over 3 years ago by Next Generation

Webinar Recap: How to Growth Hack Your Hiring in 2021

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This year's events scene has been unlike any other. In the midst of a global pandemic, we pivoted our monthly Recruitment Think Tank meetup online in September by hosting a session with Oksana Afonina which you can check out here; followed by a talk from Michael Blakley about fair hiring.

This month, we were delighted to welcome Tris Revill of Doctolib as our guest to talk about how we could growth hack our hiring in 2021.

You can watch the full recording here:


Video Transcription 

Nice to see everybody. If you have any questions as we go along, make sure that you get them in the comments. I'm going to generally growth hack you to do all sorts of these little things today, but I'm going to fly through a little bit about me, to begin with. So, I live in Paris with my wife and my little daughter. I've been recruiting about 10 years now, so plenty of time. I worked at cool little companies in London, Lyst.com was the last one before I moved to Indeed, I worked for them across Europe. I've been working at Doctolib this year and I built this thing called the GrowthHackingRecruiters.com, which is just work in progress at the moment. So, if you're in the Facebook group, there are only 5,000 people in that Facebook group already, and there's some cool stuff coming on there for you. 


And today we're going to talk about how to growth hack your hiring in 2021. So, I want to tell you what growth hacking is. I want to tell you why it works in recruitment, some of the applicable tips and tricks that you can use. I want to talk to you about practical examples, and I want to specifically go from the perspective of a hiring manager, to begin with, because I feel like those people that are looking for growth hacks are often those that don't have a massive recruiting team. And then I'm going to talk about how to do it at scale and that kind of stuff. So, what is growth hacking? Well, I hope you've already heard of it. It's been around for a while now. "Sean Ellis coined the term Growth Hacking to describe sustainable growth approach used by hyper-growth companies like Facebook, Airbnb, Amazon," that's according to GrowthHackers.com, which is obviously Sean's website. 


He started this as a talent hack to find difficult, niche skillset in product marketing and web marketing, where basically you're looking for this type of person who are creative marketeers, they use data, they do testing, they understand stuff like behavioural psychology, and they can do cool things with coding and automation and tech, which is this kind of crazy dichotomy of skills. And those frameworks that those crazy growth hackers are building, are really applicable to loads and loads of web-based products, world-based products as well. And these things have been around for ages on the internet, I'm talking from the days of Hotmail when Hotmail sold, there was only 17 million people on the internet using it. But Airbnb has been growth hacking. You might know stuff like Wish, are thinking about black Friday, but Wish is this super addictive e-commerce website, where they give you loads of points and this kind of stuff, and they're trying to send me all this Chinese stuff. Well, that's crazy growth hacking, taken to the next level. 


Today, we're going to go about how you can do it in recruitment, and there's some really simple growth hack here. You could just change your office Wi-Fi too, "We're hiring, here's the website," and you can just see everyone who's connecting to Wi-Fi around you will see that. And growth hacks in terms of recruitment hacks, well, it's about getting attention and not just that, but Elon Musk, when he needs to get attention for hiring in Berlin, he tweeted this and got six and a half thousand retweets. And you can do really funky, cool little things, we're not talking about evil hacking, we're talking about cool, creative ways that you can apply clever marketing tactics, technical tools, automation, to recruiting. 


And why do these things work so well? Because a recruiter already is a bit of a growth hacker anyway, they already understand human behaviour. They're already doing marketing, so writing job ads, sending emails, all this kind of stuff. Over the last few years in my career, we've seen a huge switch to having access to way more data, and so whether that's online data about human capital and the actual talent pools and talent markets and people behaviour, or whether that's data about how we hire ourselves. And finally, this clever little dust or the automation, the technology, the coding, the scraping, all that kind of stuff, that's what really kind of makes you into this growth hacking recruiter, when you understand all of these things and are able to tie them together, just creatively solve these problems that we face. 


At the end of the day, in 2021, we're all going to be asked to do more with less. I think that what we all know has happened this year is that everyone's tightened our belts. And as recruiters already often underfunded, I definitely have been as a single recruiter in start-ups, very little budget and being asked to hire loads of people, and growth hacking is just going to be more and more relevant for everyone in 2021. We're all going to become these pirate growth hackers. So, this is a reference actually to a framework from the Growth Hacking Recruiters called, AAARRR. And I wanted to show you a really easy way of how a growth hacking framework applies to a recruiting situation. 


So, this growth hacking framework is about how you sell goods online, specifically SAS platforms, based on the idea that we're just going to talk about a funnel, which is based at the top with awareness, then acquisition, then activation, then retention, then revenue, obviously, because that's what this is about, and then referral, that's how the growth hacking world can apply a framework to analyse and find opportunities within the data of a sale funnel. And then, basically, you can apply this to your recruiting, the awareness piece of it, how many people know you're hiring today? How many people are seeing your job ads, seeing that kind of stuff on the internet? It's really, really interesting to start to think about how you can use this growth hacking tactic of A-A-A-R-R-R or AAARRR, the pirate tactic, and actually apply it to how you're analysing your recruiting. How many people know that you're hiring? How many people are looking at your job ads? How many people are applying to those job ads? That activation, this is the activation stage. 


And then, in interviewing and in recruiting, the processes along so you need to look at how many people retained through that interview process, what do those conversion rates look like at each step of the way? And then revenue, what we're going to talk about now is hires, how many people actually get to the bottom of the funnel? And how many people are being referred? Because that's a great way to just grow your team virally. And you can grow your team through referrals, through networking, the same way as growth hackers create viral campaigns through growing their SAS platform or their product on the internet. So, I wanted to start this with people from a hiring manager perspective, because when I asked Chloe who was on the call, she said, "Well, there'll be some recruiters and there'll be some people that are hiring managers." 


And if you're a CEO or a hiring manager, and you don't have a recruiting team, then this is some really simple recruiting hacks that you can use. In fact, we should probably rename this little section, how my wife hired four people in six weeks for a company with three employees, no budget, no career page, no core brand, and no time. She's in a start-up at the moment, my wife, she's building a publishing company in Paris. And when she was like, "I've got to hire all these people." The first thing that I talked to her about doing was breaking down the process, starting with preparation, and then a phase of engagement and then assessment and offer of the people that we go through. 


And the first thing that I was able to apply from microtechnologies to really simple things for her to take away from it, how many people do you need to talk to? She's like, "I'm never going to have time to talk to all of these people," and she's super stressed, super time-poor, super resource-poor, but needs to hire these people. And just being able to talk through these kinds of preparation questions, how many people do you want to talk to? What does that interview process look like? What can we tell people about it, before we start talking about it, so we're ready and we're prepared? And then we launched into a two-week engagement phase, job ads, referrals, groups and networks. And then finally at the end of the assessment, an offer phase, allowing her to hire these people. So, this is kind of how we break it down. Really simple process, right? And we wanted to calculate how many people we need to see, and you might say, "Okay, I need to see three people." 


And it's quite funny when you ask someone this question as a professional recruiter, because they don't really know how many people you might need to filter through to get to the right person. So, 20, 50, 100, who knows? There's a really cool tool if you do know about this, and I think that every recruiter on the call should know about this, it's the Candidate Sourcing Funnel Calculators from Glen Cathey, where you can actually use your current conversion rates to look at what kind of numbers you need to do, it's great to help you with managing, hiring managers, it's great to help you with that, but everyone should understand it and have a look at it, play with that little open source spreadsheet, because when you know how much time you're investing in here, you should know exactly what the scale of the project looks like. 


So, what does the interview process look like? Well, the first thing we had to do some screening, then she wanted to do the test. This is all part of that preparation. And then she wants to meet the team. And just as a junior hiring managing, we have to talk about the basic things, but getting those basics right at the beginning, saves you loads of time in the end. One of those specific things was making sure we have a little checklist for each person before we can interview them on exactly what they have to answer, what they have to say, what's going to be interesting, and having a killer question, to make sure that there was a qualification there, as she was talking to these people. She prepared the tests beforehand. She wanted to have some specific tests. She's hiring a graphic designer as one of the people, one person was an editorials person. So, we did that preparation beforehand, so we had it as soon as we spoke to them, that person, we can move them on, send them the test. 


And then we obviously needed the team involved as well in this hiring process. So, with coronavirus, I think it's one of the big challenges that's come, they didn't want to do virtual recruiting, which a lot of people are doing these days. These guys, they wanted to have people that they met on site. So, they did some batch interviewing to meet the people during one specific day in the office, one day a week, so they were all there because obviously they're all distributed around. And just these really simple optimization points in terms of this as a hiring manager, helped her to get through this. 


And I think that the biggest fear that she had after she kind of, "Okay, everything is ready," is, "What can we tell people? I don't have a website, I don't have a brand, not many people know our products yet." And I think you can be really honest and simple with this. And in 2021, at any scale, any organization needs to be honest about the challenges that they have for the people that are coming to work there. So, I think it's really, really exciting to look at stuff like these blog ads, I don't know, blog job ads, blog ads? I was thinking it could be a cool name. You can tell me in the questions. But basically, if you look at what these guys are doing on Signal v. Noise, they've got these really simple job ads, which are basically a company presentation, examples of the company work, bullet points about the job, and super honest, super possible. 


And what we did with my wife, instead of growth hacking, sprint to get these jobs filled, was just write a really simple presentation. It was a Google doc, she had some pictures in it, links to people that she was working with, links to the projects. And she was able to send people that, and that's just a really nice experience. And with that, right? This is the framework; you can take this away. This is basically what we use to send people, with this, just creating that replicable content, made it really, really easy. So, where do we start looking for people? We started with people that we know. If you don't know how to go onto LinkedIn and search your current network, go learn it. 


I have to do it with my wife, but I think that every manager, every CEO, every company owner should know this. Right? So, look in your network first, ask them for referrals, recognize their experience, right? Be specific, make that content easy to share, in something like a little email like this, and then share it within your network as well. Alumni groups, we found were a great source of people, and she also was part of a couple of publishing groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. So, it's super simple. The beginning of telling people you're hiring through the network, and then obviously you branch out so you can advertise for free, Indeed and LinkedIn and Facebook all allow you to advertise jobs for free if you're an employer. This is the thing that happens though, right? This leads to loads of unqualified candidates. What's going on? I've got too many people clogging up my inbox. 


Well, what we did with her, and obviously because she's time-poor, was just do some really simple things. Set up some filters in your inbox to push job applications into specific emails and folders. We took specific slots in the diary to look at CV's, and then all you have to do is say yes or no at this stage. So, a couple of canned responses to reject and advanced the candidates fast, make it easy for her, using schedulers to book interviews, this just made it super simple, super simple ways to optimize that process. And this is where the heart of growth hacking applies to recruiting, is you can optimize everything, there're great tools built by these great people that you can go out there and use. So yeah, I think this is a really interesting and fun little project to work with. 


And the funny thing about it was that all in all, we've got about 700 applications, she only spoke to 14 people. She only needs to speak to 14 people, 11 of them completed tests, seven final interviews, and then four hires. They came from the places that we could have predicted, and I think it's really simple if you're a hiring manager, if you're listening to this, if you're a small business owner, just remember, be prepared and grab people's attention, tell him that you're hiring. 


In 2021, I feel like with what's happening in the world, great people are going to be looking for jobs, and you should just start there if you're going to be thinking about how to growth hack this at scale. What about doing this at scale? What about doing this at serious scale? Right? I've been working in companies where we've been doing 100 people a month, 600 people in a year, 1,000 people in a year, 2,000 people in a year. 


The lesson that I've learned is it's the hiring managers that make the hires, recruiters are just the catalyst for getting the right people to talk to your hiring team. So, I think that it's worth remembering that, and there's no secret key here, right? You need to have the time, have the tools, have the things to collaborate with people. Recruiting takes time. It's a people job, it takes people to do that. I think recruiters, you need to understand intent and you need to just automate as much as you possibly can, right? Within collaboration... There's your kitten GIF, okay. When we talk about collaboration, I wanted to think about some little collaboration hacks as recruiters you can do, start with sharing your recruiting data. I think this is the opening up of the conversation, when you sit down with a hiring manager and you tell them, "This week, I spoke to X number of people, we had this many people apply, we had this much happening," and they understand the work that's happening. 


Spend time with your hiring manager, sourcing with them. Sit next to them, look at CV's with them, it's going to save you time in the future. Get feedback on the job ads and the messages that you're using and make things that your team are proud to share. There's no doubt about it, the more stuff that you create as a recruiting team for people to see out there, the more awareness you build about the fact that you're hiring, and who you're hiring, what you're hiring for, then it's going to make your life easier in 2021. 


A couple more things that you need to definitely look at, they applied them really well at Doctolib, check-ins, retrospectives, end of month reports, end of quarter reports, analysing and looking at that data with the hiring managers, what's going to really push you forward in 2021. 


Use that data to identify opportunities, use the data to see places that you can go and grow and experiment with, and you should be able to really break down your data. I think that recruiters today have access to so much more data than they had before with ATS's you should start to really kind of get your hands with that, get down and dirty, break it down, department, location, role, understand where people come from, understand the conversion rates by stage, understand the successful source of hire. This presentation isn't long enough for me to dive into exactly how to do that, but I think at the end of the day, your goal here is to get people to say, "Yes, I want the job," and I think a lot of recruiters are frustrated that a lot of people are saying, "No, I've never heard of you, I'm not that interested." 


You've got to understand intent, right? Intent is the key thing to getting this right, and it's something that is such a human thing that it changes all the time. It's a wiggly line, I'm sure you've seen this before if you watch some of my content around. But the high intent people, this year, in 2021, it's going to be applications, there's going to be more of them. You're going to get great referrals, look after them, but there's going to be so many people in your ATS. There's going to be so many people on the CV databases, that I think that social media may fall behind a little bit, as we focus on getting this application referral ATS bit right in 2021. And if you want to get it right, this is how you do it. You start by educating and then you inform people and then you engage them at the top end of that funnel and bring them through that journey of making that decision that they want to work in your company. 


If you want to get faster at everything, you've got to take this optimize everything mindset as a recruiter as well. I think if you're running a big team and you have teams that are not coming to you, suggesting what they want next, what's taking them too long, ask them what tools they can get. I think there are so many cool things that can really help you optimize those workflows for recruiters, for loads and loads of people. So, you know, Calend.ly, TextExpander, LinkedHelper, Zapier. Template everything, but don't act like a robot. Don't act like a robot because I think that humanity and that voice is what you're going to need. 


So, there you are like, that's kind of everything that I have in terms of how I think you can growth hack your hiring in 2021. Collaborate with your hiring managers, tell the story, I think people are interested in hearing it. Use the data that you have, make sure that you can do things like get that pirate framework and look at how many people you have at each step of it. And then be creative in the message that you have. If you want to know more about this, head over to https://growthhackingrecruiters.com/. That was 20 minutes, I felt like I was speaking super-fast.