How to Find & Support Entry-Level SEO Talent

How to Find & Support Entry-Level SEO Talent

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The writer’s views are totally his or her personal (excluding the unlikely occasion of hypnosis) and will not all the time mirror the views of Moz.

Hiring SEOs has by no means been extra obligatory and extra aggressive. The pandemic catapulted e-commerce progress, with on-line spending up 44% in 2020.

As extra companies depend on their on-line presence, the extra obligatory SEOs turn out to be to assist them develop their visibility. The proof is within the knowledge: SEO job postings elevated considerably through the pandemic.

How to Find & Support Entry-Level SEO Talent

Supply: Backlinko SEO Jobs Report

However the provide doesn’t seem to be maintaining with demand. In a latest Twitter poll, I requested if there was a scarcity of SEO expertise. The outcomes skewed “yes”, and feedback from trade veterans confirmed that is probably the case.

With the demand being this excessive, the place do you discover good SEOs? Hiring an skilled SEO is prime of thoughts for a lot of firms, however isn’t all the time an possibility due to funds and elevated competitors for expertise.

Contemplate this as a substitute: Companies can rent and practice entry-level entrepreneurs to turn out to be the brand new, skilled SEOs.

This will likely sound easy, however I do know firsthand the extent of labor that goes into discovering and coaching the best candidates. Prior to now yr, I’ve helped our company, Uproer, rent 4 unbelievable entry-level SEO analysts and interns, all of whom began including worth straight away.

On this article, I’ll share distinctive locations to supply gifted entry-level SEOs (none of which embrace Certainly or LinkedIn Jobs), and ideas to help their progress as soon as they’re employed.

Why rent entry-level?

Not surprisingly, most open SEO positions are for extra tenured candidates. Backlinko’s 2020 SEO Jobs Report shows that the two most popular SEO job post titles are Senior SEO Manager and Head of SEO.

It’s clear that businesses want a senior-level hire to start getting work done from day one. The idea of training someone up who’s rather green might not be all that appealing to a business looking to move fast.

However, hiring entry-level SEOs might actually be the better option. Consider these factors:

  • There’s a huge pool of candidates to grow into the position. Entry-level candidates can be sourced from many different majors and backgrounds. They have fresh perspectives, new ideas, and are adaptable. They don’t come with processes from previous workplaces baked into their working style. And if you’re hiring from the Gen Z pool, they know a thing or two about digital. And they pick up new things quickly.

  • They fit more budgets. Considering the average Sr. SEO Manager makes around $90,000 USD, a business might not have the financial resources to hire a more senior candidate. Opening up the position to entry-level candidates can meet most small business needs without breaking the budget.

  • We need to increase racial and gender diversity in the industry. Recent surveys found 68% of SEOs are male, and 71% of SEOs are white. Hiring only from this group keeps these statistics locked in place. Prioritizing diversity when hiring entry-level candidates builds a more inclusive, diverse workforce.

Where to find entry-level talent

OK, cool. Now we know a few reasons why entry-level SEOs can be a great option for your business… but where does one find them? Below are several unique ideas to source entry-level SEO talent:

1. Universities

What better place to meet talented students and young professionals, who are actively looking for careers in their chosen field?

Start building relationships with professors and students at local (or non-local) universities. A good place to start is your alma mater, but you can also reach out to other universities to offer your knowledge. To get you started, many professors are on LinkedIn and their contact info can be found on the university website.

Some great ways to work with universities:

  • Ask to be a guest teacher. Offer to speak about SEO in marketing, communications, or business classes and student organizations. Many students may not be familiar with search marketing, and introducing them early is a great way to generate long-term interest. And guess who they might be interested in working with? Yeah, that’d be you.

  • Mentor students. Some ambitious students may want to continue the conversation outside of class. Support students by sharing your experiences and offering advice about their career. Not only are you helping the next generation of marketers, but you’re building relationships with potential hires.

  • Connect with university career centers. This is one key place students look to find open internships or full-time positions. Get your job description in front of more students by sharing with the career centers. Also share with the professors of classes you’ve taught and ask if they’d send it to their students.

2. Student/recent grad conferences & programs

Ask the students and professors you meet about existing marketing programs for students and recent grads. This is an amazing place to find candidates, as the people involved generally have natural leadership skills and ambition.

To get involved, you can often apply to be a mentor or speaker for the group, or sponsor the program. A couple great examples are Camp Adventure or BoundarylessMN, which offer free advertising experience for students and recent grads.

3. Digital marketing & tech organizations

Career-focused organizations are a fantastic way to meet people in the industry. You can meet folks with a year or two of experience, or more seasoned professionals looking for a change of pace.

Attend the org’s events, like monthly meetings, happy hours, or conferences. These meet-ups are a great place to share your open role and meet new people in the industry. Many have job boards that you can leverage as well. A few marketing organizations include:

  1. American Marketing Association

  2. Women in Tech SEO

  3. MnSearch and other local search meetups

  4. Paid Search Association

4. Ask your employees for referrals

The people already on your team may be a gold mine of referrals. If you’ve recently hired a new grad, chances are they have peers who are still on the job hunt.

Simply ask your team members if they’d be willing to share the job description with qualified candidates or their alma mater. You can offer an incentive if you really want to step it up.

5. Speaking

Share your SEO knowledge at conferences, local events, and webinars, especially those that are beginner-friendly. This raises awareness for your company and provides a platform to broadcast your open role. You never know who might be looking for that next opportunity!

Important: As you meet people from these various efforts, you’ll want to keep track of those who stand out. Create a “Talent to Watch” list so you know who to reach out to when it comes time to hire.

What traits to look for

For greener folks, “soft” skills are often much more important in an SEO role than actual experience. (And while we’re here — can we nix that term for good? “Human” skills feels much more accurate.)

Some crucial traits to look for in these hires include:

These “human” skills may seem trivial to some, but they can be a far better predictor of success than having years of experience. Site audits can be taught — curiosity and motivation are inherent.

Important: Be open-minded to folks with different experiences and degrees, because there’s really no linear path to SEO. Need proof? This Twitter thread discovered that SEOs come from many alternative paths, whether or not it’s gross sales, IT, or (my private favourite) a World of Warcraft guild chief.

Job description ideas

After getting a stable group of candidates, you’ll want a stable job description.

Making job descriptions extra inclusive and fewer intimidating for girls and folks of coloration is a should. Listed here are some pointers for inclusive job descriptions that may aid you craft a welcoming and unbiased message. These embrace:

  • Eradicating gender-coded phrases (suppose “aggressive”, “rockstar”, “outspoken”)

  • Swapping “cultural fit” for “value alignment”

  • Eliminating necessities that aren’t important or labeling them “preferred”

  • Including in wage vary

How to help new hires

Now onto the ultimate step. You’ve put within the work, and have discovered the right new rent. They’re motivated, curious, and keen to get began on this grand world of SEO.

However your work doesn’t cease there, my pal. To ensure that your new rent to achieve success, managers want to put money into their continued progress. Listed here are a number of methods to do that:

1. Encourage studying on their very own time

The search advertising and marketing world has assets galore. In truth, that’s how so many individuals have taught themselves SEO. Create a doc together with your staff’s go-to assets for studying SEO. These ought to most likely be on that checklist:

Be certain to give your new teammate devoted time for studying of their weekly schedule. You can too think about providing a funds for programs, particularly if you do not have a senior SEO to mentor them. Which leads us to our subsequent level…

2. Present mentorship

New hires ought to have a go-to individual to ask questions and speak by means of issues with.

In case your staff doesn’t have a mentor in-house, listed here are a pair locations that provide SEO mentorship:

3. Move on management & talking alternatives to the brand new hires

If a chance arises to tackle a giant undertaking or lead a pitch, think about passing it to your rent. This provides them an opportunity to put their very own spin on the method and begin constructing invaluable strategic expertise.

Equally, ask if any staff members will go on talking engagements to the brand new rent as soon as they’re feeling comfy within the position. This may construct their confidence and permit them to share all of the cool issues they’re studying and testing.

4. Create a supportive and inclusive working atmosphere

This one doesn’t occur in a single day. Ongoing steps should be taken to create an inclusive work environment for your staff.

A few ways to work on this:

  • Offer a flexible work environment

  • Advocate for gender and pay equality when hiring

  • Build up your team’s confidence with regular feedback and recognition

  • Ask your team members what holidays they observe, and celebrate as a team

Wrapping up

The new generation of marketers are ambitious, capable, and motivated. They can become experienced SEOs and add value quickly if we shift our mindset from “must have 5+ years of experience” to “must be motivated and curious”.

SEO talent is truly everywhere, if we take even a small amount of effort to seek it out. So with that, go forth and hire!


#Find #Support #EntryLevel #SEO #Talent

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