How to Find & Hire your FB Ad Unicorn or Contractor!


By Catherine Howell | Jan 6, 2019 | Blog

You thought trying to crack the sales game was the hardest part of building your business or agency until you had to hire a FB Marketer to manage the campaigns and funnels!
The experience can only be likened to trying to hit a miniature horse target using a blank BB gun at a rundown amusement park – exhausting and frustrating.

Hire the wrong person – and it can take you under.  Get the right manpower in – and your business can soar to new heights.

Over the past three years, we’ve hired over 16 FB marketers for our businesses (one of them an ad agency) and for our clients as well.
And I’ll admit one thing – I hate hiring. And I suck at it.  I usually hire based off gut instinct or will go and recruit friends, which doesn’t always pan out for me.

I’ve learned the hard and expensive way that there’s a right way to hire and a wrong way to find your unicorn. I also have yet to meet another business owner that has gone through the experience of having to hire as many FB Marketers as I have – and so, in a bid to help you avoid the expensive growing pains, I’m sharing with you the unique process we’ve developed inside our agency to ensure we find and bring in top talent.

As a preface, here is usually what we look for in our FB Marketers (I’ll go into this a bit more in when I explain Phase 1 of the process):

  • Has drive and initiative
  • Resourceful
  • A creative eye and ability to pull strong copy together (although not always necessary as this can be outsourced)
  • Ability to interpret data in a strategic and meaningful way and communicate this back to a wider team
  • Thorough understanding and experience of the FB ads platform
  • Aligned with our company culture and values

If they have proven results in the given niche – even better!

But you can see why we call them unicorns now! 

The Unique “FB Unicorn” Recruiting Process

The process below is basically broken down into five phases, I’ve explored lots of different tacts through the years (including the “gut feeling” hiring process and the DISC profiling etc), this one – so far – has been foolproof. You’ll see why.

Here’s an overview of the recruitment process (note this applies regardless if it’s for a contractor or in-house marketer you’re after. You could also use this process for different digital marketing specifies but would just need to edit phases 3 and 4).

Recruitment Phases:

Phase 1 – Talent Awareness
Phase 2 – First Assessment
Phase 3 – Second Assessment
Phase 4 – Third Assessment
Phase 5 – Phone/In-Person Interview

There are really two main things that happen in this phase: first, you are identifying what your specific needs are and the outcome you want from a recruit and putting this into a job description.  Getting clear on salary or compensation is important here too.

As a general rule of thumb – an experienced FB marketer will command roughly $70-$100K salary.  If you’re looking for a contractor it can be anywhere from $1,500/mth-$10,000/mth depending on experience and skillset required and your spend. If you’re an agency contracting for an account, budget 25% of the account fee towards your contractor costs.

The second part of this phase is where you place your job in front of skilled talent.  This is oftentimes where most people struggle as – unless you already have connections or peers to refer you to marketers, it can feel like the Wild West out there (you can read more about hiring from the client perspective here).

Posting to relevant FB Groups and local job sites are just two of the ways to gain traction.  Likewise, you can use this free service to request up to three matches based on your budget, niche, and needs of marketers that are part of an industry collective dedicated to their ongoing training and education: https://goo.gl/forms/3q0wimG7mMJac8fg2

Phase 2 – First Assessment:

This part ties into the first phase in that – part of the job description asks that candidate complete a short survey.  The purpose of this is two-fold:

  1. Who reads instructions properly (you’d be surprised who many don’t)
  2. Identifying marketers with basic competence and understanding

The survey can be created in Google Forms and essentially asks them questions about ads, campaigns, and even hypothetical case studies they need to advise on.

If you’re unsure about potential questions, I’ve posted a few examples below.

Phase 3 – Second Assessment:

Most people stop at the first assessment when screening candidates and then hire based off a phone interview.  But one thing I learned the hard way is that being book smart is completely different to being actually good.

There are a lot of marketers out there that can dot all the I’s of FB ads on par, but when it comes to implementation – fall flat on their faces.

And here’s the truth, being a good FB marketer requires that one is skilled at:

  • The technical platform side of things
  • Creative and copyrighting
  • Data analyst able to optimise

These require fundamentally different parts of the brain – which is why the industry often has a saying when searching for a good FB marketer that you’re “looking for a unicorn”.

The second assessment aims to filter out those that can interpret data properly from those that can’t find the broken pixel in a haystack!

As part of this assessment, get each candidate that passed the first round (usually about 20 in this stage) to sign an NDA.  From there, give them access to an ad account and ask them to provide feedback.  This is unpaid.

Keep an eye out on how long it takes candidates to complete this task, who seems eager and hungry, and who requires chasing up (if you need to chase up btw this normally disqualifies them).

questionnaire
Phase 4 – Third Assessment:

This final technical assessment is the reason our requirement process works so well.  What we do in this phase is we require our finalists (normally about 4 at this stage) to run campaigns on the account for a one-week duration.

This will allow you to see how they work (ie: their naming conventions, how they optimise, how they build out creative).  While you shouldn’t really expect results in terms of sales or leads from a one week test, you can still get a great gauge on your talent pool and will begin to spot the stars that really know their stuff.

Just create a new ad account for each candidate and duplicate the funnel so they each have their own pixels and funnels to work with.

The reason you wouldn’t just run this assessment right from the get-go is that – for obvious reasons – you need to dedicate ad spend here for them to run the test (we normally allocate $500 each) – if you have a huge pool of 20 potential candidates, this becomes a costly exercise.

Again, this is usually unpaid although sometimes we do offer $500 payment to each candidate for the week so that they each take it seriously (you’ll find if you don’t pay only about half will complete this stage – which some would argue isn’t a bad thing as separates those that really want it from those that don’t).

Phase 5 – Phone/In-Person Interview:

By this stage, you will have a very clear preference towards a couple of candidates. Now is the time to get on calls and make a pick.  Oftentimes, this will come down entirely to company culture and who you best “vibe” with – and, after all this assessment – it’s actually ok to let your gut do all the talking here.

We’ve found ourselves in a position before where we couldn’t decide between two finalists and hired them both!

As you can see, the process is extremely rigorous but – while it may seem like it will take you a lot more time it actually saves you time as you immediately cut down phone interview time.

Take your recruitment process seriously and dedicate the time required to it – hiring the wrong person can take your business under, hiring the right person can grow it exponentially!

Your Turn!

Get matched with up to three FB Marketers based on your budgets, needs and niche (free service):