startup hiring
Aug 5, 2022

How to Hire Your First Marketer: A Guide for B2B Tech Startups

By Matt Dodgson

Co-Founder - Recruiter & Marketer

Introduction

Hiring your first marketer is a big step for any company. But it’s especially important for B2B tech startups, who need someone with the right mix of marketing skills and attributes to help them grow.

So, how do you go about finding and hiring the right person for the job?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.


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Why does your B2B Tech Startup need marketing in the first place?

There are a number of advantages to hiring a marketer, but put simply – to create awareness, generate leads, and close deals. Marketing for B2B tech startups has a lot of different aspects to it, which is why it’s important to find someone with a well-rounded skill set.

When you’re looking to hire your first marketer, there are a few key attributes to keep in mind. They should be:

-Strategic: A good marketer will be able to think long-term and develop plans that align with your company’s goals but be nimble enough to pivot in the short term.

-Analytical: They should be great with data and be able to measure the success of their campaigns and adapt their strategies accordingly.

-Creative: They should be able to come up with fresh, innovative ideas that will help your Startup stand out from the competition.

-Organised: They will be able to manage multiple projects at once and stay on top of deadlines.

-Communicative: In B2B especially, it’s crucial they can effectively communicate their ideas to other members of the team and collaborate with sales, product and customer success.

If your startup can find a B2B marketer who ticks all of these boxes, you’re well on your way to driving a real return from marketing.

What’s the right time for you to hire your first marketer?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question – it depends on a number of factors, including the size of your startup, your budget and your stage of growth.

However, the most crucial factor is whether or not your startup has achieved product-market fit. Once you’ve identified the problem your solution addresses is real, and you have businesses willing to pay you for it, it’s a good time to start to invest in marketing.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire a marketer sooner, because there are several examples of companies successfully hiring marketers before they’ve even created a product.

The most common reason a startup hires its first marketer is when a they successfully complete a funding round and now have the ability to hire in more employees to scale growth.

Whatever the reason, and especially for B2B Startups, it’s important to realise that marketing is a long term play, so it’s important you don’t get frustrated when things don’t happen overnight and instead have the patience for things to gain traction.


5 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Marketer for Your Tech Startup


What type of marketer should your B2B Tech Startup hire first?

Again, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The type of marketer you hire will depend on your specific needs and goals.

A good place to start is to think about your go-to-market strategy.

As an example, if you’re an early-stage product-led startup in the B2B space, then it would make sense to hire someone with growth marketing skills.

On the other hand, if you’re an enterprise software vendor with long sales cycles, then hiring someone with account based marketing skills will help you gain traction more quickly.

Moreover, you also need to consider the seniority of your first marketer. Too often we see early stage startups hiring a CMO far too early.

But the most common type of marketer hired as the first marketer into a startup is what we call a ‘generalist‘.

A generalist B2B marketer will be someone who is orientated around demand generation but has skills across data, martech, brand, web, content, social and PR. They’re able to plan and execute, and are also broad enough to be able to pick up new projects as they come up.

However, bear in the mind that these types of stand-alone marketing roles are some of the toughest jobs out there. It’s easy for marketers to get bogged down, so try and provide as much support as you can through freelancers, internal help or enabling them to hire external marketing agencies.


How to Attract Tech Marketing Talent to Your Startup


Time to create your startup hiring strategy

There are a few key things to keep in mind when you’re ready to start hiring for your startup.

First, identify the core values that are important to your company culture and make sure that everyone you bring on board shares those values.

Second, don’t be afraid to think outside the traditional resume when it comes to evaluating marketers – consider their social media presence, blog posts, or even personal projects. Bear in mind that a lot of marketers don’t want to work as a startups first marketer, so try not to be too specific.

Finally, always be prepared to sell your startup to potential hires – remember that you’re not just looking for someone who is passionate about your product or service, but also someone who believes in your vision and is excited to help you build something great.

With these things in mind, you can start to create your hiring strategy.

The importance of an employer brand for marketers.

As a startup founder, you know the importance of building a strong employer brand. After all, it’s one of key aspects of attracting the best talent to your company.

B2B tech startups need to focus on three things when it comes to their employer brand: culture, career growth potential, and benefits. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

Culture: A startup’s culture should be its biggest selling point. Why? Because culture is what attracts top talent. B2B marketers work collaboratively across many teams so it’s important they’re aligned to existing teams.

Career Growth Potential: Startups need to offer career growth potential in order to attract top marketing talent. That means offering training opportunities – marketers love to develop their skills and knowledge – increases in salary and the vision for how the team can expand.

Benefits: Startups also need to offer competitive benefits in order to attract top talent. This includes things like hybrid or remote working, bonuses linked to performance, health insurance, contributory pensions, and great holidays!

Once your employer brand is in place make sure you communicate it in every job description and also put it on your careers page on your website.

Write the marketing job description

When you’re hiring for your startup, it’s important to take the time to write a great job description. This is especially true when you’re looking for marketing help. Because a good marketing hire can be the difference between success and failure for a startup.

There are a few key things that should be included in every marketing job description:

  • An overview of the company and its mission. The candidate should have a clear understanding of what the company does, why it exists and its go-to-market.
  • A overview of the role. Describe at a high level why this role exists.
  • A detailed description of the role. The candidate should know exactly what their responsibilities will be but be careful not to include everything they might end up doing in the future.
  • A list of desired skills and experience. Be careful not to create a shopping list and only list the key skills you need.
  • Guidance on how to apply.

If you include these things in your job description, you’ll be sure to attract the right candidates for the position. And that can make all the difference for your startup.


How to Create a Job Ad to Secure Your Startup’s Tech Marketer


Sourcing marketing candidates

As the startup hiring landscape continues to evolve, so do the most effective ways to source candidates. In order to stay ahead of the curve, B2B tech startups need to be proactive in their recruitment efforts and identify new and innovative ways to reach top talent.

One way to source candidates is by partnering with a recruitment agency that specialises in recruiting marketers for B2B Tech startups. Startups often don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to a full-time recruitment team, so working with an agency can help take some of the burden off of hiring managers.

Plus a specialist recruiter will be able to deliver candidates to you that won’t be active on the job market.

Another way to find qualified candidates is through online job boards. While job boards can be a great resource for finding active job seekers, it’s important to post your openings on niche job boards that target your specific industry. This will help ensure that you’re reaching the right candidates.

Proactive sourcing is another great way to hire talent, and it’s the best performing tactic for us here at Market Recruitment. Every person in the team here has a corporate LinkedIn Recruiter account giving us the ability to find and contact marketers with the right skills.

Finally, don’t forget about the importance of employee referrals. Many startups find the most qualified candidates through employees who already know and trust the company. Encourage your team to refer people they know by offering a bonus or other incentive for successful hires.

Sourcing candidates for jobs at B2B tech startups doesn’t have to be difficult – it just takes a little creativity and effort.

Where to post a marketing job for startups

If you’re a B2B Tech startup looking to hire marketers, you may be wondering where the best place is to post your job. Here are three great places to start:

Startup.jobs

AngelList

Work in Startups

Each of these job sites specialises in startup hiring and has a large pool of qualified candidates, some of which may be marketers.

However, if you’re looking for a a solution that can help you save time and proactively approach candidates for you, then feel free to book a call with us to see if there’s a good fit.

Creating an interview process

A great company interview process is key to attracting and hiring good marketing talent. Here are a few tips to help you create a good process:

  • First, make sure all the key stakeholders involved in the interview are aligned on what you’re looking for and available to conduct interviews.
  • Secondly, stick to the interview process you decide as changing things during the process will only concern candidates by giving them the impression the company is disorganised.
  • Lastly, think about the core skills and competencies you’re recruiting for and create an interview process that enables the candidate to express what they can do.

By following these tips, you can create a great company interview process that will help you hire the best candidates for your startup.

An interview is a two-way process

As a startup, it’s important to remember that the interview process is a two-way process. Not only are you assessing whether or not the candidate is a good fit for your company, but the candidate is also assessing whether or not your company is the right fit for them.

Moving jobs is always risky and particularly for B2B marketing candidates they want to hear answers to questions covering these topics;

  • Buy-in to marketing at Founder / leadership level
  • Funding, current financial state and runway
  • Product – has product-market fit been achieved
  • The go-to-market – what’s working, what isn’t, is it clearly defined
  • Resources – marketing budget, freelancer / marketing agency support, hiring plans etc.
  • Autonomy and freedom to experiment
  • How decisions on marketing will be made – what if there’s a difference of opinion
  • The priorities – 3 / 6 / 12 months ahead
  • How will they be measured
  • What are the opportunities going forward – career, training and development

We recommend spending at least half of an interview answering questions from the candidates and talking them through your company, it’s vision and how this role contributes to that.

Onboarding your new marketer

Once you’ve found the perfect marketing candidate, how do you make sure they hit the ground running? Here are a few tips on how to onboard a new employee:

– Schedule regular check-ins – Set up weekly or biweekly one-on-one meetings with your new marketing hire. This is a great time to see how they’re settling in and answer any questions they may have.

– Assign a buddy – A buddy system is a great way to help new employees feel welcome and comfortable. Pair them up with someone who can show them the ropes and be there to answer any questions.

– Set clear expectations – Make sure your new hire knows what’s expected of them from the start. Set realistic goals and timelines so they know what to focus on.

Conclusion

Congratulations on reaching the point where you realise you need a marketer! This is an important milestone for any business and can really take things to the next level. However, it’s crucial that you take the time to find and hire the right type of marketer for your company. Without this step, all your marketing efforts may not bring you the results you desire. Once you have the right marketer in place, make sure you have a process in place to help them succeed.

If you need any hiring support, book a call to discuss how we can help. We want to see your startup reach its full potential!

Happy hiring!