Back to Learning Center
Subscribe
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our weekly insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.

Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2021

Read it now Subscribe
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our weekly insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.
Learning Center
Learning Center
Close
The IMPACT Learning Center

Free resources to help you master inbound marketing and They Ask, You Answer

Access the Learning Center

Access the Learning Center

Access the Learning Center
learning_center_grey__What is They Ask, You Answer-v2-black

What is They Ask, You Answer

What is <span>They Ask, You Answer</span>
Articles, Podcasts, & Updates

Articles, Podcasts, & Updates

Articles, Podcasts, <span>& Updates</span>
Free Courses & Certifications

Free Courses & Certifications

Free Courses & <span>Certifications</span>
On-Demand Keynotes & Sessions

On-Demand Keynotes & Sessions

On-Demand <span>Keynotes & Sessions</span>
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Services
Services
Close
Navigation_8_2021_taya

They Ask, You Answer Coaching & Training

They Ask, You Answer Coaching & Training
They Ask, You Answer Workshop

They Ask, You Answer Workshop

They Ask, You Answer Workshop
Navigation_8_2021_workshop

Inbound Marketing Services

Inbound Marketing Services
Navigation_8_2021_website design - monitor

Website Design & Development

Website Design & Development
Navigation_8_2021_hubspot implementation

HubSpot Training & Implementation

HubSpot Training & Implementation
Navigation_8_2021_virtual selling

Virtual Sales
Training

Virtual Sales <br>Training
Navigation_8_2021_swell - paid ads

Paid Search & Social Services

Paid Search & Social Services
Become a Certified Coach
Become a Certified Coach
Close
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2021
Free Inbound Marketing Playbook
View The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2021
Covers-FINAL

Free Guide:

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

How to Find, Recognize, & Hire High-Performing Marketers

By Stacy Willis

Stacy Willis also recommends this free guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2021.

How to Find, Recognize, & Hire High-Performing Marketers Blog Feature

So, you want that perfect hire?

You are looking for an employee who is dedicated, a self-starter comes up with great ideas, meets deadlines, and still jives with your company culture.

Everyone has told you that you’re looking for a unicorn, right?

Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2021

Well, everyone is wrong. What you’re looking for is a high-performing marketer.

My fantastically talented colleague, Britt, has already done a great job of explaining what high-performing marketers are and why they are an asset to any company, so if you need to be convinced just check out her blog.

There are a lot of marketing interview questions you should be asking -- 54, to be exact. But what I’m here to talk about today is why you should care about recognizing these diamonds in your hiring process and what key traits you should look for based on countless hours of nerdy research.

Why is Recognizing High-Performing Marketers During the Hiring Process So Important?

So you want this incredible, magical employee.

While it is relatively easy to recognize what you want to get out of an employee, it is much harder to determine what traits and signs you can look for early in the hiring process to ensure you have the right person.

How many of you have found that your first impression of a person turned out to be completely wrong?

I’m willing to bet everyone has, and it can work in both ways.

You may find that you didn’t think highly of someone who turned out to be amazing or you may also find that someone you expected the world of just didn’t deliver.

In terms of hiring, this can turn into a very costly mistake.

In either case, you paid the price.

In the first case, you invested time and money training someone who failed to meet expectations and may have even lost business in the process.

In the second, you’ve paid a significant opportunity cost that is hard to quantify by not realizing the potential of a great employee.

During the interview process, everyone is putting their best foot forward and trying to show you the most polished, positive view of themselves.

It is very easy to believe that you’ll ultimately get what the candidate is promising you, but how can you dive a little deeper and see if that is truly the case?

But First, A Story.

Our journey to learn about recognizing high-performing traits during the hiring process actually followed a very strange path.

We didn’t seek to improve our hiring process and then find this information but instead stumbled across a few realizations very serendipitously.

This whole journey began with a simple exercise in continuous improvement.

At IMPACT, we have an incredible Messaging and Branding workshop we provide to clients.

It is a service that has long been in the making and is always being updated and improved.

When it came to this, we decided to eat our own dog food and gather our CEO, COO, Sales, and Client Services leaders in one room to put them on the client side of the table for our workshop.

As we waded through the first few exercises to really understand and distill our brand style and message, we ran into a bit of roadblock. 

In trying to define our key differentiators, we kept coming back to the conversation of “Our People.”

Now, it is very difficult to successfully use “your people” as a key differentiator.

First of all, it is incredibly overused.

Almost every company you talk to will tell you their people are amazing and unmatched in the marketplace. When everyone says it, it very quickly becomes something that doesn’t differentiate you at all.

Second, it is an incredibly difficult differentiator to actually prove. How are our people different than the people who work for our competitors? What makes them better?

If there isn’t a very clear and compelling answer to that question, it isn’t really a differentiator.

The problem here is that every single person in the room knew our people were truly unique and different than those you will find anywhere else.

They are the lifeblood of IMPACT, and there truly is a quality in them that you would be hard-pressed to find in another organization. The issue was that nobody in the room could truly articulate what that quality was.

Upon inspection of our people, one incredibly important personality trait came to light.

Our team had this uncanny ability to embody paradoxes.

We could think of examples over and over again where two traits were so opposite that they should never exist within the same individual. Yet, somehow our people were able to use those opposing traits together to create something far better than they otherwise would have been able to.

The simple paradox wasn’t explanation enough, though. There was something layered on top that made it truly magical.

We poured over dictionary and thesaurus entries for days to try and find a word that might possibly help us describe what this important ability was called--and we found nothing.

What’s a marketer to do when there isn’t a good enough word to describe something?

Why, create one, of course!

We are keeping our word under wraps until we can make the big reveal, stay tuned (and come to IMPACT Live) if you’re curious what we’ve chosen!

What followed this fantastic realization was months and months of research into personality, habits and human behavior. We were determined to unlock the code that would allow us to see into the future, to recognize traits in people earlier and predict success later.

Key Traits of High-Performing Marketers

What we found were three key categories of traits that were evident in all of our highest performing staff and could be sought out during our hiring process to predict the best long-term candidates.

Traits of the Highly Successful

The first category of personality traits and habits we look for are all of the hallmarks of people who’ve historically shown high levels of success.

Conscientiousness

The first, and most foundational, of these traits is conscientiousness, or the ability to act in an organized and thoughtful way.

Hailed as the personality trait that “guarantees” success, conscientiousness has quite the reputation.

Of the Big 5 Personality characteristics, conscientiousness has most strongly been linked to the ability to go far in life and achieve higher incomes, better job satisfaction, and greater rates of success.

Those with conscientiousness are able to stay on top of deadlines, keep track of what needs to be done, and follow the steps needed to reach a goal.

Having a person like this means deadlines are met, tasks are not forgotten, processes are followed and nothing is missed.

Future-focus

Another key habit these individuals display is a consistent focus on the future.

In his book, High-Performance Habits, Brendon Burchard shares research around this highly common characteristic of high-performers, saying “In almost every basic question of who they were or what they wanted, the highest performers had a great ability to focus on the future and divine how they would achieve excellence.”

These individuals not only have the ability to visualize a future version of themselves that is a better version of what they are today but just having that vision increases the chance that they will grow into that version of themselves.

Traits of the Highly Creative

The second category of traits, a category that is incredibly important in marketing specifically, are the hallmarks of the highly creative.

Many perceive creative individuals to have highly opposing traits at the same time, creating an internal paradox.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a Hungarian psychologist who has devoted most of his career to studying the highly creative, coined the term “paradoxical personality” to describe this internal battle.

However, that perception is incomplete.

What is really happening inside of these uniquely creative individuals is actually a fluidity along these spectrums of polar opposites; an understanding of both.

This unique ability makes these individuals great problem solvers, allows them to think outside-of-the-box, and ultimately create amazing things.

Additionally, highly creative individuals display very high levels of Openness to Experience (another of the Big 5 Personality Traits).

This personality factor has been tied very strongly in research to both highly creative and successful people.

It has also been strongly correlated with a desire and drive to grow, the ability to learn new things, and a propensity for innovative ideas.

Overall, it has a very strong predictor of success as a leader.

Emotional Intelligence

The final category of traits is what really allows an individual to harness and make the most out of the traits in the first two categories.

Emotional intelligence is characterized by an ability to both understand and manage your emotions, as well as recognize and appropriately respond to emotions in others.

It is often referred to as EQ, an emotional counterpart to our typical measure of intelligence, IQ. EQ is often considered just as important, if not more so, than IQ in predicting success. Having a high IQ may indicate a very smart individual, but without a high EQ, much of that can be wasted.

It is similar to having a big box of tools but not know what to do with any of them. Without the knowledge, the tools are useless. Such is the case with IQ and EQ.

Additionally, emotional intelligence, in connection to the Big 5, has been linked most strongly to extraversion, agreeableness, and openness to experience.

How Can You Update Your Hiring Process to Seek Out High-performing Marketers?

I was hoping you would ask! I am so excited to be speaking on this very subject this August in Hartford, CT at IMPACT Live.

During my talk, I’ll share more information about the three categories of traits to look for to recognize these amazing individuals and how to revamp your hiring process specifically to seek them out!

Send me an email if you’re coming (and if you aren’t yet, get your ticket now before the prices go up); I’d love to meet up in person and dive into deeper discussion!

Covers-FINAL
Covers-FINAL

Free Guide:

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2021

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

Topics:

IMPACT Live
Hiring a Marketing Team
Published on July 3, 2018

Recent Articles

IMPACT Live Highlights, INBOUND Fast Approaching, & HubSpotters Who Are Certified Dope [Hubcast 238]

By Carina Duffy on August 15, 2019
3 min read

#IMLive19 Day 2 Recap: The Future of Marketing & Saying "Goodbye" to IMPACT Live

By Ramona Sukhraj on August 8, 2019
6 min read

#IMLive19 Day 1 Recap: Transformation & Announcing Digital Sales & Marketing World

By Ramona Sukhraj on August 7, 2019
4 min read

Average Time to Close Ticket Reports, They Ask, You Answer (Revised & Updated), & New Report Drill-downs [Hubcast 237]

By Carina Duffy on August 1, 2019
3 min read

13 Tips for Surviving a Professional Networking Event

By Jessica Palmeri on July 24, 2019
4 min read

“I Am Attending a Marketing Conference: What Should I Wear?” [+Video]

By Shandia Drummond-Butt on May 20, 2019
5 min read

Deals by Stage and Source, the Publisher Model, & the New Academy UX (with Bob Ruffolo) [Hubcast 222]

By Carina Duffy on April 18, 2019
2 min read

How to Practice Mindfulness in Those Anxious Professional Moments [Infographic]

By Shandia Drummond-Butt on August 11, 2018
2 min read

The Future of Inbound [#IMLive18 Day 2 Recap]

By Stephanie Baiocchi on August 9, 2018
2 min read

The Day Inbound Was Redefined [#IMLive18 Day 1 Recap]

By Ramona Sukhraj on August 8, 2018
2 min read

How to Win at Networking Even as an Introvert [Infographic]

By Ashleigh Respicio on August 4, 2018
2 min read

3 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Website Without a Developer

By Vin Gaeta on July 25, 2018
7 min read

The Secret to Getting the Most from Any Tool You’re Already Investing In

By Carina Duffy on July 21, 2018
4 min read

How to Find, Recognize, & Hire High-Performing Marketers

By Stacy Willis on July 3, 2018
6 min read

How to Fast Forward Your Marketing & Sales Programs with Video

By Tyler Lessard on June 27, 2018
4 min read

6 Things Your Applications Need to Do to Get the Best Job Candidates

By Natalie Davis on June 18, 2018
4 min read

The Future of Content Marketing Has Arrived & More [#IMLive18]

By Marcus Sheridan on May 30, 2018
3 min read

Hubcast 176: INBOUND Speakers Announced, & How HubSpot Got Its Groove Back

By Carina Duffy on May 17, 2018
3 min read

4 Reasons to Get Early Bird Tickets to IMPACT Live '18 Now

By Liz Moorehead on January 11, 2018
4 min read

#IMLive17 Day 2 Recap: Inaugural IMPACT Award Winners & More!

By Ramona Sukhraj on August 3, 2017
4 min read

#IMLive17 Day 1 Recap: Free For All in 2018 (Literally)

By Ramona Sukhraj on August 2, 2017
3 min read

From HubSpot to Harvard: How Mark Roberge Became a Sales Heavyweight [IMPACT Live Video]

By Ramona Sukhraj on June 2, 2017
1 min read

The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing [IMPACT Live Video]

By Ramona Sukhraj on May 18, 2017
1 min read

How George B Thomas Combats Video Marketing Concerns [IMPACT Live Video]

By Carolyn Edgecomb on May 8, 2017
2 min read

Pete Caputa’s Playbook for Data-Driven Growth [IMPACT Live Video]

By Ramona Sukhraj on May 4, 2017
1 min read