SEO Manager is one of the most difficult positions to fill. Just looking at résumés or social profiles won’t tell you everything you need to know about a potential candidate. So how can you be an efficient recruiter and pick the right candidate after a one-hour interview? We asked four top agency CEOs and experienced recruiters about their tips on hiring the most talented SEO pros.
1. Look for great communication skills.
For me, having an analytical and strategic brain AND an ability to communicate well is super important. I would say that we have hired people in the past that are fantastic SEOs but not great communicators, and without fail that has resulted in poor performance. Lots of analytical or technical people don’t communicate that well, and our job as SEOs involves fixing problems and building a bridge between tech and marketing teams. Being able to communicate well is massively important. - Louis Venter,
2. Look for someone naturally curious and self-driven.
Most SEO skills can be taught, but curiosity and energy are mostly inherent properties - someone either has them or they don't. I wouldn't pick someone with a 9-to-5 mentality. You know the type: someone who comes in and fills a seat, but doesn't really want to be there. I need someone who cares about their job and is dedicated to doing the best they can. But that doesn't mean I want someone to work excessive hours - I'm actually a firm believer in working fewer hours and getting more done. It's the "striving for excellence" mentality I look for in every employee. - Barry Adams, Founder, Polemic Digital
3. Attitude is more important than anything else.
You can have someone who is brilliant in SEO, but massively divisive across the team, which will cost you great people. This helps no one in the long term. - Louis Venter,
4. Technical is good, but can they think bigger that SEO? Technical or analytical abilities and mindsets are number one for me. Specifically, the ability to think bigger than SEO and incorporate all kinds of theories.