How to Recruit the Best In-House SEO Manager

By December 8, 2017Thoughts & Other Topics
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The time has come to expand your business – and what better way to improve your brand’s reputation and attract more clients than to invest in SEO?

If this is the route you want to take, you’ll need to find a talented SEO manager who will be able to take to the reins of your digital marketing strategy and deliver results that will leave your competitors quaking in their boots.

But how do you go about selecting the right person for the job?

Read on for some top tips that will help you recruit the best in-house SEO manager for your company.

First of all – ask for help from a specialist recruitment company

You may be hesitant to enlist the help of a recruiter, but in our experience, doing so will save you a lot of time and money later on. Recruitment companies who are experienced in sourcing candidates from digital marketing backgrounds will know where to find the best people for your role (and they’ll also filter out any time-wasters from the process).

Ask the right questions

Once you’ve reviewed a mountain of CVs and selected a handful of candidates for interview, you’ll need to prepare a list of questions that will give you an insight into their suitability for the role.

Here’s a handful of things you’ll need to ask your prospective SEO manager, along with the answers you should expect them to give you.

What attracted you to SEO?

Their response will be very telling. You’re looking for someone who’s attracted to a fast-paced career, who is intrigued by the industry, and who wants to make a tangible difference to their clients’ livelihoods. You want their face to light up with passion at the very mention of SEO! If it doesn’t, and he or she sounds like they’re just going through the motions during their interview, they’re unlikely to be a good fit for the opportunity.

What experience do you have?

Don’t automatically expect your candidate to have completed specific qualifications in SEO. It’s widely accepted that most SEOs are self-taught, and their experience is much more valuable to your firm than a handful of certificates. So, with this in mind, it’s important that you ask them to explain their background in as much detail as possible. If you can, ask them to provide you with their portfolio, or at least examples of the results they’ve generated from previous campaigns.

Where do your strengths lie?

You should expect your candidate to have a sound overall knowledge of the three core components of SEO: technical, onsite and offsite (link building). It’s natural for them to be stronger in one area, but they will need to be able to call upon all three to solve SEO-related issues quickly and effectively.

How do you see your role evolving?

It doesn’t really matter how the candidate answers this question, as long as they have thought about where they want to be within your company, and what they want to be achieve in their role further down the line. You want to hire someone who sees a long term future with you – you want to imagine them climbing up the chain and managing their own team one day.

Once you’ve chatted with your candidate at great length and you’re confident you’ve got all the information you need, summarise their good and bad points. Consider the following during the evaluation process:

Do they think they know it all?

A key attribute of a great SEO manager is the hunger to learn more about their field. No good SEO will ever tell you they ‘know’ their craft inside out. If your candidate was adamant that he or she was already an expert in this area of marketing and they made it clear that they’re not interested in continual professional development, move swiftly on to the next.

Do I want them to represent my business?

Your SEO manager might be the first point of contact for many of your marketing associates and suppliers, and will be interacting with many other staff to make sure projects are on track. Did you feel as though the candidate had strong communication skills? Were they friendly, yet also smart and presentable? Sure, you are ultimately hiring this person to improve your online presence, but as with any other member of staff, you need to make sure they’re going to fit into your company’s culture and be easy (and fun) to work with.

Exploring other options

You’re probably wondering why, as a specialist search engine marketing company, we’re providing our readers with tips on how to recruit the best in-house SEO professional. Well, we know that the outsourcing option doesn’t work for every business. You may prefer to keep all of your marketing activity under one roof, or you may not have the funds to invest in a full-blown SEO strategy right now.

But if you’d like to remove the hassle of employing your own SEO consultant and instead benefit from the expert knowledge of a team that’s worked on hundreds of successful campaigns, you should get in touch with FSE Online. We’re here to talk you through your options and provide you with a search engine marketing strategy that will meet all your unique requirements.