The goal was to find one HubSpot Specialist for a UK-based digital marketing agency that specializes in inbound marketing for finance & fintech clients. The specialist would be joining the HubSpot Implementation team to implement the bespoke HubSpot solutions for their customers in the fintech industry.
During the first 6 weeks, we reached out to 282 candidates. The majority of the sourcing was done via headhunting. We had the opportunity to take 20 candidates onto screening calls, and 7 of them ended up moving forward.
After 8 weeks, we had signed the contract with one candidate, but because we found multiple talented candidates, the team ended up signing another two candidates in the space of 3 weeks.
After a month, we re-initiated the hire to replace one candidate who wanted to move away from agency work and ended up finding a replacement as well as an additional team member in under 6 weeks.
In total, we hired 5 HubSpot Specialists for the team.
Biggest Selling Points:
As the agency is an Elite HubSpot partner, they have a lot of opportunities available for the team to upskill and take certifications that might not otherwise be available to them, so the person could really grow and learn fast by being part of the team - both through working with the clients as well as learning directly from the HubSpot platform & team.
The agency also has established processes and onboarding, so the new starts would have a good opportunity to learn about what they do and have a mentor for the first month to get up to speed.
They are also a firm believer in flexibility, allowing their team members to leave earlier on Friday & having a good remote work policy, where people could choose if they want to be fully based in the office, hybrid, or work remotely.
The agency already had a team of HubSpot Specialists on board, so they gave us clear requirements of what this candidate should bring to the table.
The person should have a good understanding of all parts of the HubSpot platform from Sales to Marketing Hubs and have some practical experience working & implementing the tool.
The candidate should also be a good communicator and be able to educate clients & strategize together with them on the different elements of the implementation and the purpose behind them.
Finally, as they would be working with multiple different clients, the candidate should display a high level of organization and be able to simultaneously manage multiple projects.
Skills We Looked For:
- HubSpot hands-on experience: It was important for the candidate to have some experience with HubSpot, and to have worked with different hubs. It was okay if they were more junior, as long as they had some base experience of using the tool.
- Excellent communication skills: As this role would be heavily involved with client communication, the candidate must be comfortable with leading verbal and written communication in English.
- Analytical / Problem Solving: As a HubSpot Specialist, this person would encounter complex solutions & new challenges with different clients, so they should be eager to find answers and solutions.
- Organization skills: Working with multiple different clients and different stages of implementation will require the candidate to be very organized and be able to prioritize their time to ensure deadlines are met.
- Pro-active & hungry: There will always be new updates and changes in the marketing world & HubSpot, so this person has to be keen on learning and proactively looking for new solutions and strategies to improve their skills.
From the get-go, we knew this would be a sought-after role, so we wanted to focus heavily on headhunting, using LinkedIn, Upwork, Hubstaff Talent & dedicated HubSpot Discord servers to seek out individuals & freelancers who have experience working with HubSpot and implementation of the software. At the same time, we also identified agencies that were HubSpot partners and tried to reach out to candidates from there.
After our initial reach out, follow-ups were KEY! Sometimes people got busy, or just needed a reminder, and after checking in with them, the interest to hop on a call jumped up.
We tried to run some ads on Indeed and LinkedIn, however, we found that they were unsuccessful for a role like this, and the focus should be placed on active sourcing.
We looked at HubSpot directly to source talent, however, it was difficult to compete with them, especially when it comes to benefits and bonus structure.
In the end, all three candidates came from headhunting.
For the test task, we evaluated that the best approach would be to have them perform a live demo on a call, to showcase not only their practical skills but their communication skills when it comes to explaining the features of HubSpot. This method worked well for us, as our experience with HubSpot is limited and the team was able to make a faster and more informed decision before moving forward with the candidate.
Key Questions To Ask:
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an unhappy customer - this was to understand their communication skills, client management, and attitude to problem-solving
- How do you stay on top of the HubSpot updates/new releases? - from this, we were able to understand how they use HubSpot, and how keen they are to learn and explore the tool
- Tell me about the most complex HubSpot implementation project that you have worked on - the answer gave us an indication if they are familiar with HubSpot integration, hubs, and the tool overall, and what kind of level of understanding they have
Challenges We Faced:
- The initial requirement was to hire talent in the UK which had some talent but was restrictive, and we were able to move into the rest of Europe a little down the line to increase our candidate pool
- The economy is changing and candidates who were working in the HubSpot space had high salary requirements, which didn’t fit the planned budget
- Searching for someone who has hands-on experience with HubSpot and its various hubs, especially one in an agency setting working with multiple different clients
- It can be difficult to compete with bigger companies for benefits, but people are mostly looking for a place where they can grow and the company has a good culture, which tends to be better in smaller teams
- HubSpot proficiency can be learned, so look for people who might not have so much experience but are interested in learning further
- Take a look at the specific software company itself - in this case, HubSpot - for talent. Sometimes it's worthwhile to go directly to the source!
Tips for similar hires:
- Take a look at your competitors, and see what talent they are nurturing. It can also give you an idea of different titles that they might be using to help you continue to search for a candidate
- Go through ex-talent of HubSpot and see if they are interested in putting those HubSpot skills to the test in a different environment
- When recruiting internationally, try to do a little research on how best to approach talent from different cultures
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