Marketing the TNW Way #4: From Marketing Manager to Recruiter


In this series of blog posts I’ve enjoyed shedding some light onto how we approach marketing at The Next Web through Web analytics, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), social media and more. This fourth blog post focuses on our hiring process, and on my personal frustrations as a ‘recruiter’. What did I notice in the last year when hiring 20+ marketers and how can it help you in applying to The Next Web?

Little did I know that since I posted this Facebook status update over a year ago, my life as recruiter was just about to start  – almost replacing my role as marketing manager. But so far so good. Post Facebook Martijn Scheijbeler

In the last year I’ve posted around 25+ job and internships positions, reviewed 626+ applications (and counting), interviewed 75+ of them and hired 12 interns and 10 full timers.

Why I spent so much time on hiring?
Last year we had a team of 2-3 marketers  balancing their time between over 5-6 projects. We needed more. But not just a greater quantity, we also needed quality, dedicated people.

Why I’m writing this post?
This post is mostly written with future applicants in mind. I learned a lot about what I appreciate in applicants and the information you provide in your applications. With hundreds of applicants over the last year, I also learned a lot on what frustrates me to see in applicants. So I thought I’d share both with you.

Tip 1: If you don’t write a motivational letter, your chances decrease!

For the past couple of months, we’ve used  a new system to structure the way we hire people a bit more. While in the past we just let people e-mail us their applications, it was hard to compare them based on the information they sent us. That’s why these days we’re using – making sure that applicants end up in the same system and we can ask them the same questions.

It also pulls in the information from LinkedIn accounts which makes it easier for the applicant to share their resume with us – a bonus for hiring managers. But the biggest mistake people make is not providing us with a motivational letter or answering the questions we asked them in the form.

It provides us with a lot more information on why you’d like to work with us, what your passions are and why you’re looking for a new job opportunity or internship. And it really makes all the difference in a lot of cases. If you don’t write a motivational letter, we rarely get in touch.

Tip 2: Always follow up!

You’ve applied and haven’t heard back from us in a week, follow up! We’ve interviewed you and you haven’t heard back from us in a week, follow up! We’re a busy bunch, but so are the people that you’ll be working with if you get the job. Part of any role here at TNW is following up with people – clients, event managers, whomever – so show that you can do that  during the hiring process. The first time I hired somebody (not at The Next Web), the person I hired was the only one out of three that followed up with me. That was the last part that convinced me to hire her (since then I hired her again to join our team at The Next Web).

Tip 3: Having no experience is not an excuse!

For internships it’s of course normal that you don’t have any experience yet – the most referenced experience I see is a waitress or bartender. While that is not very relevant to us (although we like good food and drinks as well), you can still make a difference.

Show the other projects that you’ve worked on. If you’re looking for an SEO internship but have never worked on sites of friends or started a small site yourself, it’s a missed opportunity for you and me. It wouldn’t have costed you a lot of money to start a site and built up experience just experimenting and if it worked out well you probably would have made money with it. That’s why experience in itself is not necessary but showing that you’ve tried to build up experience is!

Tip 4: But passion can be more important than experience!

We have an incredibly young team, the average age of the marketing team is currently around 25 years, based on 15 people. Which means most of them don’t have a huge amount of working experience (yet). But really, that’s sometimes also not what we’re looking for.

If you have the passion and the willingness and can show us how you’re trying to accomplish this, then it might be a great asset for our team. We can’t hire everyone who seems to have a desirable passion because sometimes experience is just necessary, but for a lot of internships and other positions, we’ve hired people with irrelevant diplomas or working experiences just becaused they showed the right kind of passion and they were prepared for the work we planned out for them.

Tip 5: Be and come prepared!

It’s obviously understandable that not every applicant knows about The Next Web, but it still regularly happens that candidates that come for an interview don’t know about the projects that we work on at The Next Web. If you’ve never heard of our conferences, I’m going to guess you haven’t done your research. So if we invite you, make sure you know about TNW, TNW Conference, TNW Deals and TNW Academy. Just make sure you’ve Googled what we are working on so if I ask you relevant questions you’re able to answer them.

These tips are not out of the ordinary or too hard to handle, right? So if you cover all the above tips, the likeliness of you getting a job at The Next Web might definitely increase. Curious what open positions we currently have?

Make sure to check out our Jobs

If you missed the previous posts in this series, don’t forget to check them out: #1: Heat maps , #2: Deep dive on A/B testing and #3: Learnings from our A/B tests.


This is a #TNWLife article, a look into life and work at The Next Web.

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