Hiring for Demand Generation? Here's Your Phone Screen Cheat Sheet.

April 14, 2017 at 1:27 PM by Rob Stevenson

marketing hire phone screen

This is the third installment in a series on conducting repeatable, consistent phone screens. Head here for the general edition, and here for the sales edition.

Finally, something I’m qualified to write about. Before you bring in demand generation candidates to meet the team and your hiring manager, you’re going to want to establish a baseline for the type of work this individual has done, as marketers come in all shapes and sizes. Your marketing higher-ups will have some kind of vision for the type of programs and campaigns this person will be charged with, so make sure to lock those down at the intake meeting and use them to drive your line of questioning.


Typically, a head of demand generation role is going to be a metrics focused position, but consider the make up of your marketing organization to determine whether the gap this hire needs to fill is in terms of analysis, execution, or creativity.

What metrics are you using to manage your demand programs?

The answer here tells you two things: first and most importantly, how numbers oriented is this candidate? The head of demand gen lives in the funnel, constantly looking for bottlenecks and tweaking to make things run more smoothly. As a result, lead flow, traffic, cost per lead, cost per marketing qualified lead, and cost per opportunity should be emblazoned on their brain. A good head of demand will be able to rattle them off at a moment’s notice. Secondly, does this individual value similar high level metrics your team is using to measure performance? Again, have the hiring manager run your through what numbers they look at to measure performance so you can keep an ear out for them during the call.

What is the breakdown of your demand budget?

There are a variety of different programs this role will oversee--trade shows, live events, advertising, et cetera, and presumably your organization will already have an array of these in progress. If live events are your pipeline’s bread and butter, you’re going to want to hear this person is familiar and comfortable with managing and growing a conference budget. Ideally, this person is going to be spending on all the programs your marketing team is, and hopefully more. Further, as above, this is an opportunity to determine how genuinely data oriented this person is.

Have you managed personnel? Have you hired? Mentored? Managed out?

Obviously, when filling a leadership role, you’re going to want evidence of team building and development. In addition to overall experience having managed, ask about the make up of the team they built. How much design bandwidth are they used to having? Did they have team analysts or paid search specialists? Were they in full-on manage mode or did they ever have to roll up their sleeves and dig around in Google Adwords? Comparing this person’s current team to the resources they would have available at your company is a great way to suss for fit and also consider how important it is for them to be adaptable.

Have you ever managed a demand agency?

It’s common for marketing teams not to have all resources on hand for various programs. Want to create a great customer testimonial video, but no one on the team knows Final Cut Pro? Designer went on vacation and the VP of Sales needs a custom deck? In these cases, most marketing leadership will have experience with hiring agencies to fill the gaps, or taking on hourly contractors to lessen the load on full time team members. Make sure your candidate is comfortable bringing in some hired guns when it comes time to execute outside the purview of your full time squad.

In addition to the demand specific questions, there are a handful of questions you and your team should be asking every candidate. Click below for a cheat sheet checklist you can use to make sure you conduct well-rounded, repeatable phone screens.

Access Your Free Phone Screen Checklist