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How to Interview and Hire a Growth Hacker


Vincent Vitale By on February 23, 2017

As someone who has “growth hacked” the last 2 years, started a few companies in my (short) day, and is in love with marketing as a whole, I’m writing an article about how to sift through the BS. There is a lot of hype about this buzzword, and a lot of it just that, hype. Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who’s been there and done that.

The first bit of advice I’d give is to look to create a digital team, not just a “growth hacker.” That is now officially a buzzword that is nearing expiration if it isn’t expired already. Some of my best work has come from executing Facebook ads well, strategic partnerships, and SEO. None of the should be considered as “growth hacking.”
In a general sense, if you’re looking to hire a growth hacker, or someone in digital marketing, you should be hiring for a few skill sets.
  1. You NEED someone who is analytical. You need someone who enjoys google analytics, someone who can see correlations and enjoys working in data. This isn’t for everyone. It can be taught, but finding someone who enjoys data and working to find the mysteries and parallels is what you should be looking for. There are easy excel tests to vet these people out, and the Harvard Business review has great case studies that you can pose to people to see what type of thinker they are. You should be searching for an analytical thinker first, and foremost.
  2. You need someone who can be techy. (Often this can be the same person) but you’ll have a lot of web updates you want to make, tracking you want to do, and funnels you want to create. Someone with a solid tech background goes a long way. I’ve never worked in SQL but I hear this is also a plus. Minimally you need someone who can update WordPress, create Shopify discounts, track bit.ly clicks, automate social media with software, plan posts with Hootsuite, etc etc.
  3. You’ll want someone creative. This is also a buzzword when it comes to the hiring process, but someone who is creative and takes chances is essential. Good copy can drop CPC down dramatically, and knowing what pic to choose for a Facebook ad is also important. Creativity is thinking outside of the box, and saying, “Hey, what if we…”

 

Ideally you’d find someone who has all of these skills. But that’s a rare bread of left and right brained. Another quality I’ve learned is extremely important is someone who can tell you you’re wrong and prove why. If you’re hiring, it means you’re trusting someone to take over a part of your business. This person needs to be as good or better than you at this part of the business. So they need to feel comfortable telling you you’re wrong when the time comes.

 

The best interview question I can think of if I was hiring a team is, “Tell me about the 3 best growth hacks you’ve executed and why.” Everyone should at least have one hack they’re proud of but if they don’t have 3 or express that they have a plethora then you know they’re small time and full of BS. That is not what you want.


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