How to Hire SEOs – Pro SEO Seminar 2010

How to Hire SEOs – Pro SEO Seminar 2010

25th October 2010

In London at this moment the ProSEO seminar, organized by Distilled, is going on. There is a great line up with great content. Our blogger Annabel Hodges is there. She will be writing about several sessions there.

Tom Critchlow, Head of Search at Distilled keeps his message simple.

The Key: First who, then what

Time for a quick quote:

Leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with ‘where’ but with ‘who’.

From the book ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins.

You need to think about who you want first then build the role around them. Get the right people on the bus first then figure out how to get them in the right direction second.

Two rules for Distilled hiring:

1)      Smart
2)      Get sh*t done

They simply need to be able to learn, if you hire someone smart then you can teach them quickly.

Only ever hire A+ players – if you already have mediocre people, they’ll also hire mediocre people. And they are EXPENSIVE. Longer to train, slower at getting sh*t done and they are a drain on the company’s resources.  Never compromise on quality!

CVs are for suckers. Smart, motivated people will fill out forms!

Getting Applicants

Where do your applicants hangout? Let them find you.

The more you talk about being a fun and now hiring seosexciting company, the more people will actually want to work for you in the first place.

Examples of Distilled’s Interview Questions

  1. “Find the contact details for a swimming blog”

What does it test?

Important but simple things – e.g. speed, lateral thinking, quality control, keyboard shortcuts

  1. “What about finding 1000 blogs?”

What does it test?

Logical thinking, scale, outsourcing, quality control

  1. “Find the number of nofollow links”

It’s all about Excel! Use a pre-downloaded linkscape spreadsheet. You can scale this up to tackle more complicated excel techniques if that person is already advanced enough.

  1. “Information architecture please”

Look at a website. Say it’s new, it’s mid-build. What would you do?

What does it test?

Looks at many angles, e.g. information organisation, usability, client management, link building.

The key is, you don’t need to know about SEO to make a start on answering these questions, but you can take it a step further and get more in-depth with it if it suits. Opens possibilities up for creativity

  1. “What SEO Tool would you build to make your life easier?”

What does it offer? Ideas, intelligence, an understanding of the web and technologies

Added insights:

  • Never say no to the right candidates even if the position is no longer available – it’s much more important to have the who not the what.

Managing the Hiring Process

Use tools to make the admin side of things easier, e.g. Hire Marshal

This allows you to score applicants from different angles, lets multiple people sign off on these different areas and more.

Image:GPS Magazine


Written By
Originally from the UK via France and Malaysia, Annabel Hodges is a digital marketer with long experience in the industry now residing in Sydney. She heads up the Digital Marketing at Next Commerce, working across an array of products, channels and brands.
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