One of the biggest challenges for startups is acquiring the right – good people – with the skills and experience to grow a business quickly.
The Jobs Market For Growth Hacking
This is known as ‘growth hacking’. Here, we’ll talk about what growth hacking is, and the challenges faced by clients and candidates alike in trying to recruit the right skills. We also talk about how we’re able to source and place this in-demand talent.
To find out more, read on…
Growth hacking is also commonly referred to, and compared with growth marketing, demand generation or performance marketing, but is essentially part of the same business function.
They all mean the technical processes of acquiring and retaining the most customers, which leads to revenue growth. With revenue growth and acquiring new customers cited among the top three concerns by start-up founders the answer is to hire employees with the technical skills to build and analyse a brand’s consumer demand in the marketplace.
The term ‘growth hacker’ was first coined in 2010 as the brainchild of Sean Ellis, a start-up entrepreneur from Silicon Valley (and of Eventbrite and Dropbox fame), to describe a person ‘whose true north is growth’.
Ellis doesn’t believe there is any need for a ‘regular’ marketer to come up with a marketing strategy, because it’s simply too early in the beginnings of a start-up. That means that the goal is simply to drive growth, and lots of it.
Growth hackers are invaluable to the process of driving growth in startups because of their engineering technical skills and expertise. There’s a correlation between the popularity of growth hackers and the increasing numbers of young entrepreneurs starting their own businesses in the UK.
There are now currently over 310,000 company directors under the age of 30, which has risen up from over 295, 000 just two years ago. A major contributing factor behind this trend is the technological advancement. Many startups rely heavily on digital channels to build brand awareness and reach new customers.
Growth Hacker Recruitment in Start Ups
Growth hackers are the solution for many startups because they are technically skilled, making them ideal candidates for selection across many growth hacker jobs within the start-up recruitment industry.
Growth Hacking Skills
A primary skill is the ability to code; programming skills are needed for building ecommerce websites, which in turn need innovative program features to drive consumer traffic and increase sales conversions.
Marketing. Of course, you must know all the marketing basics: from marketing segmentation and customer avatar creation to marketing planning and creating a marketing strategy,
As far as ecommerce goes for revenue growth and acquiring new customers, it’s a big money-making machine for start-ups. In 2017, the value of ecommerce sales worldwide reached 2.3 trillion USD (1.7 billion GBP); that is expected to rise to 4.88 trillion USD (3.66 billion GBP) by 2021.
It’s no surprise that growth hackers are much in demand, since they have a wide array of specialist programming skills.
For recruiters, clients and candidates alike, eyes are increasingly turning towards growth marketer jobs and performance marketing recruitment because of the specialist skill set.
Upward Trend Continues
The upward trend for growth hackers is making a global impact on the way businesses operate, especially startups in driving growth.
Nearly 300 growth hacking courses are listed across online learning platform Udemy. In recruitment, there are now 72 growth hacking agencies set up worldwide, with 341 growth hacking jobs listed on professional networking site LinkedIn, and over 2,000 growth hackers operating worldwide.
Areas Of High Demand
Of the cities leading this demand, San Francisco, Paris, and London top the list. There are also hundreds of active growth-hacking meetup groups across the world – so there’s an engaged community of like-minded professionals looking to grow their networks and their skills.
Growth hackers have what’s called a ‘T-shaped’ skillset incorporating everything from statistics, programming, product design, behavioural psychology and brand positioning.
Technology and Marketing
Design and technology work hand in hand, as growth hackers understand that design is crucial to creating a good user experience. Startups acknowledge that design plays a significant visual language in developing a website, or creating a product or service aimed at appealing to consumer psychology. This is why technical specialist skills matter the most, especially in growth hacking recruitment
The evolution of marketing has also changed rapidly from the days of writing marketing plans. The marketing process has become more technical, meaning growth hackers possess more technical skills for brand building than just a regular marketer in order to reach wider audiences, particularly across the web.
This is especially the case even with the trend of product managers. Only 11% of them began their careers in product management. The majority of product managers came from widely different professions, mostly as business/analysts, or as developers.
This means growth hackers make ideal choices for many technical marketing roles, especially growth marketer jobs or a performance marketing vacancy. The global shift towards digital is reshaping the ways start-ups need to adapt and interconnect with people.
The DRE combines software tools and marketing techniques to turn data in actual sales.
Advanced Technical Skills
But to do this, growth hackers are needed with the advanced technical skills to interpret such data to help identify the right customers for start-ups, and then apply specialist techniques to engage them to purchase.
Automated Marketing Software
Automated marketing is a software component of the Digital Revenue Engine model. It’s aimed at nurturing customer relationships and building an emotional connection with people using digital tools such as Eloqua, Hubspot and Marketo.
In typical growth marketer jobs, there’s an expectation of managing content to drive consumer behaviour to purchase. This also includes navigating CMS platforms and using research tools to identify popular content to attract visitors, generate leads and convert new customers.
Another key area where growth hackers are needed is increasing sales, where they have to implement essential Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms aimed at improving customer service.
Social media is highly regarded as a vital component of the Digital Revenue Engine (DRE). Growth hackers have the technical expertise required for both a performance marketer vacancy or growth marketer job to reach wide-scale global online audiences.
Social media has become integral to daily life with consumers, with a total of 2.19 billion monthly active users on Facebook recorded in 2018. Since its inception in 2004, Facebook has become the world’s biggest social networking platform in terms of global reach of active users. Social Media Jobs are also on the increase.
Growth Hackers Are Invaluable
This makes growth hackers invaluable as they play a key role in the discovery of small to medium businesses, as well as influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions on goods and services.
Instagram is a fast riser in the B2C world and more and more Companies are using Twitter for B2B engagement
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another key technical and analytical skill required in performance marketing vacancies.
Use of Analytics
This is where growth hackers excel in using data to acquire new customers. A growth hacker’s expertise in using Google Analytics helps to identify how organic search brings revenue to a start-up.
An awareness and understanding of search engine marketing strategy is also a key facet of this job role. A broad understanding of the optimisation process and wider strategy is also extremely useful for the successful growth hacker
Analytics is one of the true technical skills of growth hackers as they understand data to reveal customer insight, such as their behaviour, hobbies and interests across the Web.
Analytics Provide Vital Information For Growth Hackers
This identifies what customers like, how they navigate a website, and how effective a marketing campaign is. Analytics keep growth hackers informed as it identifies and repeats any commercial success for continued start-up growth.
In performance marketing recruitment, one key skill we look for when recruiting for growth marketer jobs is that the candidate can communicate valuable insight into how a brand is converting or connecting with potential customers. This requires understanding a breadth of testing tools, and metrics for A/B testing, across everything from creative ad copy to landing pages, brand campaigns and promotional strategies.
At Intelligent People we understand growth hackers have the essential technical skills vital to start-ups in the context of growing modern day business.
Growth Hackers Are Innovators
We’ve seen that growth hackers are the innovators behind ecommerce and social media, helping to drive trends in consumer behaviour.
Growth hacking skills will pave the way forward influencing jobs across performance marketing recruitment. Although growth hackers are harder to source, approximately 30% of our business has been committed to helping start-ups fill a skills shortage to drive growth.
Online Performance Marketing Jobs
As a leading online performance marketing recruitment agency committed to hiring candidates for start-ups across both growth hacker jobs and growth marketer vacancies, we succeeded in securing 27% of placements in 2016 across ecommerce and digital roles for candidates with growth hacking skills.
We believe strongly that the demand for growth hacking jobs will be a massive solution for growing numbers of new, lean companies looking to scale their businesses on a low budget.
Growth hackers use innovative methods to attract the most number of customers while spending as little money as possible; meaning it’s the best cost-effective approach for start-ups.
Pushing The Boundaries
They also push boundaries to get the best results, which is why corporate giants such as Facebook used growth hacking techniques back in its early days. Harmen Visscher, chief marketing officer at Dutch auction house Catawiki, says, “The growth hacking mentality should be in the DNA of each company… It is essential for growth for everyone, even when it is not a startup.”
Finding Your Customers
Shadi Paterson, a consultant and business owner, says, “You have to find where your customers are and just talk to them, the recipe has not changed…Growth hacking is [just] another way of [doing that].”
We recognise the need for growth hackers is making a global impact on the way businesses operate and drive growth. There are over 70 growth hacking agencies and over 2,000 growth hackers worldwide – and counting.
It’s clear that the old ways of traditional marketing and sales growth are on the way out, in favour of techniques that use data to push boundaries and experiment.
How does this impact us in the UK – away from Silicon Valley?
The smart money is on UK startups, which are set to receive record amounts of funding; overseas investment from foreign investors is soaring.
In 2017, a record £8.27 billion was invested in new start-ups across the UK. This funding came largely from overseas investors, showing international demand in innovative British enterprises, with £5.9 billion committed to more than 369 deals.
US entrepreneur Ryan Holiday believes that Silicon Valley’s most popular export will become the next big global phenomenon: “A growth hacker is someone who has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing and replaced it with only what is testable, trackable, and scalable.”
For more senior Grwioth Hacking roles you may wish to talk to our outstanding Executive Search Directors.