A VP of Marketing is one of the most crucial positions a business can fill. After all, their principle job is keeping your business relevant and top of mind, and a business that no one knows about is essentially dead in the water. That’s why it’s careful to be methodical in your approach and not settle on the first applicant that comes along. You’re looking for an experienced applicant who you can see staying at your company for the long haul. Here’s how to hire a VP of Marketing the right way.
1. Determine Your Priorities
If they’re doing their job correctly, your VP of Marketing could have a dramatic effect on your company’s bottom line, but keep in mind that the right decision could determine whether this effect is positive or negative. You’ll want to consider what the unique demands of your business are. How much marketing history do you require, and is it a necessity that they have experience working in your field before? A more specialized market may require a more specialized skill set. Also, keep in mind that not all companies are hiring a vice president of marketing for the same reasons. A startup just starting to get off the ground may need a VP who is a jack of all trades, and can handle all facets of marketing a new company. But if you’re already large and looking to expand aggressively, you might benefit more from someone with experience overseeing large teams and managing overarching marketing campaigns. Your company’s needs should define your hiring qualifications.
2. Don’t Cut Corners in the Screening Process
Regardless of your reason for hiring a new VP of Marketing, you’re going to want to take a hands-on approach with the hiring process. Cast your net wide and take advantage of both traditional resources like your personal network and more modern options like LinkedIn. While you can automate much of the early process yourself, you’ll likely want to be present for the initial and follow-up interviews. Since your VP could have a meaningful effect on your company culture, you’re going to want to scrutinize them closely and make sure that their professional values align with your own. Get a feel for how long they intend to stay in the position, as a parade of successive VPs can wreak havoc on your bottom line.
3. Approach the Situation With Clarity
While it may be tempting to hard sell the appeal of the VP position when you find the ideal candidate, that could spell disaster down the line. Once you’ve found candidates that interest you, be sure that they understand the current situation of your company, and clearly spell out the expectations you have of them. Building trust is important, and a hire who comes into the position with too rosy expectations may hold a grudge or not be able to handle the workload that’s required of them. If possible, give potential hires a tour of your facilities and let them see operations firsthand so they can fully consider the role and you can see how well they mesh with your business.
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