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The #1 trait to look for when hiring marketers

… and no, structuring campaigns in an Ads Manager is not it.

As Julian Shapiro points out in his thread, the most important characteristic of a successful marketer is curiosity.

“But… you wouldn’t hire a curious pilot to fly your plane; you’d hire an experienced one, right?” Correct, which is why this trait is most applicable to creative and startup roles.

Here’s why…

Startups and creative departments are fueled by resourcefulness and innovation. Curious marketers use both to improve their skills, while also pushing the company’s growth.

Furthermore, curious marketers are:

  • Persistent. They don’t quit at the first slump; they work to find solutions.
  • Driven. They learn and grow faster than non-curious employees.
  • Analytical. They test new tools, track competition, and follow industry trends.
  • Infectious. They elevate the self-worth of other employees.

So how do you find out whether someone is genuinely curious? Julian asks questions like:

  • Are they interested in a more senior position? You can mix senior duties in with their daily role for them to test out.
  • Are they new to startups? Maybe hire someone with corporate experience who wants to work in a more creative environment.
  • Are they looking to master a particular side of startups? For example, product growth. Give them some wiggle room to pursue these “side goals” within your company.
  • What have they done to further their skills in the current job? Listen for signs of proactivity and experimentation, main traits of a curious employee.
  • What tools have they tried to make their jobs easier? Curious people will always tinker, learn, and try out new things.

Keep in mind this is a two-way street. If you position yourself as someone who rewards creativity and curiosity, potential hires won’t have to worry about getting cramped in a box.

Getting two to four years out of such an employee is more valuable than decades of someone who’s there just to “do the job.” When they leave, the knowledge still stays.

And that’s the beauty of hiring curious marketers.