5 Steps to Identifying How to Expand Your Marketing Team into 2021

Group of leaders hiring a marketing team

By Kelly Gunderson, Customer Experience Director 

Whether you are a marketing leader in a large corporation, a small family-owned business, or somewhere in between, the concerns about hiring during a pandemic resonate equally. Marketing is sometimes the last department to be funded during economic hardships however, strong marketing teams can positively impact business growth and change the company trajectory. 

As a marketing leader, determining the right roles to impact your bottom line and optimize performance can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. 

To support our clients in this process, we have developed five simple, yet necessary steps to consider when planning the growth of your marketing team. 

Here are five steps to follow when determining what types of roles are best suited for marketing & creative teams. 

1. Turn Marketing Challenges Into Marketing Projects 

Start by identifying the challenges and asking yourself a few key questions:

  • What challenges is my business facing in the ‘new normal’?
  • How is my marketing team contributing to the company’s growth?
  • Are there specific areas where my marketing team is struggling (e.g., meeting deadlines, designing compelling content, or building materials that resonate with prospects)?
  • Did my marketing team hit last quarter’s goals (e.g., did they drive the right amount of brand awareness or marketing qualified leads)?
  • Which key performance indicators (KPIs) need to be improved, and/or do I measure the right things?

By thinking through these questions and assessing your team, you’ll identify areas that may need additional attention. Better yet, you’ll have developed a list of ideas that you can turn into future marketing projects, and you have the opportunity to start prioritizing. 

2. Determine Where Your Marketing & Creative Team May Have Bandwidth or Skill Gaps 

Prioritize opportunities you identified in question one and determine if you have a team that can execute the new initiatives by considering the following questions:

  • Are the opportunities you identified short-term projects or sustained initiatives?
  • How time-sensitive or time-bound are each of the opportunities?
  • Do you have the team you need in place, and with some adjusting of roles & responsibilities, can your team execute the new initiatives well?
  • Could you use one or more of these projects as career development opportunities for your existing team members?
  • Do you have existing team members who can take on the entire project or participate in the project with their current skill-set?
  • Would your team benefit from the addition of a full-time team member who can own all or parts of the new initiatives?
  • Would your team benefit from the addition of a freelance (contracted) team member who can be responsible for all or parts of the new initiatives and potentially have the skills to complete the project faster?
  • Do you have enough work to warrant a full-time person, or could a part-time freelance (contracted) team member provide the right amount of support?

After answering the questions above, you’ll have a better idea of where your marketing & creative team lies in terms of overcoming current obstacles. If you’re finding skill gaps, you may need to consider adding a team member, on a permanent or contracted basis, who has the experience and background your team is missing to push marketing initiatives forward.

3. Resolve the Skill Gap

When it comes to resolving your team’s skill gaps, you have several options that range from elevating your existing team to bringing in short-term contracted support to hiring FTEs. 

Here are a few options to consider: 

  • Identify training opportunities: Use these opportunities as career advancement for your marketing & creative team’s high performing members.
  • Develop a mentoring program: This is an excellent opportunity for your team members to learn from each other in different skill areas while elevating both participants.
  • Hire a full-time employee to close the skill gap: Post, interview, and hire someone who has the experience and background to meet the specific skill gaps within your marketing & creative team.
  • Contract a freelance expert on a short-term, contract basis: Contract an expert who can fully execute the short-term project and even potentially train existing internal team members on best practices – allowing internal team members to own the project long-term.
  • Contract a freelancer to support a long-term project or ongoing need: Keep the relationship going with the contracted expert.

Learn more about hiring freelance talent in this article, How to Build a Bench of Freelance Talent

4. Educate Yourself About Hiring Options 

You may be asking yourself questions like: 

“What should I do to move my prioritized initiatives forward because I have more than one skill gap, and we do not have the budget to fill multiple roles?” 

Adding team members is a struggle that many businesses face, especially in the current environment. Keep in mind there are various hiring options available for consideration – not every team member needs to be hired on a full-time or even permanent basis. 

By adding freelancers, consultants, and/or contractors to your existing team, you’ll gain the support you need to overcome short-term challenges and develop or maintain ongoing projects. If the person fits your company well and you identify later that you want to preserve the extra pair of hands, you can even hire the freelance contractor as a permanent team member later down the road.                                    

5. Get Help Adding Marketing, Creative and Digital Roles 

Finding the right talent can take time and energy. So, having a staffing and recruiting partner can help ensure you’ve got on-demand talent like this on your team quickly. 

Celarity can often help you find talent to meet your team’s unique needs from: 

  • Full-time to part-time candidates
  • Marketing to creative to digital expertise
  • Hired team members to contracted freelancers

If you need help building your team in 2021, reach out; we’ll help you find the best talent for your team’s needs when you need them!

Kelly Gunderson has been working within the staffing & recruiting industry for 7+ years. Kelly is currently the Client Experience Director at Celarity, a marketing recruiting firm that has had strong local roots in the Minnesota marketing community for over 27 years. In her time, Kelly has placed  300 professionals into 75+ organizations as well as worked directly with Fortune 500 companies. She enjoys helping Marketing, Creative, and Digital leaders build & grow their teams. 

“I love my account manager, Kelly. She just “gets us” and is a part of our extended team. She is so open to suggestions, feedback, and wants to make sure the Celarity team gets it right the first time. Compared to other recruiter teams we’ve used in the past, it’s just always such a pleasure working with Celarity.” – Kristin, Hotwire Global Communications

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