More often than not, when we are looking to hire a PPC specialist, we found ourselves asking our friends and colleagues if there’s someone they know that could be a good fit. We trust them, we know (hopefully) that they are smart people and that they know what we are talking about, but can we trust their judgments? Here, I present to you some facts to consider before hiring a PPC only through someone else’s recommendation. Let’s go!
What are you looking for?
So, first of all, before you start the process of looking for an employee, you have to figure out what your PPC expectations and needs are. I believe this tip applies to pretty much any situation in life, but especially those that revolve around human relationships. It’s really important that you know perfectly well what you need, what aspects are not negotiable ‚and where you are open to debate. How committed do you need them to be? Where should they be specialized in? Should you hire a PPC expert or an individual agency? Do you need someone short-term or long-term? And many many other questions you’ll need to ask yourself. Once you’ve built this base, it’ll be much easier to filter your possible employees.
Choosing the network
Maybe your friend Sarah from baking class is a sweetie pie (pun intended), but how much does she know about the Display Ads world? Hopefully, she can make Ads as great as her cupcakes, but that will not likely be the case. This is a very important point to make because even when a lot of people have good intentions, not everyone can help us find an adequate candidate because, as simple as it sounds, not everyone is a PPC expert. Even if you are thinking of reaching out to an insider to the Advertising world, it’s important to consider their niches and the field they work in so we make sure we are talking to someone that can actually be useful.
How close of a friend are they?
People (luckily) can’t be 100% objective about everything. If you are asking a colleague if they know a whbout someone who could help you, you also have to ask them where do they know their PPC from. It will be a very different situation if they are recommending their best friend or someone they worked with five years ago, along with the grey areas between those two. If they are recommending someone very close to them you can guess they are probably being subjective on how good they are. Maybe the possible employee is a PPC rockstar, but what kind of best friend would you be if you didn’t talk about your friend like that? Exactly.
However, there is no absolute certainty about the Advertising colleague he hasn’t seen in five years either. Taking away the obviousness of all that could have happened during that time, couldn’t it be misleading to trust someone’s impression on someone they had a plain nearly empty work relationship with? You can never know what that’s based on or how well did they actually get to know them. There are no right answers here, you’ll have to dig deeper on your own.
Take advantage of having someone in common
People lie in job interviews and that’s how the world works. Even if you are interviewing an Advertising expert that actually is amazing, they will, eventually, slip in a little modification to the truth in order to get you to like them even more. If your PPC expert (to be) is well known by someone you trust, you can use this in your favor by getting to know the actual person behind the perfect employee. You can make sure to learn about this person’s biggest qualities and flaws from the eyes of someone else and use that to make your decision. This, of course, needs to be thought through with the “How Close are They?” section because people don’t speak the same way about their exes as they do about their siblings. Use your judgment and make the most of having this advantage.
Do your research
So let’s say your friend Sarah is actually someone you can trust in the Marketing field, and that she’s close enough to the recommended person to know them but not too close so she can’t be objective. Even when all of this sounds great, you still should never blindly hire someone based 100% on what someone else said about them. It’s very important that you take the time to meet this Display Ad specialist, that you get to know them and see if they could be the perfect match for your needs. Even if they are the most amazing PPC experts the world has ever seen, you might have the worst chemistry ever, or perhaps your needs and their possibilities simply are not compatible. All of these can be solved by going through their LinkedIn profiles and meeting them for coffee. So no matter how much you trust Sarah, please never exclude yourself from the selection process.
I need bigger capital letters to make this point: Set your boundaries clearly and from day one. If you choose to hire your PPC expert through someone else that you know, you will never be able to have a relationship that’s 100% professional. This is why from the very beginning it’s important that you let your employee know that there will be no special treatment to them just because they know whoever recommended them. You need to be very strict on the point that they are your employees just like any other. Also, note there is no need to go to the other side and go full cold on them just because they are also friends with Sarah from baking class. This is a balance: Let them know what you expect them to do and how and hopefully there will be no room for misunderstandings.
An important tangent to go through here is also your relationship with the person that recommended them in the first place. Hopefully, whomever you hire will be great and you’ll work together for the next two decades, but maybe that’s not the case. This is why you need to be very clear with the person whose advice you are asking for that your professional relationship with the PPC expert they recommend should never affect the one that you already have with them. If you believe either them or you won’t be able to separate these things, maybe take a moment to think about the decision you are about to make and how much you are willing to sacrifice.
To conclude, basically my opinion on this is: People, no matter how incredible they are, tend to misjudge other people. Either for being too close, for lacking information, or just for not being an expert in the Advertising subject, recommendations will more often than not be flawed. I believe the best thing you can do when looking for someone to hire is to just post an offer on a PPC experts website or forum and follow the usual interviewing and selecting process. This way will save you a lot of time and energy and will avoid unnecessary troubles. However, if you do choose to hire someone through your network, make sure you are absolutely (or as much as possible) certain that they will be the right match for you and that you’ll be able to separate your professional and personal relationship with them and to whoever recommended them. Being able to follow these few tips and taking them into consideration will, for sure, make your hiring process a ton easier.
Mora is a PPC Analyst at Hellbent Digital at work, and a theater nerd when not at work. And it turns out understanding theater—that is, how to put on compelling live shows that engage the audience—is a very useful skill for understanding digital marketing.