How to Hire a CMO: A Complete Guide

September 28, 2023

A Chief Marketing Officer, commonly referred to as CMO, occupies a pivotal role within an organization, spearheading its marketing efforts. Their responsibilities encompass formulating and executing marketing strategies, managing the marketing budget, overseeing the marketing team, and aligning marketing objectives with the broader business goals. Moreover, They play a vital role in helping businesses adapt to evolving customer preferences, behaviors, competitive landscapes, and technological advancements.

The influence of CMOs on business growth and success is substantial. According to a study by McKinsey, an impressive 78% of CEOs rely on CMOs and marketing leaders to drive growth1. This underscores the increasing significance of the role in the corporate world. Forbes has also recognized the achievements of notable CMOs who have transformed their businesses, including individuals such as Phil Schiller (Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, Apple), Stephanie McMahon (Chief Brand Officer, WWE), and Fernando Machado (Global CMO, Restaurant Brands International)2**.

When to hire a CMO

Some common scenarios or business stages that may necessitate hiring a CMO are as follows:

  • Series A funding: Securing substantial funding from investors makes hiring a CMO imperative to scale your marketing efforts, optimize your marketing budget, and showcase your growth potential.
  • Rapid growth: If your business experiences a surge in revenue, customer base, or market share, a CMO becomes essential for managing and sustaining this growth, improving brand awareness, and enhancing customer retention.
  • Market traction: Building a robust market presence often demands a CMO to explore new opportunities, enter new markets, or launch new products or services.
  • Scaling the marketing team: When your marketing team reaches a certain size or complexity, a CMO can help organize, lead, and align their goals with the overall business objectives.
  • Geographic expansion: Planning to expand your business to new regions or countries? A CMO is invaluable for adapting your marketing strategy to local culture, preferences, and regulations, while also building relationships with local partners and stakeholders.

Ready to find the perfect CMO for your business? JB Hired specializes in connecting you with top-tier senior digital and technology talents. Learn more and book a free consultation here. Start your CMO recruitment journey with JB Hired today!

What to look for in your marketing leader

In addition to the general responsibilities of a CMO, you also need to look for specific skills and qualities that match your needs. Some essential skills and qualities include:

  • Versatility
  • Up-to-date knowledge
  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Adaptability

To evaluate the fit of a CMO with your business goals, vision, culture, and industry, you need to ask yourself some questions such as:

  • What are the main objectives and values of your business?
  • What are the main characteristics and expectations of your customers?
  • What are the main challenges and opportunities in your industry?
  • How do you want your brand to be perceived by the market?
  • How do you want your marketing team to operate and collaborate?

To assess the CMO’s skills and fit during the hiring process, you need to use some methods such as:

  • Skills tests: Use skills tests to measure their knowledge, abilities, and aptitude in various areas of marketing. For example, ask them to create a marketing plan, analyze a market situation, or design a marketing campaign.
  • Case studies: Use case studies to evaluate their problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, and creativity. For example, present them with a real or hypothetical scenario that involves a marketing challenge or opportunity for your business.
  • Simulations: You can ask them to participate in a mock meeting, presentation, or negotiation with your team members or stakeholders.
  • Questions: Ask behavioral or situational questions that reveal how they have handled or would handle certain situations or challenges in their past or future roles.

How to find and hire a CMO

The process of finding and hiring a CMO can appear daunting, but there are various methods at your disposal to locate the ideal candidate for your business. Here are some common approaches:

  • Hiring an executive search firm: Consider enlisting the services of an executive search firm specializing in identifying and recruiting senior-level executives. These firms can aid in sourcing, screening, interviewing, evaluating, and extending a CMO job offer.
  • Use online sources: Make use of online platforms to post your CMO job opening. Share it on job boards, social media platforms, or within relevant online communities to attract potential candidates. This approach grants you access to a broad audience, fostering interest, awareness, and the opportunity to showcase your brand and organizational culture.
  • Hire a fractional CMO: A fractional CMO is a part-time or contract-based employee who works for multiple businesses at the same time. They can provide the same benefits as a full-time CMO but at a fraction of the cost and time.
  • Evaluate your current marketing team: One of your current marketing team members may be eligible for promotion to the CMO role. This can help you leverage your existing resources, maintain continuity and stability, and ensure cultural fit.

The best method for finding and hiring a CMO for your business depends on your budget, timeline, and expectations. You need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each method and choose the one that suits your needs and goals.

Ready to interview candidates? Don’t miss out on our best interview questions guide.


In this article, we have explored the essential steps for hiring a CMO for your business, encompassing topics such as the optimal timing for recruitment, the key attributes to seek in a CMO, and strategic methods for identifying and securing the right candidate. The decision to bring a CMO on board is a pivotal one for any business seeking to amplify its brand presence and revenue streams. CMOs play a crucial role in formulating and executing marketing strategies that harmonize with your overarching business objectives, adapt to dynamic market conditions, and deliver tangible results and value to your customers and stakeholders.

When it comes to finding the perfect CMO for your organization, JB Hired is your trusted partner. As a leading technology headhunting and recruitment agency, we specialize in identifying and connecting you with senior digital and technology talents.

Learn more about our comprehensive processes and book a free consultation by using the form below. Let us assist you in making your next CMO hire a success.