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How to Hire the Right Growth Team

Knowing when is the right time to invest in growth, what should be the team size and structure can be overwhelming. I am sharing a few pieces of advice in this presentation that I hope you will find useful to build your first growth team.

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How to Hire the
Right Growth Team
Thibault Imbert
VP, Marketing & Growth
@thibault_imbert
Who is this guy?
Developer
Coding Teacher
2001-2007
PM
Growth PM
Dir,Growth
2010-2021
Sales
Engineer
2008-2010
VP, Marketing &
Growth
2021
@thibault_imbert
What is GitHub?
@thibault_imbert
On the Growth team at GitHub, we focus on the self-serve business
@thibault_imbert
@thibault_imbert
Agenda
● When to hire a growth team?
● What is the composition of the team for each stage?
● What do you want to grow?
● Before you start hiring, have your homework done
● Where does growth sit?
● How to interview growth candidates?
● Where do you find these folks?
When to hire a growth team?
@thibault_imbert
PMF

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How to Hire the Right Growth Team

  • 1. How to Hire the Right Growth Team Thibault Imbert VP, Marketing & Growth @thibault_imbert
  • 2. Who is this guy? Developer Coding Teacher 2001-2007 PM Growth PM Dir,Growth 2010-2021 Sales Engineer 2008-2010 VP, Marketing & Growth 2021 @thibault_imbert
  • 4. On the Growth team at GitHub, we focus on the self-serve business @thibault_imbert
  • 5. @thibault_imbert Agenda ● When to hire a growth team? ● What is the composition of the team for each stage? ● What do you want to grow? ● Before you start hiring, have your homework done ● Where does growth sit? ● How to interview growth candidates? ● Where do you find these folks?
  • 6. When to hire a growth team? @thibault_imbert PMF
  • 7. When to hire a growth team? @thibault_imbert PMF Traction
  • 8. When to hire a growth team? @thibault_imbert PMF Traction Growth
  • 9. It depends on where you are in the journey @thibault_imbert PMF Traction Growth Growth lives with the founder(s). Time for a small growth team to execute on tactical but also build a longer term strategy. One growth lead focused on building a growth model (how does the product grow?) and execute on non-scalable things.
  • 10. While you figure out product market fit, it comes from the founders @thibault_imbert PMF Traction Growth During that cycle, growth comes from the founders Growth lives with the founder(s). Time for a small growth team to execute on tactical but also build a longer term strategy. One growth lead focused on building a growth model (how does the product grow?) and execute on non-scalable things.
  • 11. Once you get traction, you should hire one growth lead @thibault_imbert PMF Traction Growth That lead needs to ship Growth lives with the founder(s). Time for a small growth team to execute on tactical but also build a longer term strategy. One growth lead focused on building a growth model (how does the product grow?) and execute on non-scalable things.
  • 12. Once growth is accelerating, time to pour gas on the 🔥 @thibault_imbert PMF Traction Growth Growth lives with the founder(s). Time for a small growth team to execute on tactical but also build a longer term strategy. That team will only exist if the previous lead proved the value of growth One growth lead focused on building a growth model (how does the product grow?) and execute on non-scalable things.
  • 13. So, what do you want to grow? @thibault_imbert The goal of a Growth team is to maximize a variable.
  • 14. @thibault_imbert The goal of a Growth team is to maximize a variable. Acquisition Activation Conversion to Paid Retention Churn So, what do you want to grow?
  • 15. @thibault_imbert When thinking about the right profile, go from variable to profile, rather than the opposite. Who you need depends on what you want to grow. I highly recommend starting with one variable to grow, initially. So, what do you want to grow?
  • 16. @thibault_imbert Acquisition Activation Conversion Engagement So, what do you want to grow? Acquire new users?
  • 17. @thibault_imbert Acquisition Activation Conversion Engagement So, what do you want to grow? Growth Marketer Acquire new users?
  • 18. @thibault_imbert Acquisition Activation Conversion Engagement So, what do you want to grow? Growth Marketer Acquire new users? Time to aha!
  • 19. @thibault_imbert Acquisition Activation Conversion Engagement So, what do you want to grow? Growth Product Manager Growth Marketer Acquire new users? Time to aha!
  • 20. @thibault_imbert Acquisition Activation Conversion Engagement So, what do you want to grow? Growth Product Manager Growth Marketer Acquire new users? Time to aha! Revenue
  • 21. @thibault_imbert Acquisition Activation Conversion Engagement So, what do you want to grow? Growth Product Manager + Growth Marketer Growth Product Manager Growth Marketer Acquire new users? Time to aha! Revenue
  • 22. @thibault_imbert Acquisition Activation Conversion Engagement So, what do you want to grow? Growth Product Manager + Growth Marketer Growth Product Manager Growth Marketer Acquire new users? Time to aha! Revenue Retention
  • 23. @thibault_imbert Acquisition Activation Conversion Engagement So, what do you want to grow? Growth Product Manager + Growth Marketer Growth Product Manager Growth Marketer Acquire new users? Time to aha! Revenue Retention Growth Product Manager + Growth Marketer
  • 24. At all stages, it needs to be properly enabled @thibault_imbert PMF Traction Growth Designer Data Analyst Engineer
  • 25. With the folks with the right mindset @thibault_imbert PMF Traction Growth Designer Data Analyst Engineer Growth mindset
  • 26. Before you start hiring, have your homework done @thibault_imbert Do you know what you want to grow? What type of activities do you expect this team to drive? Have you aligned profile type with your growth stage? (strategy vs tactics) How do you expect them to work with the rest of the teams? Do you know where these folks will be sitting in your org?
  • 27. Where does growth sit? Multiple options depending on the variable @thibault_imbert Acquisition Activation Conversion Engagement Marketing Demand Gen Revenue
  • 28. Where does growth sit? Multiple options depending on the funnel area @thibault_imbert Acquisition Activation Conversion Engagement Marketing Demand Gen Revenue Product
  • 29. Where does growth sit? Multiple options depending on the funnel area @thibault_imbert Acquisition Activation Conversion Engagement Marketing Demand Gen Revenue Product Product Revenue
  • 30. Where does growth sit? Multiple options depending on the funnel area @thibault_imbert Acquisition Activation Conversion Engagement Marketing Demand Gen Revenue Product Product Revenue Product
  • 31. How to interview growth candidates? @thibault_imbert At the end of the interview process, it’s critical to provide homework assignment. You want to test the quality of the ideas, presentation skills, communication and assess EQ when the candidates are challenged. You want to hire for a culture of helping, not telling.
  • 32. @thibault_imbert Some examples, the first one Acquisition oriented, the other, Conversion related.
  • 33. Assume you have the datapoint: “For every 10 signups we get, 1 of them becomes MAU (~10%)” ● What could we do to drive a higher number of users to become new MAU (Monthly Active Users)? ● Formulate 3-4 hypotheses about your observations. Prioritize your hypotheses and select one to move forward with as a primary hypothesis. “For every 10 signups we get, 1 of them becomes a MAU* (~10%)” *MAU: Monthly Active User @thibault_imbert
  • 34. Assume you have the datapoint: “For every 100 signups we get, 1 of them becomes a paid customer in their first 28 days (~1%)” ● What could we do to drive a higher number of users to become paid users? ● Formulate 3-4 hypotheses about your observations. Prioritize your hypotheses and select one to move forward with as a primary hypothesis. “For every 100 signups we get, 1 of them becomes a paid customer in their first 28 days (~1%)” @thibault_imbert
  • 35. What you should be looking for in the presentation @thibault_imbert Have they worked on growing what you want to grow? Have they worked in a similar environment (startup, Fortune 500)? Can they work with high ambiguity? (eg: little data) Can they gather some approximative data by themselves? Can they develop good quality ideas? Do they have a framework (hypothesis generation) for developing ideas? Do they possess a blend of qualitative and quantitative skills? Are great minds alike? You want to find some similar ideas. Can they tell a compelling story (strong communicator)? When challenged, do they leverage quant/qual or take it personally? Are they humble?
  • 36. Where do you find these folks? @thibault_imbert Grow someone Hire an existing practitioner
  • 37. Where do you find these folks? @thibault_imbert Grow someone Hire an existing practitioner Pros: Immediate, Familiarity, Investing in internal talents. Cons: Depth, Leadership Pros: Depth, Leadership, New Perspective. Cons: Time to Hire, Ramp Up, Budget
  • 38. Where do you find these folks? @thibault_imbert Grow someone Hire an existing practitioner Pros: Immediate, Familiarity, Investing in internal talent. Cons: Depth, Leadership Pros: Depth, Leadership, New Perspective. Cons: Time to Hire, Ramp Up, Budget Channels: Social (#growthmarketing, #growthhacking, #growthmarketer, etc.) Followers of Growth platforms/conferences (@reforge, @growthmktconf, @growthhackers, etc.) Profiles: Growth Product Manager, Growth Marketer, Growth Hacker, Founder, Co-Founder, Head of Product.
  • 39. To summarize @thibault_imbert Is it time to invest in growth? Who you hire depends on what you want to grow. Align the team size based on your growth stage. Think about where that team will be sitting in your company. At the very beginning, growth should live within the founders. At the traction phase, time for a lead to figure out what growth means for you. For the growth phase, it’s about a team to continue executing and build the strategy. It’s still relatively a new discipline, good talents are scarce. You can grow someone or hire an existing practitioner. There is no perfect playbook, a growth mindset culture is key.
  • 40. Q&A