Finding quality employees to join your marketing ops team can take a lot out of you — and you may not get it right the first time.

Whether you are new to your role or a company veteran, employed by a startup or a well-established legacy business, the right team can make or break your ability to accomplish what you have set your sights on. Begin making your mark with the people closest to you, your team.

If you're looking for best practices for building your team, the proceeding may feel like the winning formula.

The State of the Team

Understand the current state of your team — think in terms of productivity. Marketing ops is demanding and the backbone of the sales organization. Regardless of if your current team is thriving or struggling to keep up, when you inherit a team, it is likely you will have legacy members in addition to several open positions. These open positions may have gone unfilled for a considerable time or were a direct result of a changeover in management (i.e., the reason you are here).

Legacy employees may have witnessed numerous changes throughout their employment, and they have formed opinions, either good or bad, about how those changes were handled. Begin by listening to your team. Interview each employee individually, paying close attention to understand their current roles and how they view their contribution to the team. Asking comparable questions to each team member will provide a baseline understanding of how work is perceived.

Consider these key questions:

  • Is this the role they intended to perform when they were hired?
  • How has their position evolved over their tenure?
  • Are they currently satisfied with their work type and overall workload?
  • When have they been happiest at your company?
  • And what, if anything, would they change about their current role?

Establishing a good relationship with current employees will not happen overnight. Be patient. Waiting to make changes in a month versus day one will not make a substantial difference to the overall success of your long-term goals.

Rushing to make decisions before you have a complete perspective can ruin your chances of success. Give yourself and your team time to bond and reassure them you have their best interest in mind, even if their best interest may not be occupying a seat on your team. Show support for your employees. Look for advancement opportunities or training courses for current employees that you want to retain to ensure they know they are valued. Help them grow their career while simultaneously adding advanced skills to the aptitude of your team.

Match Goals to Team Members

Consider the workload and skill sets necessary to reach your goals. If you have a lofty goal of doubling lead generation efforts, consider how you will get there. If you must deploy a content strategy, email campaigns, social media advertising and boost your SEO, on top of other tasks, you will need to determine if your current team can handle the workload. Armed with the insight from your current reports, reassess positions — filled and open — on your team and determine whether they are necessary to reach these goals.

Make a list of pertinent job responsibilities, complete with specialty support needs like technology certifications or requirements regarding expertise levels. Begin matching current employees with those needs and be sure to indicate primary and secondary responsibilities.

Be conscious not to overload any given employee — distribute the workload evenly. Look to fill gaps and consciously provide overlap of responsibilities to avoid performance silos. Encourage cross-team collaboration and ensure adequate coverage for employees on leave or during busier times. The result of this exercise will dictate the roles that will occupy your team.

Learning Opportunities

Write job descriptions for all members of your team — including yourself. Establishing clearly defined requirements and duties for each member of your team will help eliminate confusion and ensure you have the team necessary to reach your goals moving forward.

Distribute these job descriptions among members of your team and meet with each individually to ensure you have their buy-in to their newly defined roles. Consider including one or two future skills that may be challenging for each employee to master. This will provide an opportunity for career advancement and reassurance you are investing in helping your team grow.

Related Article: Do You Have the Traits of a CX Leader?

Look to Fill in Gaps

Set your sights on your unfilled roles, beginning with your personal network. Consider previous employees or colleagues since their past performance is known to you. Distribute open job descriptions within your company and ask current employees and colleagues for referrals.

If you are still not having luck finding the right fit, and if your budget allows, consider working with human resources to engage the services of a recruiter. If you choose to work with outside partners, share the job descriptions you have written for your entire team, including the open role with the recruiter. It is important they understand the dynamic of how the new individual will share in the workload as well.

Identify the right fit and seal the deal. It is more than just checking the box on the responsibilities of the position — ensure they will work within the established dynamics of the overall team. Ensure they will be a team player and will proactively forge relationships with colleagues to perpetuate the culture you have worked hard to create. If everything checks out, it's time to make the magic happen! Make the offer and secure the team member that will round out your marketing ops superstar team.

With a bit of pre-planning and reflection on the overall needs of your marketing ops team, the path to building a successful team can be straightforward.