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.
At HubSpot, we look for candidates who embody what we call "HEART." HEART stands for:
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.
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:
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.
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 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 Inbound.org, then anyone who applies is already a member of the Inbound.org 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
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!
Originally published Aug 1, 2014 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017