The most common question we hear from our marketing executive search clients is: How do we really separate top talent from everyone else? What interview questions should we be asking?

Hopefully doing a marketing executive search is not a frequent occurrence for your organization. Due to the lack of frequency, doing it properly can be a challenge. Fortunately, it is a daily occurrence at MarketPro.

Summary of Top Skills to Look for During Your Marketing Executive Search Interviews

Life-Long Learner

The pace of change in marketing is accelerating at a speed that makes it challenging for marketing executives to keep up. Only if your marketing executive has a mindset as a lifelong learner will they be able to grow, adapt, and mentor.

As a result of how the marketing landscape continues to evolve, there are new marketing jobs, functions, and capabilities today that did not even exist five years ago. Your marketing executive needs to keep up with these changes to set the right strategy and understand how these changes will impact their org chart, as well as, training and mentoring.

Proof of Driving Growth

Everything in marketing, unlike in the past, can be measured. As you interview your candidates, one of your goals is to find out within the past five years where they succeeded and made mistakes.

What are the metrics they are measured by? Is it increasing brand awareness? Is it increasing demand gen? Is it driving more MQL or SQLs? Understanding how your marketing leader used different metrics to drive ROI, increase the bottom line and overall improved the organization is important. If their track record does not exemplify growth for an organization, how can you expect them to drive growth for your organization?

Ahead of Martech

Identify how innovative your future marketing executive has been and what technology they used to push the organization forward in ways that weren’t possible five years ago. During your marketing executive search, talk to candidates about the process of putting together a marketing strategy, tactics– and how to execute them to win for the organization. How did they go about using martech as part of their overall strategy? How were the strategy and their use of martech implemented? What mistakes were made and what did they learn along the way?

Culture Fit and Leadership Style

Your marketing executives must be a great marketing fit, but they must also be a great cultural fit with the right leadership style. The leadership skill is key because your new VP of Marketing or Chief Marketing Officer needs to be able to cultivate an environment and a culture on their team where people want to be there, want to work, and want to be loyal to the company.

Forward Thinker

Top senior-level marketers are always thinking ahead. The best marketers will be able to precisely articulate and give deep thorough answers to questions such as:

  • What are the changes you see coming in the next year, and how is that going to impact what you do on a day to day basis?
  • How can you use innovation and technology to help our organization grow?

Always Prepared

Allow your new CMO or marketing executive to grade what they think of your current marketing today and where they see opportunities for improvement. The answer to this question ultimately shows if the candidate has taken time to review your current marketing and gives you more insight into how prepared they will be on day one.

In the final round of interviews, they should be prepared to make a presentation to your team. Could be a 30/60/90 day plan or it could be an overview of how they would plan out their first year, alternatively, it could be a solution to a specific marketing problem you are facing.

Goals Align with Opportunity

If your marketing executive position does not match the career path of the candidate, how can you expect them to stay with your organization long-term? It’s critical you ask candidates what their goals are and to ensure alignment between their career aspirations and your organizations’ goals.

As a marketing executive search firm, we witness more and more companies communicate to candidates a mapped-out career path to make certain their career objectives align with the job opportunity. The risk of a candidate not knowing where they want to take their career next means you don’t know if the candidate will be happy or want to stay once they get hired into your organization.

Speed of Hire

Finding top talent will ultimately create a competitive advantage for your organization. But in today’s candidate-driven market, the strongest candidates have multiple options on where they can take their skills next. If your organization does not move fast enough in the hiring process, you risk losing top talent. Your top marketing executives will drive growth. Are you prepared to move fast enough to land an “A” player?