How to Find and Hire the Right SEO (Stephan Spencer and Jason Barnard)

Stephan Spencer talks with Jason Barnard about his 7-step hiring process.

Stephan Spencer has 25 years of experience in the SEO industry under his belt, having hired hundreds and hundreds of people. In this episode, he shares the process he has developed to make sure he hires the right people for his team.

He has 7 steps, each one designed to sort the wood from the chaff and hire the right person. The techniques range from Rock ‘n Roll (the “No Brown M&Ms” clause used by Van Halen’s David Lee Roth) to fun (riddles), to marketing (split testing job ads) and simply putting people on the spot.
Listen to then end to learn some of his riddles and trick questions!

In partnership with Wordlift

What you’ll learn

  • 1:04 Stephan’s Brand SERP and his image format system for Twitter
  • 5:00 Step 1 – Stephan’s use of riddles and trick questions in his initial hiring process
  • 8:57 The reason behind the “No Brown M&Ms” clause popularized by David Lee Roth, and how Stephan uses it to pre-select his employees
  • 11:30 Step 2 – Checking a potential employee’s social media (tips and tricks)
  • 12:50 – The importance of setting the culture for the entire team
  • 15:16 Step 3 – A/B split testing job ads to see what performs better by platform and region
  • 17:11 Step 4 – How to filter out unqualified candidates, and how to prepare a client to do the same
  • 21:17 A look into Stephan’s vast experience in the hiring process and a couple of examples of his trick questions
  • 26:19 Stephan’s method on withholding judgment towards a candidate during an interview
  • 28:49 Question: Do you do online interviews?
  • 30:35 Step 5 – Specific questions that can prove expertise on an interview
  • 32:38 Step 6 – Bring in another interviewer for a second opinion
  • 34:00 The importance of personality assessments for team members
  • 34:46 Step 7 – Confirm the fit by having a trial period or a trial project
  • 36:13 The finale: One of Stephan’s riddles

By Jason BARNARD

Jason Barnard has over 2 decades of experience in digital marketing.

He currently teaches Brand SERP optimisation to students at Kalicube.pro and writes regularly for leading marketing publications such as Search Engine Journal, SEMrush, OnCrawl, Searchmetrics as well as appearing regularly on digital marketing webinars and speaking at major conferences around the world such as BrightonSEO, PubCon, SMX London, YoastCon.