Nancy MyrlandStaffing and Recruiting Leave a Comment

On a marketing listserve of which I am an active member, a question was posted today that asked how an administrator in a firm should go about staffing a marketing function.

Here’s where to start:

I advise firms that they should interview, or survey, professionals in the firm who will be affected by the addition of marketing personnel, either in-house or outsourced.  That pretty much means everyone!  If the firm is too large to interview everyone, they can opt to outsource that function to an independent marketing advisor.  If that effort is still too large, then they should interview those in management, the practice or industry group leaders, and anyone else who will be considered the “internal client” of this marketing person, or persons.

You need to know now what their expectations are, what they expect will happen as a result of having dedicated marketing assistance, what it will look like a year or two from now if this hire is successful, and what they would like to see them handle on a daily basis.  This is the first thing I would do if I was advising a firm on structuring a marketing effort.

This is imperative because there are many different needs for marketing assistance within a firm.  If the administrator knows up front what the expectations are, the discussion can then take place that will help narrow and define what realistic expectations are before the search begins, how the job description is crafted, what needs to be discussed during interviews, and how this person will be monitored and reviewed.

The administrator is doing him/herself a favor, not to mention the professionals and the marketer if all of this is completed up front.  If not, they are asking for many days and years of frustration, misunderstanding and endless searches to replace the marketer when it is deemed a bad fit and/or a bad hire on the administrator’s part.