Uncomplicate – How to hire for marketing teams

Uncomplicate by Freshworks brings you crisp and insightful videos which will focus on answering one tactical question around sales & marketing, support & collaboration, employee engagement, and growth. 

Marketing is, without a doubt, one of the most unique, interesting functions in any company. The marketing role in a small, early-stage company entails a certain set of tasks, and as the company grows, the marketing role too evolves and includes a diverse range of tasks. So, making the first marketing hire, and subsequently building out a large team with multiple functions, is quite a task in any company. 

Kevan Lee, vice president of marketing at Buffer, gives some tips on how companies can go about hiring people during the different stages of a company’s growth. 


“When we make our first marketing hire, what we like to optimize for is a generalist, someone who is able to wear a lot of hats and do a lot of different jobs and contribute in different ways. What that often ends up looking like is we want to optimize for a few different qualities–curiosity, drive, and ethics,” Kevan said. 

Curiosity is going to be revealed in someone who is interested in a lot of different channels and trying new things, drive is going to be in someone who is driven to succeed and find ways to make things work, and ethics is going to be in someone who is interested in growing companies sustainably and in a good way. 

Generalists work in early-stage companies, but what happens as you grow and have to start taking into account things like marketing automation, paid campaigns, scaling organic traffic? 

Scaling up 

Typically, in companies, these generalists will validate certain marketing channels (such as SEO, content marketing, social media, and demand generation) and companies begin to build these roles out. The would, for instance, look for people who bring expertise in each of these specialized marketing functions.

“Say, we are hiring for SEO, we would want someone who is a channel expert–have they shown a track record of growing SEO results for a company, are they curious about the industry to the extent that they are trying the latest tactics? In addition, we would also like to see if they could contribute in other ways. Do they have a foundational marketing background? Do they understand storytelling?” Kevan said. 

The ideal candidates would bring all the base level skills and will also be able to go deep into one specialization or the other. 

How did you make your first hire? And what are the qualities you look for in a candidate? Let us know in the comments section below!