5 September, 2022 by Mayur Patel in Category Name
Railsware is a Product Studio charged up for creating successful products both for ourselves and our clients. While our clients’ products become unicorns (Calendly and Nexhealth), Railsware products, Mailtrap, Coupler.io, and Smart Checklist, are growing rapidly. Mailtrap has reached 1 million users recently. Half-a-million people read our content each month. All that wouldn’t be possible without our marketing team. To put it together, we established a rigorous hiring process which we unveil in this post.
Great specialists don’t always fit. To hire the right person that would blend in and start delivering immediately, we always keep in mind the peculiarities of our team and work processes.
There are hundreds of hard and soft skills a highly qualified marketing specialist should possess. Many of them are specific to each particular position, like editing for writers or negotiation for outreachers. However, there are foundational skills we want each marketing team member to have.
The simplest way to check if candidates can understand your product’s essence is to ask them to pitch their previous company. If they can’t “sell” something they worked with for a while, it’s very likely they won’t be able to pitch your product either.
Consciousness and empathy are critical soft skills for marketers. Not understanding a tiny piece of product or users’ behavior and aspirations will always lead to wrong marketing decisions and wasted time. In addition, Railsware mostly builds B2B tech products that solve complex and often abstract tasks. The number one goal for anyone joining the company is to understand the product and its audience. Why would you want to start doing it with someone who can’t explain clearly what their previous company was doing?
At this point, it’s easy to validate how candidates sell. We believe that all marketing specialists should know how the purchases are made and understand the difference between:
For example, the decision to purchase a $4.99 MacOS productivity add-on will hugely differ from a decision to onboard your team of 150 people to the new project management platform. Marketers must clearly understand and feel the difference in sale cycles to build marketing campaigns that make sense.
As mentioned before, we don’t hire managers to coordinate people. We only hire specialists with enough level of ownership to deliver results successfully and independently. Here’s an example.
The first image shows a typical team structure with a manager. For Railsware, this structure is disadvantageous as it often leads to a “bus driver effect.” This is when the one person that holds the context leaves the team or is temporarily unavailable, and the rest of the team gets blocked. Among other drawbacks of such a team structure is lack of knowledge sharing, inactiveness of the team members, and limited capacity of one person (manager).
In the second image, you see a scheme of a Railsware squad. There is no manager. Every squad member self-manages their own tasks and cooperates with others to get what they need from them. Not only can we learn from each other in such a team but also work independently, holding responsibility for the project outcome. What’s more, we rarely get blocked.
One more unobvious benefit of squad collaboration is a significant rise in quality. In the first manager-led scenario, the quality depends on one person. A manager has to give feedback to writers, designers, and SEOs. In the second case, everyone shares feedback from different points of view, which leads to improving the final outcome.
Writing is the foundation of marketing. Put simply, you can’t sell without words, and you need someone to put those words around your product together. A PPC expert who can’t craft a creative ad without a copywriter is permanently blocked. An SEO expert who can’t compose a headline is doomed to constantly fight with a writer in a battle of Keywords vs. Creativity. A marketing generalist who can’t write at least an email or a sales pitch will never make any progress on your project. So, if you can hire only one specialist for your business, go for a writer or someone who can write. Together you can hit the ground running.
As your team grows, you will hire more focused and niche experts; probably not all of them will be fans of copywriting, which is also fine. But even in this case, always try to keep the balance of writers and non-writers in your team in order not to overwhelm writers with cluttered tasks.
The road to mediocrity is paved with the best practices. You need to craft constantly. At Railsware, we heavily rely on industry and community knowledge. However, every time we start a new marketing campaign, we dig into the context to investigate potential benefits, risks, issues, and domain knowledge, and after that, we craft absolutely custom and unique solutions. Often, we develop our own frameworks and approaches as a result. This is how Railsware created BRIDGeS – a decision-making framework that can be a perfect tool for marketing ideation and roadmap planning.
When interviewing a candidate, we check how a person can focus on solving custom challenges, not implementing typical marketing approaches. Creating a ton of SEO-optimized content, spending thousands of dollars on paid ads, or writing landing page copies isn’t that difficult. Understanding how all this can boost your business growth is super hard and must be questioned by Marketers regularly.