From 0 to 1 – My Year in Growth Hacking Recruitment

Any avid reader of SourceCon has read and heard about Growth Hacking and how it can be applied to sourcing and recruiting. At the beginning of the year, Jan Tegze wrote an excellent post claiming that 2018 would be the year of the growth hacking recruiter, not AI. In January, to help myself and others learn about Growth Hacking faster and share tips, I started the Growth Hacking Recruiters Group on Facebook. So now, following a busy year I wanted to share with the SourceCon community some exclusive insights from our end of year polls.

Before I get started, you may be wondering what I am on about, and what is a Growth Hacking Recruiter?

A Growth Hacking Recruiter has a growth mindset and curiously, confidently leverages media, technology, and data to hit hiring targets with minimal financial investment. Simply put, they help companies hire more effectively with fewer resources than their competition.

This question was one of the most significant problems we had to tackle when we started to grow the Growth Hacking recruiter community. Don’t worry; you don’t need to go out and learn to code. Growth Hacking is principally a mindset of continuous improvement.

I noticed that a lot of the sourcers, recruiters, agency owners, salespeople and members of the wider recruiting community are highly entrepreneurial. We have all found common ground in the Growth Hacking recruiter community, a place where we can share tips and tricks that help us all get better. Growth Hacking is a methodology that can be applied in any of our roles across the community, but it was evident that the sourcers have picked it up first as we love to test and play with things.

Hang on; This Is Not New. Why Are We Catching on Now?

Back in 2014, Nick Marsh wrote “Say Hello to the Talent Hacker. Hiring and management practices are still stuck in the dark ages of business: poorly measured, expensive, beholden to ‘the way things have always been done’ and populated by shiny-suited commission-driven salespeople.” In my opinion, this is still the case in the world of business far and wide. Having been involved in the Talent Hacker movement in London at the time (it was the first time I was ever on stage), I was not surprised to read that this was finally going to become more mainstream.

As sourcers we all know that the hardest thing is not finding the candidate but engaging with them. The Growth Hacking community is expert at doing this.

I realized the most significant barrier to the adoption of growth hacking techniques is that not enough people were sharing their hacks and success stories. I wrote to Tegze suggesting we could make his prediction come true; it was time to start a Facebook group to share all the awesome Growth Hacking techniques that work in recruitment. On the 16th of January, with not enough preparation, we kicked it off by inviting around 40 of our most interesting recruitment friends to the group. Below is a screenshot of what happened next.

Hundreds of posts, and thousands of likes and comments, it’s been a fantastic year for the group. There are now more than 1700 members contributing and learning from each other. And the statistic I am most interested in? Active users! We have managed to keep more than 80% of the group active in any given 28 day period.

Looking back, it has been a remarkable year for anyone who has been using the growth hacking techniques in recruitment — a recognition of the skillset which is now highly in demand and adoption of the methods in business across the world. David Sankar after six months summarized it best.

I have learned a considerable amount from the excellent contributors of the group, if you are reading this and have been involved then I owe you a huge thank you. I have enjoyed learning from all of you.

If you are not a member, you can drop a request to join here, remember to fill in all the questions.

O to Nearly 1

To finish off the year, I thought it would be cool to share some of the insights gained from our end of year polls with the community here on SourceCon.

I wanted to take a pulse check within the community to find out how far we had come this year, and to learn what had been adopted and where people still need help. Again, I found myself learning more about the challenges the growth hacking recruiter faces and where we still need to go with the community.

We All Love Tools

As you can see from the tools above, apart from the glaring reminder that we all need to #BeHuman – thanks Katrina Collier. Automation is critical when it comes to adopting the Growth Hackers tool belt to improve their hiring process.

Getting rid of the tedious manual duties to focus energy on being more human makes sense. If you want to grow, you realize that doing the same thing twice is vital.

I recommend anybody reading this post to think about your day and the simple tasks that you can automate. Look at some of the tools above and have a play. Growth Hacking recruiters need to adopt a mindset that if you do something more than once, you need to automate/streamline it.

I also asked the community about Data Management. Data being at the core of the growth hacking mindset I felt one of the critical tools we use is our CRM or ATS.

From the comments, turns out a lot of us are frustrated with the systems we spend most of our time using. The biggest surprise for me was how many of us are in Google Sheets a lot.

There is an opportunity here, not sure exactly how to exploit it yet but I’m sure one of my HR techies will come up with something. I wonder if in 2019 we will see systems arise that are easier to use for the Growth Hacking recruiter?

We Are All Still Looking in the Same Place

This is not as scientific as I would have liked it to be, but as I said this is a pulse check.

Of course, we all know that it is silly to focus all our efforts on one platform. Most sourcers are in a cross-referencing game these days, but as you can see from the poll, LinkedIn has a tight grip on the recruiting platform market. Even if Facebook has more users and Twitter more interesting ones, with LinkedIn and GitHub in the lead, the Microsoft grip on B2Bs tightens.

I wonder if in 2019 we will see the rise of a LinkedIn replacer to the surface as they are shutting down more tools and pushing harder to monetize the platform following the Microsoft takeover?

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I have a follow-up article for you just on that subject in me somewhere.

Peer to Peer Learning is KEY

I am not going to be the first one to tell you that if you are stuck, or want to learn, or are ready to up your recruiting game, all you need to do is come and hang out with your peers. There is no school for recruiters and we all aware of that, that’s why so many of us share.

SourceCon killed it in this poll, without doubt, one of the best places to learn all the latest sourcing and recruiting tricks. Get involved in the communities, learn, comment, ask and you will 100% get better and make more hires.

You people here are amazing.

This is why I love SourceCon.

This is why I am writing this here for you.

If you want to learn more about growth hacking, then join us on the Growth Hacking Recruiters Facebook group and watch out for my Growth Hacking Recruiters Newsletter that launches in January!