Hiring new employees is always stressful, but hiring managers for your agency is a whole different kind of nightmare.

First, you’re handing off a chunk of responsibility for your business to a stranger.

Second, that person has the power to make or break the team and projects you’re entrusting to them.

With this in mind, you want to make sure the candidate you select is the best and most qualified for the job.

That’s especially true when you’re hiring an account manager. This person will help you get clients in the door, keep them there, and hopefully convince them to spread the word to their colleagues. So, it’s essential that the hiring ad you craft to lure potential candidates to your office is as accurate as possible because the only thing worse than hiring a new person is having to sift through a bunch of substandard resumes to find people to interview.

Know What You’re Looking For

Seems simple enough. You want to hire an account manager for your business. But do you really know what an account manager does? Or, more to the point, what do you want your account manager to do for your business?

Make a list of duties you want to pass off to the person in this position. This will help when it’s time to list the position’s responsibilities in the job ad.

A few of the duties that account managers often perform include:

  • Building long-term relationships with clients.
  • Taking on an advisor position with key accounts and acting as a liaison for these accounts to ensure things run smoothly.
  • Assisting clients through various communication mediums including in-person meetings, telephone, email, and online messaging systems.
  • Keeping upper management abreast of account statuses at regularly scheduled meetings.
  • Performing key metric tracking and forecasting duties.

Determine Desired Experience Level

Do you want a seasoned account executive who can just jump in and get started? Or do you want someone who is still relatively new to the industry so you can train them to do things the way you want them done?

This is an important consideration — if you hire a seasoned pro and then try to mold them, you’ll probably get pushback. But if you hire someone who is new to the position, it may be too much of a learning curve, and you both might end up frustrated.

If you need someone who can hit the ground running, go for the seasoned pro. Otherwise, choose someone who has the education, the drive and at least a bit of a background in account management.

Hint: Most people who apply for account manager jobs have at least some management experience. Key things to ask for:

  • Proven ability to communicate, influence, and present to all levels of the organization
  • Account management or other relevant experience
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Above average written and verbal communication skills
  • The ability to negotiate with key stakeholders
  • A degree in a field of study that matches the position
  • Some experience working in an agency or the marketing department of another organization (Remember, the amount of experience might determine how much influence you’ll have over the person)

How Much Are You Willing to Pay?

Now that you’ve determined the job’s responsibilities and your desired skill level, it’s time to come up with a dollar figure. The individual who is relatively new will cost less, but as we’ve discussed, the learning curve could be steep and stressful.

On the other hand, that seasoned pro will expect to be compensated for their experience. So you’ll need to take a realistic look at the business’s financial situation and determine how much you can afford to offer.

But don’t mention this in the job posting. In cases like this, it never hurts to let an applicant tell you what they think they’re worth. If you can match that number (or at least be in the ballpark), then bring them in for a face-to-face interview.

You can include your salary offer in the posting, but you might run the risk of someone who is on the bubble between seasoned and new chickening out and not applying because they don’t quite trust they are worth the money you’re offering.

Put It All Together

Now take your required duties, the experience you need, and the money you’re willing to offer, and write your ad. The ad doesn’t need to be a novel; most applicants look at the title, skim down to the requirements, bounce back up to the described duties, and consider the salary amount if it’s listed.

Remember: hiring is stressful, but so is job hunting. Do everyone a favor and keep the ad brief:

  • Give a brief description of the job
  • List the duties
  • List the required experience/skills
  • Offer a salary or state that an applicant should include their required salary with their resume
  • Provide your contact information and instructions on how to apply

When the applications and resumes start to come in, keep the ones that seem promising and file the others in the circular file. Then start the interview process. The task of hiring an account manager is a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If you streamline the process, things will move quicker and your chances of finding the perfect candidate increase.