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How to Hire a Marketing Director


It can be difficult to know exactly the best time to hire a marketing director. Similarly, many CEOs aren’t sure what to look for in a marketing director – not to mention how to recruit and retain such high-level candidates.

With over 40 years of experience, our marketing recruitment agency has worked with several Fortune 500 companies. We’re here to help in every stage of your recruitment process from finding top talent to helping your CMO navigate interviewing and hiring.

What is a Marketing Director?

While marketing director job descriptions will vary with the size and structure of your organization, these candidates are some of the highest-level marketers in the field. For smaller businesses, marketing directors are often in charge of the entire marketing department. With larger corporations, there are often several marketing directors working beneath a single CMO.

As executive-level team members, marketing directors devise and support the overall strategy for their department or business. They develop your brand identity and ensure it is represented uniformly and appeals to target consumers. Finally, these candidates track progress with metrics like key performance indicators (KPIs), while also reporting them to the rest of the executive team.

Average Salary for a Marketing Director

In the United States, marketing directors make around $115,000 per year on average. Yet, pay levels often vary dramatically in different companies, industries, and regions. To illustrate, a marketing director at a small business startup will almost always make less than one working at a multinational corporation.

What Qualifications Should a Marketing Director Have?

Marketing directors must be exceptional at managing employees, while also being experts in their particular field of marketing. While there are some general qualifications you should look for in a marketing director, these roles are often hyper-specific to your industry, company size, marketing budget, and target audience.

Common qualifications for marketing directors include:

  • BA degree in business, marketing, or similar
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal & written)
  • Strong organizational acumen
  • Experience managing teams
  • Knowledge of digital marketing: SEO, SEM, social media, analytics, brand awareness metrics, etc.

In smaller operations, marketing directors also take on the role of the department lead.

When Should I Hire a Marketing Director?

In the early days of your company, it’s very common for founders and executives to handle marketing efforts. Yet, with consistent growth, there comes a time when you will need to hire a dedicated executive for marketing.

Luckily, the field of marketing presents many options for tracking financial metrics such as return on investment (ROI). As such, you can use hard data from your marketing efforts to help decide the best time to expand your team. When profits and/or quarterly growth are consistent, you should assess your budget for expanding your team.  

How Do I Hire a Marketing Director?

It can be quite challenging to hire a marketing director. CuverCareers identified two major hurdles in today’s hiring market. Firstly, salary requirements have increased dramatically due to inflation and other factors. Secondly, we are in a candidate-driven market that makes hiring extremely competitive with other businesses.

You must create a competitive compensation package that aligns with the candidate’s background to stand out. Next, you should develop an efficient hiring process that pushes candidates through interviews within a two-week time frame. In addition, always remember to sell the opportunity and your company throughout the process.

What is the Best Interview Format for a Marketing Director?

Since marketing directors are executive-level hires, you need to structure your interview format accordingly.

Panel Interviews

Due to the importance of marketing director jobs, many companies opt to interview these candidates in a panel format. According to the job board Indeed, a panel “consists of several interviewers assessing an individual candidate.” For marketing directors, these panels generally include important people like executives, owners, partners, and investors.

Multiple-Round Interviews

Another great interview approach is multiple-round interviews. With this tactic, you can be more methodical in your interviews and ask additional questions based on previous interactions. Especially with important director-level roles, getting to know a candidate over multiple meetings is a smart idea.

What Interview Questions Can I Use?

At CulverCareers, we recommend using your job description as a guide for creating interview questions. While different marketing director roles have different requirements, there are some basic interview questions you can focus on. Here are a few general questions that our recruiters recommend:

  • Why are you interested in working for our company?
  • What is your strongest marketing competency? What areas are lacking?
  • How do you motivate employees? Please include an example.
  • If you get the job, what metrics / KPIs will you use to measure the success of our marketing department?
  • If hired, what will be your strategy for getting established team members behind you? 

Again, this is not an exhaustive list, but rather some basic questions that occur in such interview scenarios.

Why Work with a Recruiter to Hire a Marketing Director?

It’s not easy to find a marketing director who fits all your needs. Once you’ve recruited and hired a marketing director, you would need to consider how you will integrate them into your organization – while keeping other team members happy.

When you work with CulverCareers, you get more than world-class recruiters – you get the resources of our entire organization. An engagement with our organization includes the following important steps:

  • Kick-off meeting
  • Build a targeted pool of candidates
  • Screen & Select
  • Interviews
  • Hire
  • Onboarding
  • Retention programs
  • Health/wellness programs

In the end, a balanced recruitment platform keeps a steady flow of new talent coming into your organization, while also retaining key team members. By following this process, your business will become known as a talent destination among marketing executives. Contact CulverCareers to get started on your marketing director search!

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Written by

Ty Culver is the Client Development Director of CulverCareers focusing on talent acquisition and workforce solutions with a wide variety of local, national and global clients.

Ty has been working in various aspects of the industry for over 10 years and developed deep expertise in Executive Search, Executive Benefit and Talent Acquisition Programs along the way. He has a range of experience from SMB to Enterprise clients and hyper specific executive searches to high volume recruiting with companies in a dynamic state of flux.

Today, Ty leads a talented team of Talent Acquisition Specialists, Executive Recruiters and Client Success Managers at one of the most respected Recruiting Firms in the Nation, CulverCareers. While leadership is a key aspect of his role, Ty still enjoys working with clients on recruiting strategies, executive benefit solutions and workforce solutions to help clients build a holistic approach to talent acquisition and talent retention.

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