Marketing skills are the abilities, such as writing or using excel, you would expect your candidates to possess. Inbound experience refers to a person's experience creating content, attracting leads, and adapting their marketing based on prospective customer behavior.  


Behavioral Characteristics

At HubSpot, we look for candidates who embody what we call "HEART." HEART stands for:

  • Humble
  • Effective
  • Adaptable
  • Remarkable
  • Transparent

The behavioral characteristics you look for should be based on the specific role you're looking to fill, as well as the values of your company as a whole. In addition to HEART, we look for candidates with the following behavioral characteristics:

  • They're inquisitive - they have a natural inclination question ideas, processes, and tactics.
  • They're decisive - They can quickly and effectively make decisions, even when there are suprises.
  • They're innovative - They have an ability to think of new ways to reach goals and overcome obstacles.
  • They can get sh*t done - This one may be a little blunt, but we want someone who can hit the ground running and drive results, no matter what.

If you're wondering why these traits in particular are important to look out for, I would encourage you to check out our pocket guide on How to Find and Hire the Perfect Inbound Marketer. It will explain in greater detail why these are important traits.

Marketing Skills

Marketing skills can be broken into 2 basic categories: basic skills and specialized skills. Here are some of the more important skills in each category:

Basic Skills

  • Writing - This one is very important. One of the main tenets of inbound marketing is creating content that engages your audience and attracts people to your business. Just about every type of marketing content involves writing, so in order for the applicant to be an effective contributor on your team, they must be an exceptional writer.
  • Ability to teach - What good is a deep understanding of a topic if you can't share that knowledge with your market? The ability to teach is essential so that your company can produce educational content and be thought of as a thought leader in your industry.
  • Analytics - Inbound marketing is becoming increasingly data driven. Marketers need an analytical brain so that they can understand important marketing metrics and spot metric-driven trends.

 Specialized Skills

  • Design - If your team creates any sort of visual content, whether it be ebooks, inforgraphics or images for social media promotion, a candidate with a good eye for design and experience with Adobe Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator is a great asset. 
  • HTML - Because the majority of inbound marketing is done on the internet (i.e. landing pages, site pages, email, social media, blogging), a candidate who has some experience or knowledge with HTML and CSS will be very useful, especially in the event that something on your website breaks and no one knows how to fix it.
  • Inbound Marketing Tools - If a candidate has used tools like HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo or Eloqua in the past, it means they'll have a much easier time learning your inbound processes. It also means they've done inbound marketing before.
The marketing skills you look for should be based on the specific requirements of the role, as well as the existing skill set of your team. If you've already got a team full of great writers, why not look for someone with a different speciality, such as design or analytics?

Inbound Experience

Inbound experience is about much more than formal office experience. It's about the time that a person has taken in their own life to create content and engage with the people around them. When evaluating someone based on their inbound experience, you should look for these things:

  • Do they have a blog?
  • Are they active on social media?
  • Have they created any type of visual or digital content, such as a website?

All of this information can be difficult to find when evaluating multiple candidates. However, if you've posted your jobs to, then anyone who applies is already a member of the community, which means that not only are they an active member of the inbound community, but you can also go straight to their user profile to find all of their inbound experience. For instance, you can see:

  • The inbound marketing content they've shared and commented on
  • The inbound tools they are using or have used in the past
  • The blogs they have written or contributed to, as well their favorite blogs
  • Their inbound certifications, including HubSpot Academy certifications

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Overall, your ideal inbound marketer should be a dynamic professional who is intelligent, enthusiastic, and ambitious. They should care about your company's vision and be willing to roll up their sleeves and try new things in order to carry that vision out. And most importantly, they should be able to communicate that vision to the world through the content they create.

What do you look for when hiring an inbound marketer? Tell us in the comments!


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