Most businesses have faced the fallout of hiring the wrong person.
Mercifully, bad hires usually occur at pretty low levels and therefore don’t have the most detrimental impact on the business as a whole. However, there’s something of a change in the tides right now as the growing importance of search engine optimisation is leading to a situation where the SEO professionals you hire might indeed play the most crucial role of all in your company’s future. As such, to make a poor choice when hiring an SEO professional can be one of the most costly and detrimental mistakes you’ll ever make.
In the 2015 landscape of things, it calls for more than just vigilance to hire a quality SEO specialist – it needs a carefully formulated plan of attack.
Pulling together the experiences of business bosses throughout the year to date, it’s been possible to come up with a basic hiring blueprint to held pinpoint the diamonds in the rough and ensure you don’t come out wishing you’d never bothered hiring an SEO expert in the first place.
1 – Attention to Detail.
It may sound less than productive, but it can in fact be a brilliantly useful recruitment trick to put one or two very weird clauses and requirements in the SEO job description itself. The reason being that by doing so, you’ll gain an immediate insight into which candidates have the best attention to detail in that they’ve read the whole thing in detail, seen the weird element you slipped in under the radar and either responded to or questioned it. Those that have ignored or overlooked it can be cast out immediately – if they didn’t spot it, then they have no place running your SEO campaign.
2 – Dig Deep.
Yes, there’s some controversy when it comes to using social media profiles during the recruitment process but boy does it help get a feel for who you’re hiring. So, forget what the critics have to say and dig as deep as you like – this is after all a role of such massive gravity.
3 – Get Tricky.
It’s also a good idea to include some trick questions or statements along the way in order to test the water in a few SEO areas that you need to have total confidence in their abilities in. You can get as complex or obvious as you like – maybe ask “How many backlinks a week is the right amount?” or “What’s the single best keyword density to use post-panda?” – both of which can yield the kind of answers that will immediately let you know you’re dealing with a dud.
4 – Demand Success Stories.
And finally, SEO is one of those glorious things that can be fully documented in terms of its success or otherwise. As such, assuming your potential SEO recruit has real experience in the field and has met with success before, there’s absolutely no reason on Earth why they cannot prove this with hard evidence. What’s more, the evidence should be accompanied by a detailed rundown of how success was met and the challenges faced along the way – not just a simple case of “I got this firm to the top” or words to that effect.