How to hire a Growth Hacker for your business


Growth Hacking profiles are increasingly in demand by start-ups in the Digital world. Companies such as AirBNB, Uber, TikTok and DropBox rely on teams dedicated exclusively to Growth Hacking, and many of those that today are known as successful multinationals would not have managed to survive in their early days without the support of Growth Hackers.


If this term, coined by Sean Ellis in 2010, has become very popular in recent years, it should be noted that not all businesses are necessarily going to benefit from hiring a Growth Hacker. In this article, we propose some guidelines to follow to understand if your business really needs a Growth Hacker and what are the skills that you should look for when hiring a Growth Hacking expert.



What is Growth Hacking?


Growth Hacking encompasses a set of techniques used in order to acquire the largest number of users or customers at the lowest cost and in the shortest possible time. These techniques began in the context of start-ups or emerging companies (mainly in the technology sector), whose business model is usually based on the early launch of a minimum viable product with explosive growth, but without high initial budgets.

A famous example of Growth Hacking is the way AirBNB managed to get their ads to appear on Craigslist automatically by "hacking" the portal's API. The result was that, overnight, their ads were viewed millions of times on the most famous classifieds portal in the US.


How to know whether my business might benefit from Growth Hacking


Not all companies are in a situation where they can benefit from the presence of a Growth Hacker in their staff. Let's see below some cases where a company would NOT benefit from hiring this type of profile.


  • Companies that suffer from a lot of bureaucratic rigidity when implementing new technologies and trying new things. Some companies do not want to introduce new tools and platforms due to the fact that they involve hosting data in the cloud instead of propietary servers. This can be a problem for a Growth Hacking specialist, since these are profiles used to working independently with all the technical resources available. For example, a company that does not trust Inbound Marketing platforms such as HubSpot or SalesForce would not be a favorable environment for welcoming of a Growth Hacker.
  • Companies that do not have the budget to grow steadily. Although it is true that a good Growth Hacker usually looks for cheap ways to get clients such as the viralization of content and other organic growth tactics, she will not be able to ensure real business growth if the necessary financial resources are not made available to her in order to implement MarTech tools (CRM, Web Analytics, Paid Media, etc.).


Typically, start-ups that have developed an innovative solution capable of impacting an industry are usually favorable environments for hiring a Growth Hacker. This is because an original product is more likely to go viral, and many Growth Hacking techniques are based on the viralization of content, which is the fastest and cheapest way to grow a business. 


Differences between Growth Hackers and Digital Marketers


First of all, and to avoid confusion, it is important to understand what distinguishes a Growth Hacking specialist from a Digital Marketing specialist.

  • A Growth Hacker works the entire sales funnel, not just the Visibility and Acquisition part.
  • A Growth Hacker focuses exclusively on finding new opportunities for business growth, she does not usually worry about consolidating an already proven business model.
  • A Growth Hacker needs a higher level of technical skills than a Digital Marketer. She must be able to create landing pages independently, implement Marketing Automation tools (if necessary through web programming), mount A/B testing and also configure Data Analysis tools. Typically, these are profiles used to carrying out many actions independently and without much technical support from third parties, in order to test a large number of accelerated growth tactics in record time.
  • A Growth Hacker has a holistic view of our business. If a product does not sell, their first proposal is not to invest more money in the company's recruitment channels, but to find out what is the real reason why our product is not being sold. Could the product not meet users' expectations? Could our brand have a bad reputation? These are the questions that a Growth Hacker asks herslef and that often times a Digital Marketer will not.


What knowledge should a Growth Hacker have?


When hiring a Growth Hacker, we must make sure that they have the following Hard Skills:

  • HTML / CSS / Javascript (basic). Essential when creating microsites, landing pages, linking pages with Marketing Automation tools, adding tracking and retargeting codes, doing A/B tests. A Growth Hacker has to be able to launch many actions in a very short time and therefore cannot depend on the company's web developers for each one of them.
  • SEO: Content SEO (blogging) is an effective way to increase the visibility of our business at low cost. A good Growth Hacker should be able to identify high potential keywords and publish blog posts that rank for these searches.
  • Inbound/Marketing Automation: Inbound Marketing is one of the most widespread Growth Hacking tactics. A Growth Hacker should know Marketing Automation tools such as HubSpot, Active Campaign, SalesForce CRM and be able to create workflows for Lead Nurturing.
  • Paid Media: For most start-ups, you don't need to spend staggering amounts of money on Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Even so, it is useful for a Growth Hacker to know how to create campaigns on these platforms to save the cost of hiring agencies or inhouse hiring SEM specialists.
  • Web Analytics:  To do Growth Hacking it is essential to analyze the data of our company's webpages. A Growth Hacker should have advanced knowledge of Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, as well as CRM and Excel for reporting.


But we must also look at the following Soft Skills:

  • Analytical: They should able to analyze significant volumes of data and make data-driven business growth decisions.
  • Creative: Especially for the viralization of content it is important that our Growth Hacker be a creative mind, capable of thinking in an original way.
  • Self-starter: It is important that the profile we hire is capable of carrying out most of the technical implementations necessary to launch growth actions that generate tangible results at an affordable price and in the shortest possible time.
  • Entrepreneurial: A good way to make sure that we are hiring someone really trained for Growth Hacking, is to look for profiles that have launched their own business on the internet and have achieved real growth levels. The reason is that the true Growth Hacker is usually an entrepreneurial spirit, a profile that likes to do a little of everything without having to depend on others on a technical level. Entrepreneurship is also the best way to train and develop both technical and strategic skills, which is what a Growth Hacker really needs.



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