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How To Hire a SEM Manager

Complete with job descriptions, skill profiles, and interview templates. Use this SEM Manager hiring guide to help you make the right decisions, fast.

SEM Manager Recruitment Guide

What does a SEM Manager do?

A SEM Manager is charged with directly managing the business’s search engine marketing programs through its design, development, and management and this will involve formulation of SEM campaign structures, keyword strategy  and research, landing page optimization, keyword bidding, creation of ad copy and  A/B testing.

Day to day tasks of a SEM Manager

Skills assessment

SEM Manager definition

A SEM Managers’ primary responsibility is to manage a company’s search engine marketing initiatives. Because of this, they require key skills that enable them to be able to design, develop and manage SEM campaigns. It is a highly technical and analytical role.

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SEM Manager Hiring Process

Step 1: Understand the role
Step 2: Source Applicants
Step 3: Skills Assessment
Step 4: Interview
Step 5: Hire

Build the Ideal Candidate Profile​

To find the best person for the role, you need to understand what the role involves. You can complete this with the hiring manager to define the role, its contribution, and the skills needed.

Write A Job Description Based On Skills

Once you understand the requirements for the role, you’ll need to understand the skills for success. You can then write an effective job description to promote your role.

Selecting The Ideal Candidate

See which applicants have the right skills for the role. Send all your applicants a Vervoe skills assessment from the expert library, or customize one for your organization.

Interview Top Performers

Your skills assessment results will identify top performers. Focus your time on interviewing those that have met or exceeded your requirements. Assessment results will also help guide which skill areas to focus on in the interview.

Making An Offer

Once you assess your candidates against these skills, you’re ready to offer the top performer(s). You should base your offer on the value that the candidate would bring to your team and your business as a whole. It is also important to ensure your compensation and benefits packages are competitive in the industry and help you attract and retain the top talent.
Build the ideal candidate profile

Skills needed for a SEM Manager

A SEM manager must be technically skilled and have a sound understanding of the metrics of search engine marketing. They will be skilled in end-to-end campaign management and be able to use various metrics to analyse the success of any campaign.

Pro Tip

For mid-senior-level roles, you’re likely to receive a smaller number of applications than you would for an entry level position. Ensure you provide details about what it’s like to work for your company, and what your company values are so applicants know whether your company is the right fit for them.


How to write a SEM Manager job description

Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position. Here’s what to include in your SEM Manager job description:

Job Title: What position are you hiring for?

Summary: What makes your company unique? What would it be like to work for you?

Responsibilities: An overview of the role’s day-to-day activities, and how the position contributes to the organization

Requirements: Skills a candidate must have to perform the job successfully

Benefits: Details of compensation, benefits, and any perks on offer

Pro Tip

In building your candidate profile, remember you’ve already identified what skills are needed to succeed in the role. Here’s where to list your “must-have” skills and maybe a couple of “nice-to-have” skills. For example, a SEM Manager must understand the metrics behind website optimization, and it would be nice to have affiliate marketing experience.

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Sample skill tests for a SEM Manager

Create a free account today to access the full assessment and more from our library

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Question 1


Question Type: Audio

What is SEM’s role in an integrated, multifunctional marketing plan?

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Question 2

Campaign Management

Question Type: Audio

For a company like ours, what kind of platforms and campaigns would you use and why?

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Question 3

Marketing Analytics

Question Type: Text

If I said that there is an Ad Group with 30,000 impressions and that it has a CTR of 0.13%, where are the problems?


How to interview a SEM Manager

Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The interview should focus on any skills that require development that were highlighted from the skills assessment.

Now you know that candidates can do the job, the interview becomes more of a relationship building exercise where you can get to know the candidate on a more personal level, understand their motivations, and how they would fit in with the team.

Making An Offer

How much does it cost to hire a SEM Manager?

The US average for a SEM Manager is $56,897 according to while the reported average salary on Indeed amounts to $70,571. According to ZipRecruiter, the majority of SEM Manager salaries currently range between $56,000 (25th percentile) to $82,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $101,000 annually across the US.

SEM Manager Salary United States

SEM Manager salaries in the United States range from $48,933 – $66,754 (USD). SEM Manager salaries in the U.S will vary depending on the location and scope of the role.


SEM Manager Salary United Kingdom

SEM Manager salaries in the United Kingdom range from £27,500 – £80000 (GBP). SEM Manager salaries in the UK will vary depending on the location and scope of the role.

Source: Check Salary UK

SEM Manager Salary Australia

SEM Manager salaries in Australia range from $46,000 – $65,000 (AUD). SEM Manager salaries in Australia will vary depending on the location and scope of the role.