Hiring Marketing Experts: Do’s, Don’ts, and Everything In Between

Mar 24, 2023

When was the last time you had a vacancy on your marketing team but struggled to find the right candidate? Or better yet, find an expert?

  You're probably shaking your head right now because you don't want to be reminded of the – traumatic – experience of finding the right marketer for your business.

  If this sounds familiar, then keep reading because this guide is for you!



Table of Contents


  Regional Employment Data

  Possible Hiring Scenarios You Might Have Faced

  How to Hire for your Early-Stage Business

  How to Hire for Growth

  Breaking Down the Problem(s)

  You Don’t Want a Jack-Of-All-Trades

  Working with Experts

  Good Hiring Made Easy: 5 Steps to Follow

  Grow with Confidence with the Stllr Network


  The job market all over the world is witnessing massive changes. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are no exception.

  But there's a problem with their local job markets: Companies, especially startups, e-commerce, and enterprise businesses, are thirsty for talent but colleges aren't delivering fresh grads with the necessary skills.

  In addition, there are thousands, if not millions, of candidates in various stages of their careers looking for work but are struggling to gain the needed skills to fill those jobs.

  So what's the problem?

  A lingering gap.

  A lingering gap that keeps widening between companies and their needs and candidates and experts and their skills.

  Companies often seek to overcome their needs by hiring junior candidates to do a senior's work. And the result? A series of bad hiring decisions that cost the company money, cause candidates a ton of frustration and cause the job not to get done.

  This is most often the case when hiring marketers and marketing teams. With the rising need for marketers in every industry and business, companies need to be aware of their needs, what they're doing, and who they’re hiring.

  Otherwise, the results will be terrible for both ends of the hiring game.

  But the hiring market doesn't have to be exhausting and dim. There's a light at the end of the tunnel.

  As a business owner, you can find the right candidates for your business, you can find those who will support you and your growth.

  You can find those marketers who will not keep your business stable, but who will take it up several levels and help you grow and shine.

  In this guide, we're going to focus on the hiring problem for businesses, whether they are startups, e-commerce stores, or enterprise businesses.

  We’ll also focus on the steps you can follow to find the right candidate along with a unique data-driven candidate-vetting solution to support your hiring needs in the field of marketing.

  Keep reading!


Regional Employment Data


Before we focus on tips, let’s look at some regional statistics about unemployment in our focus markets.


  MENA Region


  -Unemployment in the MENA region was estimated at 10.5% in 2021 (Economic Research Forum)

  Saudi Employment Data


  -The rate of unemployment in Saudi Arabia fell to 11.0% in Q4 2021 from 11.3% in the previous quarter. Year on year, this figure is 1.6% lower. (The General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT)

  -The kingdom created roughly 555,000 new jobs over the past 5 years. (GASTAT)

  -80% of employers in Saudi Arabia are planning to hire more people in 2022 up from 43% in 2021 (Hays survey)

  Egypt Employment Data


  -Egypt's unemployment rate rose to 7.4% in Q4 2021 from 7.2% in the same period of 2020. (CAPMAS)

  -The number of unemployed people rose to 2.2 million in Q4 2021. (CAPMAS)

  -Between 2007 and 2014, Egypt carried out over 180 youth employment projects (Economic Research Forum)

  Possible Hiring Scenarios You Might Have Faced


Whether you’re a business owner or a hiring manager, you’ve probably found yourself in one or more of the following hiring scenarios.

  With businesses seeking high-quality hires fast, pitfalls become more frequent and the results aren’t what you want them to be.

  Here are 3 common hiring scenarios you’ve probably experienced yourself.


Scenario 1:

  Vacancy → You want high-quality hires fast → So you open a vacancy and post it across social media and hiring websites → You get bombarded with 500+ applications for a single vacancy → Then the screening, interviewing, testing, re-testing, 1-to-1 interviews 😩

  Another problem that emerges within this scenario is time. You want to hire 'fast' and hiring a full-timer can take anywhere from 1 to 2 months! This means:

  -Lots of pressure on your current team

  -Lots of business potential lost

  -And lots of time lost for you

  Not to mention, being in a hurry means you may not have time to review all the resumes (500+) that you've received.

  So what do you do? You settle for the closest match…and within a month or less you discover…that something isn't right.


  Generally speaking, startups (including e-commerce and enterprise businesses) struggle with hiring qualified talents for 4 main reasons:

  1) They need to hire fast (obviously!)

  2) They depend on a network with a small pool of recommendations

  3) They look at social profiles which may or may not be enough

  4) They rely on their internal talent acquisition, which usually means getting great people with great resumes but limited experience and this doesn't help because they need experience


Scenario 2:

  You work with freelance marketplaces. They take on the exhausting process from scenario 1 and deliver 5 promising candidates. You conduct 1-to-1 interviews, dislike the candidates, and restart the hiring process or you choose one of those 5 candidates.

  But a month or two in… something is wrong… AGAIN!


Scenario 3:

  You have a need that doesn't amount to a full-time job but you're not used to working with people on a part-time or freelance basis, so you do one of the following:

  Hire someone full-time but don't know what other tasks to give them so you end up paying a lot of money that you don't need to (every month).


  Hire a junior to do a senior's work but don't get the results you need. OR worse: You hire a junior to do a senior's job to end up watching your competitors making strides while you're struggling at the start of the line and nowhere close to the results you need.


  Ask for referrals without having a clear job description or scope of work in mind (especially in the marketing field, which is the focus of this guide). The result: You hire referrals based on compliments but they don't meet your criteria and you fire them within a few weeks to a month. (And possibly hurting your relationship with your friends or business partners along the way)

  What do all these scenarios have in common?

  -Long process

  -Lots of candidates for a few vacancies

  -Potentially unrealistic requirements (you're not getting guidance)

  -The result is not what you're looking for

  -No guarantee for quality candidates (whether it's referrals, freelance platforms, or talent acquisition)

  -No transparency (if you're hiring through an agency)

  -High cost for a service you don't like

  “You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible.” – Paul Graham, co-founder of Y-Combinator

  How to Hire for Your Early-Stage Business


When you're just launching your business, you need to hire right and keep your budget low. While this sounds like a mission impossible-kind-of-idea (and it's not something candidates want to hear), there's a reason behind it.

  The thing about not spending too much on hiring when you're just starting out is that it allows you to keep more of your funds while also giving you the opportunity to test ideas and explore various approaches.

  Making good hires at the start of your business means you can experiment with your ideas better and build and market a product or service that people need. You ought to remember that startups are fast and the people you hire need to have an entrepreneurial nature; they need to be willing to take risks, experiment, and above all be proactive.

  As a business owner, you too need to take risks but calculated risks.

  How to Hire for Growth


Assuming you do well in your early stages, your business becomes successful and grows, you'll be able to raise funds and expand further. This means you'll need to grow your team and hire more people to continue your growth trajectory.

  The problem with hiring in the growth stage is that your business is becoming more complex, which means you need to focus on hiring not only salespeople but also experts.

  One of the top problems business owners – specifically startup founders – make is premature scaling, which means hiring more people than you need because you anticipate – or mis-anticipate – the incoming work needs and load.

  When hiring for growth, it's important to understand and decide which functions need to be in-house and which can be outsourced (whether to freelancers or other companies).

  Having an in-house team means your team grows with you. However, an in-house team also means more fixed costs month-on-month and less flexibility.

  Working with vetted freelancers and experts, on the other hand, can translate into more flexibility, less fixed costs, and a pool of opportunities that's available when needed. Stllr Network has the largest network of vetted freelancers and teams across MENA.

  Breaking Down the Problem(s)


As a business owner who is looking to attract funding, establish partnerships and grow, you'll be looking for a unique set of skills in the candidates you interview.

  But what kind of skills should you be looking at?


  First: Technical Skills


Depending on the role you're hiring for, candidates need to have technical skills. It's unlikely you'll hire a software engineer who has no experience in the field. Especially if you're in the early stage of your business. (We're not talking about internships here)

  It's unlikely you'll be looking for an entry-level growth marketer. (Is there even such a thing? The answer is: Nope)

  So you'll need to look at each person's technical skills and get proof of those skills.

  Second: Soft Skills


One of the things that you don't see – really see – in a resume is a candidate's soft skills. Sure, everyone writes that they're a ‘team player,' 'reliable,' 'problem-solver,'…yada yada yada.

  Soft skills are hard to come by. They're not taught, they're acquired. And you'll need to spot many of them in an interview or ask the person who referred the candidate.

  Soft skills are skills like attitude, openness, communication, being adaptable, willingness to grow, and so on.

  Third: The Candidate as a Whole


You'll often see candidates with strong technical skills and weak soft skills, or the other way around.

  And the more candidates you see, the more you'll get this thought:

  'Ahmed has the soft skills that fit my business perfectly! But technically, he's going to take months to catch up. Zeina has the technical skills to take my business to a new level but if only she could work on her communication and teamwork abilities…'

  There are three things you need to know about hiring:

  1) You'll never find the perfect candidate

  2) You have to take the candidate as a whole, as a package

  3) You don't want a jack-of-all-trades

  Both the Saudi and Egyptian markets are brimming with job-seekers and candidates looking to change jobs. And you'll often find this discrepancy of technical vs soft skills.

  This disparity is clearer when you're in the early stage and looking to keep expenses low so you look for younger candidates.

  At Stllr Network, we hand-pick our experts so it’s guaranteed you’ll find just the right person you need. You can learn more about our process here.

  You Don't Want a Jack-of-All-Trades


If you've ever thought that having a person who can do the jobs of 3 or 4 people would be a dream come true, we're here to tell you: STOP!

  You do NOT want a jack-of-all-trades.

  'But they'd help me out with a LOT of the unrelated tasks and job requirements I have!' You say.

  No. You don't want this person, and here's why.

  First: Do you know what the rest of the saying is?

  'Jack of all trades, but master of none’'

  Big OUCH there for you! Whoever this person is, they will not be able to do anything and your business will suffer long-term.

  Candidates vs Experts


Many times you'll need to consider whether it's best to hire a full-time employee or an expert who can support you on a per-project basis or act as a consultant.

  This is more relevant in the growth stage. Although seed-stage startups and e-commerce businesses may need to work with business and marketing consultants and experts and have them guide their teams.

  Oftentimes we see companies asking for a LOT in their job descriptions. They write a job description that fits two or three different people. Because doesn't everyone have to cut costs and hope for the best?

  Again, they're looking for a Jack-of-all-trades, not considering that this person won't be able to meet ALL of their needs because they're really not an expert in ONE or even two things. They just juggle a lot of jobs and they can do an 'ok' job. And whether you're an early-stage business or in the growth stage, you can't afford 'ok,' you need someone who knows what they're doing, how to do it, and how to give you the best advice.

  Often after looking at hundreds – if not thousands – of resumes, recruiters and business owners end up hiring either a candidate who's not qualified for the mega-position they have, a jack-of-all-trades who never fulfills their duties, or someone who doesn't click with them.

  This new hire is often later referred to as a bad hire. At Stllr, we have a different name for the overall process of getting bad hires, and that's "The Broken-Leg-Running Hiring Syndrome."

  What is The Broken-Leg-Running Hiring Syndrome?


Before we answer that, let's ask a slightly different question: Have you ever seen a man or woman run a marathon with a broken leg?

  Highly unlikely.

  The same with hiring. If you get a candidate who has limited skills (the broken leg) and ask them to carry out a job full of tasks and requirements, they'll go about it with a limp and end up falling after a few steps from the starting line.

  That's what the Broken-Leg-Running Hiring Syndrome is.

  Bad hires are like broken-leg runners. They don't make the cut but unlike the runners, there are many reasons why they may be unable to do their jobs.

  Here are some of the reasons:

  -They don't fit with your company's culture

  -They didn't have the necessary skills

  -They aren't team players

  -They don't have what it takes

  -They aren't punctual

  On the other hand, hiring an expert overcomes all of these problems and more.


Where a bad hire or a jack-of-all-trades attempts to perform tasks they are not fit or qualified to do, an expert comes in with the technical and soft skills you need.

  Working with Experts


You may be thinking: 'But experts are super expensive. I know I can't afford them.'

  We hear you, but here's the catch: When business owners think of new hires, they're always thinking of getting people full-time.

  Experts operate on a different level. They're not here to take your hand, pat your back, and wait for you to tell them what to do. They're here to do what you hired them to do.

  Whether it's to run Google Ads or write a high-converting sales page, experts bring expertise that gets you from point A to point B to point C and so on.

  An expert is the opposite of someone who juggles many things but can't perform one job with 100%. An expert knows what they’re good at.

  And while many tasks may overlap in marketing, an expert will tell you 'This isn't my area of expertise, or 'This isn't something I do.'

  Experts are honest about what they can and can't do because their skills and reputation are on the line. And like your business, they don't want to hurt that reputation but they want to enhance it.

  Let's take an example. You want to hire a marketing expert. The first thing we'll ask you is 'What type of marketing activity do you need exactly?'

  Is it product marketing? Social media marketing? Google Ads and paid search? Growth marketing? Email marketing? Is it copywriting?

  Yes, these are all different areas of marketing that SHOULD NOT be performed by the same person. (Surprise!)

  Getting someone who can do all of the above means they will carry out only 5% or even 10% of your list of requirements. But they can't do everything at 100%. It just won’t work.

  And while marketers tend to be familiar with different aspects of marketing, experts focus on niches.

  You may find experts with a 'couple' of overlapping skills but you won't find an expert who can perform all of those. A copywriting expert can provide blog posts, email marketing, and on-page SEO. But they won't be doing your Google Ads.

  An SEO expert may offer you a full suite covering on-page and off-page SEO but they won't write or run your email marketing campaigns.

  A growth marketing expert will take on your social media and Google Ads but they won't be writing your blog posts or website copy.

  And looking for someone who can do all of the above and come at a reasonable cost is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle.

  With Stllr Network, you don’t need to worry about those things anymore because we offer instant access to the vetted freelancers and teams you need for your business.

  Good Hiring Made Easy: 5 Steps to Follow


So how can you find the right hire in a sea of candidates all looking for work?

  These 5 simple steps will help you do just that.

  1) Create a detailed job description


If you look at job descriptions these days, you'll think everyone is copying and pasting each other. And then they're surprised they don't get the right candidates.

  Be clear in what you're looking for. Be specific in your job requirements, qualifications needed, and most importantly your brief.

  2) Don't merge jobs


Whether you're a startup CEO, talent acquisition specialist, or any manager that's hiring in a business, you've probably seen jobs that look like they're 2 or 3 jobs combined. (You may have even written a few)

  No person will stay sane fulfilling such a workload day in and day out.

  You may find a candidate willing to do all this for a sizable salary but you can expect a high turnover, falling productivity and morale, and many other negative impacts on your business. Negative consequences you don't need.

  3) Don't ask for a junior when you really need a senior


Have you seen those "entry-level jobs" asking for 4 years of experience?

  You may have considered hiring a junior as a way to cut costs when what you really need is a senior who isn't going to experiment with your budget.

  4) Know what you're looking for


It's important you know what you're looking for and if this type of work requires a full-time employee, a part-time one, or simply a freelancer. Or perhaps what you really need is an expert.

  Your workload will dictate your needs. And your budget will determine if what you're looking for is feasible or not.

  If you're not sure whether your needs require a full-timer, part-timer, freelancer, or expert, reach out to the Stllr Network for a consultation.


5) Have a hiring process


Most people think that the hiring process goes like this: a company opens a vacancy, candidates apply, meet up for an interview, and the company disappears.

  But to get some real work done, and ensure you're being fair and getting the best candidates, you'll need a hiring process that you apply to all your hires.

  This should include:

  -The above-mentioned detailed job description

  -A structured interview including a list of questions that you ask to all interviewees

  -A test or evaluation that doesn't ask for the world (something that takes an hour at most as long as it's not a role that involves someone providing you with a portfolio)

  -An interview with the CEO or hiring manager

  -A final email that tells the candidate "You're in!" or "We're sorry but you're out."

  Grow with Confidence with the Stllr Network


But there's another way to find the right marketing experts for your business without worrying about making the wrong choices. And all it takes is a few minutes.

  It's with the Stllr Network.

  Stllr is a network and platform for companies. We provide you with hand-picked and carefully-vetted marketing experts and ready-to-work teams.

  With our extensive network of world-class marketing experts, we'll help you grow your business easily, without having to worry about making wrong hiring choices and keeping costs within your budget.

  Stllr is currently focused on providing marketing experts and services because we're all marketers ourselves.

  Whether you're looking for people to help you with technical or on-page SEO – or both, with conversion rate optimization (CRO), media buying, growth marketing, PPC, and everything in between, the Stllr Network has you covered.

  At Stllr, we've had people come to us looking for certain skills and fulfilling certain tasks. So what we did was create a platform designed to ensure you find what you're looking for to grow your business with ease and confidence.

  Here are a few more benefits you get when using the Stllr Network:


  1. Ready-made templates and briefs


We've created templates and briefs for every task you can think of, so you don’t have to struggle to create your own. You can simply fill one or more of Stllr's templates (based on your needs) and use them with the experts you choose.

  2. Instant access to dozens of marketing experts


Use the Stllr Network to get access to 200+ marketing experts and teams. Reach out to experts using the interactive chat feature.

  3. Find your expert using matching factors


Gone are the days of having people bid for your project. With the Stllr Network, you set up the project and choose the experts by selecting your matchmaking factors. Review results based on AI recommendations.

  Matchmaking factors include:


1. Marketing budget

  2. Product price

  3. Market niche (SaaS, e-commerce, ed-tech, fintech…etc.)

  4. Marketing channels

  5. Business stage

  6. Target audience (B2B, B2C, DTC…etc.)

  7. Marketing strategy

  8. Expert's location

  9. Company culture

  10. Expert's language

  11. Communication channels

  12. Expert's background

  4. Interactive chat


Use Stllr's interactive chat to reach out to experts for questions. Plus, you can send a single request to up to 6 experts at the same time.

  5. Data-driven AI-powered matchmaking


With the Stllr Network's AI-powered matchmaking, you'll get experts that meet your needs and get the best results – fast!

  6. Single payment


You pay once to a single entity, which means the days of multiple payments are long gone!

  7. Dedicated support team


At Stllr, we want to see your business grow. So we're providing you with a dedicated support team who will ensure you find what you're looking for, guide you in finding experts, and ensure you enjoy a seamless experience.

  8. Various pricing tiers to ensure flexibility for different business stages


Rest assured that you will acquire the experts you need with prices that fit your budget and the stage your business is at.

  Get started with Stllr Network and unlock unlimited potential for your business through vetted independents!