You may think I’m crazy summing up my last decade’s worth of success’s, failures and learnings to one single piece of advice. You may not want to believe that there is such a simple thing that kept me going in the last ten years. Yet during my time of reflection at the end of this year and the many discussions I have had with friends and family I caught up with over the holidays. My thoughts kept on coming back to this one thing that has led to the success and happiness I have today.
Those of you that have know me well, will know that a decade ago; I was lost, frustrated and very very poor. It was a turbulent decade of personal and professional hyper growth for me. I think it is typical for anyone going from their mid 20’s to their mid 30’s. Yet, there is no doubt today when I talk to people around me that my super power through this all has been to keep a positive attitude.
At the beginning of the decade I was lost, hunting for a change and desperate to find happiness. I had given up my career as a chef, vowing never to return to the dark life I had sunk into during my years in the kitchen.
I didn’t feel very positive, I was grieving for a lost love for food that had started in my early teens. Burnt out by the chef’s lifestyle, the crazy hours, the low pay and never ending late nights. I vowed never to wear my chef’s whites again. At the beginning of 2010, I had nothing more than a rucksack full of clothes. I was lucky that my family believed in me, they took me in and looked through the rocky months of me changing direction and gaining a new focus and goals.
During this time I met many people who offered advice and council. Many people had ideas of what I should do next and where I should go next. From all the sound bites, books, ted videos and council I received the one resounding piece of advice I took to heart was;
To grow in your career, you first have to take a step back. By March 2010 I had started to apply for jobs. No one wanted to hire a burnt out ex-chef who had finished school at 18. I managed to persuade the sales director of a Door to Door company to take a risk. I started with no base salary, knocking on doors on the south coast earning 50 pounds every time I made a sale.
There is nothing better than being told to get lost (or worse) 80 times a day to hone a positive attitude. The conversation you have with yourself when its 8 o’clock at night and water is dripping down your neck and you have made no sales may sound crazy to most of you.
Stay positive, keep smiling, the next door could be the one.
I believe, having a positive attitude is all about the conversation you have with yourself. Everyone faces tough situations every day. Telling yourself you can tackle it, with a smile in your mind is all you need to start keeping a positive attitude.
I have been lucky enough to meet and interview thousands of very successful people over the last 10 years. Those that achieve the most unbelievable things are not from the best families or the best educated, they are the ones that can stay positive in any situation.
My single piece of advice to you, however you want to grow and live in the next decade is to stay positive.
Sadly, my wife has been terribly sick at the end of this year and the last few weeks have been really tough. It didn’t stop us traveling around the UK and enjoying our trip as much as possible. People are always surprised at how positively we approach our life. She will get better thanks to the great doctors and support from the people around us. Whatever the worry, we approach everything with a smile and a positive attitude, I’m convinced it’s the secret to our success. You can do it too, stay positive and smile.
Today, I’m looking back at the beginning of the decade with disbelief. I feel so happy. It’s been an amazing year ending an amazing decade of personal and professional transformation. I found a career, a voice, a mission. I fell in love, became a dad and built things that (I think) helped the world get a tiny bit better for some people. I have no regrets, I’ve lived life to the full and am happy with my shortcomings.
I always over estimate what I can achieve in 6 months and under estimated what I managed to achieve in the last ten years. As we approach the next decade, one that promises to be filled with chaos and change. My advice to you is all you need is to keep a positive attitude. It’s your smile that will help you succeed.
Happy New Year!
I hope the next decade will be filled with everything you want.
I used to get really upset that people like you have been stealing my content to make yourself look good.
Then I came to Asia.
I realised that no one cares about authentic things.
It’s a big world but most people are the same. Success for 99.9% of the world involves flash cars, oversized houses, designer clothes and swanky dinners out. Most people think that faking it till you make it is the way to do it. I know, I made that mistake.
Everyone tells you to be successful you need to hustle. They tell you this is the key to this happiness.
So you don’t have the creativity needed to build and develop your own things so you steal to try to get to the top. Sadly this won’t lead you to happiness or success.
Me getting upset at you won’t allow me to be happy.
So feel free to steal my content.
As growth hackers, pinching ideas and optimising them for our own benefit is at the core of our mindset. Looking at what works and replicating the techniques used is killer when you start getting it right.
Just copy and pasting will only get you so far.
Understanding why things work is what differentiates the true creators from the spammers and thieves. Having your own voice and being you is what generates the fans you are looking for.
If stealing someone else’s content is what starts you on the road to understanding this.
Then please make sure you steal mine.
To get good at this you should read the book steal like an artist… and observe some art in the wild. Not comparing myself to Picasso here but innovators like Picasso were working and developing themselves and their art over years and years to find their voice.
If you ever learned to draw, like Picasso did, you first start by learning techniques and classics composition before adding your own flair to it. Picasso didn’t steal ideas, he was inspired by classics to develop new techniques and eventually find his own voice.
Artists work around themes and develop them with their own creative flair. That’s how I see myself. I have been studying this stuff for years, avoiding the mega growth hacks to instead going for a creative development based on themes that work. My writing skills is something I have worked in a lot. I spend hours practising and learning how to do it better. You stealing my art, my creativity and my voice, of course, results in nothing because people will see through you.
But if it helps you on this road, then I am happy to have helped. Your thieving has finally helped me find more peace!
This post was originally written as an email to a thief and then posted in my Facebook Group Growth Hacking Recruiters. Join us if this stuff interests you.
To help me Grow, I document things, at the end of every year, I write some notes about my year and some goals for the year to come. My mini personal retrospective has been happening in the dark for several (5+) years with just a spin-off article or two being published. This year its different.
2018 turns out to have been a pretty crucial year, personally and professionally. I had so much stuff I wanted to talk about. Time to write the personal blog I wanted to share. To make easier to understand, I have split it into three major topics.
Let start with what happened professionally, I quit my amazing job at Indeed to focus on looking after my wife and baby in Paris. A lifestyle choice is driven by my frustrations at the constrictions of working within a business operating at such a huge scale. My time at Indeed was a success, it was the longest I was ever an employee in a company and I learned a lot. However, since the beginning of the year, I have had something different planned for 2019. So I spent a lot of 2018 focused on my side hustle with the hope to become more nomadic, authentic and entrepreneurial. That’s why I have been doing a lot of Growth Hacking!
Tris ❤️ Growth Hacking
2018 I focused on honing my Growth Hacking Skills and applying them to Recruitment. Considering blogging and spending too much time on the internet is what got me started off on the journey to becoming a recruiter in the first place. In the last ten years and with no degree just energy, passion and a lot of hard work I come full circle back to my growth hacking roots. My personal and professional Growth can be tied closely to my passion for all things hacking. Life Hacking my way out of the kitchen, I have gone from dreaming of working in cool tech companies to being recognized as one of the top influencers in HR tech. There was no wonder I threw so much time and effort building the Growth Hacking Recruiters community.
I wanted to get better at Recruiting. I believe that innovation in recruiting comes from outside it, not within. On my constant quest to improve, Growth Hacking became my buzzword crutch to help me make more hires.
Growth Hacking was a Hot Topic; Personally, I had been following Growth Hacking industry for some time and stealing things I could apply to recruitment. When Jan Tegze wrote at the beginning of 2018 “Sorry, 2018 Won’t Be the Year of A.I., But Growth Hacking” I knew it was the time to jump and build the community. Talent Hackers had long stood still, build by vendors to capitalise on a trend. The recruitment hacking community had suffered by not having a place to call its own. The techniques had advanced, much as Growth Hacking since Sean Ellis used it as a buzzword to try and hire people.
There was an opportunity for a community that focused on consistently improving recruiting tactics and sharing cool tips and hacks. The timing felt perfect so I dropped Jan a note to see if he wanted to be involved and we got started on building what has already been called one of the hottest groups for Recruiters in 2019!
FINDING PEOPLE IS EASY – ENGAGING WITH THEM IS HARD
“Cutting through the noise and being there… ideally at the right time (even though there are many external factors to this that a sourcer/recruiter can not control). Being on the right screen with the right message is a real job” – Guillaume Alexandre
The truth is, Recruiter response rates are dropping and people are finding it hard to break through the noise we are all subjected to.
Gone are the days that people are flattered about being headhunted. Outbound recruiting has become normal, especially in the tech spheres.
Growth Hackers are experts at engaging with people at scale and (most of the time) selling them stuff. You can pretty much bet that that is exactly what most modern recruitment jobs are about too.
All Growth comes from desperately trying to succeed
The inefficiencies of most things in Recruiting show us how Recruitment mechanics still need to be optimised. Applying more growth hacking methods to the problem allows us to improve all elements of the hiring journey for both sides of the table.
To start the year, I read up huge amounts on the principles of growth hacking and marketing. I didn’t want the group to just be about sharing tools and tricks but about sharing methods too. During the journey, I realised that these techniques apply not just in Recruiting, but in sales, marketing and every part of your life where you want to improve. A lot of people are already sharing this stuff and learning from each other. That’s why it was so easy to build the community to where it is now.
I’m grateful for all the people that have gotten involved to create a community. We step into 2019 with a manifesto, a mission and a plan. Hopefully, we have helped others out there as this has become a huge catalyst for my personal growth.
Confused as to what I’m talking about? I wrote a true definition of what a growth hacking recruiter does. Confused about what a Growth Hack is, think free lightweight hacks that you can implement that will 100% improve your hiring process.
On top of growing a group where I could learn from my fellow growth hacking recruiters and share tips with new ones! Here is what I learned;
The first three points need far more time to explain than I have here, so expect separate blog posts on that soon, but Considering I have written posts about the three last points already in the group. I thought it would be fun to buld on the content and put them here.
Creating content has got easier. Personal branding is everywhere.
9 years ago, I went to IBC and heard from thought leaders in the broadcast industry that brands were going to become the broadcasters, they were wrong. Anyone can be a broadcaster and everyone is giving it a go. We really do live in a time when anyone can broadcast for millions, pretty much for free.
In recruitment, one of the biggest complaints I hear is they don’t have the support, the tools or the time to create the content they need to support their recruiting efforts. I think there is too much overthinking here and these people need a reality check.
The Barrier to entry is so low that all you need is an idea and a phone and you can create something amazing.
People don’t want polished content anymore, they don’t trust “on brand” corporate videos. They want an authentic view of where they can work and they want to hear the real story.
The only thing holding you back is yourself.
I find this true for myself as for those people I observe in the world.
Your not going to get it perfect the first time.
Just do it.
The worse that will happen is you will Fail and learn. More likely than not, you will get free exposure in any domain you want. I have helped and watched friends do this for their own careers in every domain and it works. Don’t wait for approval of your idea. Don’t expect people to get it.
Make it, post it and beg for forgiveness if someone complains.
I have done this in corporate employers and small ones and for myself. No one ever complained, they were grateful I made them look good and they were happy with the candidates I got them.
Be brave, your growth starts now!
Content is key, but first, you need rhythm.
Content is king but Rhythm is a Recruiters form of nurture marketing. Posting constantly and consistently reminds people who you are, what you stand for and what you do. It gets you more eyeballs and if what you post is good, it gets you fans and followers.
As a recruiter, it will increase your response rates, drive more relevant inbound candidates to you personally and make your bosses happy (because being engaged online makes them look good.)
Hung Lee and I talked about how hard this is. He reminded me that it takes a huge amount of confidence to post and share your authentic views on the world with the internet. ITs about building the muscle memory that helps you become a better contributor to the internet. “You need to get in the Rhythm,” he told me.
Jan Tegze reminded me as well when I asked him how he creates so much awesome content. Its all about having a rhythm.
To build the rhythm myself, I have taken to creating more and posting more. You can do that too. Here are some of the top tips I share with the Growth Hacking Recruiters that will help build the muscle memory to easily keep consistently contributing to the internet and building your personal brand.
Pick a topic and try and write one micro post about it a day, HIT SHARE even if it is not perfect! (Platforms like Twitter, Instagram or snapchat are great for this)
Write three comments when you Log In on every Platform
Regularly write a post in a format you enjoy and works for your brand.
Hung is the Perfect example of Rhythmic posting. Not only is he curating an amazing newsletter every week but he is posting format posts on LinkedIn to compliment them. If you want to start getting your brand out there then just sharing a link to his amazing newsletter gets your name in front of thousands of other peeps interested in the same stuff as us!
I have a loooong way to go
So while building this MINDSET has been a personal journey to get to what I really want in life, Freedom to do what I want every day. Make awesome moments!
My personal journey, becoming confident enough to consistently create and post content has been tough. I have always wanted to do more, this is the umpteenth year that I had started out saying. “I’m going to post more blogs and share more stuff” but I am definitely starting to get my head around it. Not a 100k a year from posting on LinkedIn and in Facebook groups yet, but we can all be dreamers 😉
I have often been blessed with a “Just do It” mindset, that reached a whole new level this year as I have focused on building a new growth focused mindset. More to come on that in my next post.
Growing myself is a long-term project!
WE HAVE GOT A LOOONG WAY TO GO
Growth Hacking Principles in Recruiting are still Nascent, you may remember that I wrote a long time ago that fixing recruitment is more about levelling up the recruiters. Empowering people to get better at what they do in every part of their life is something I can only dream of. If you want to join us and help us grow, don’t forget to say hi and share this post with a friend.
Hires = Growth. A Growth Hacking Recruiter has a growth mindset and curiously and confidently leverages media, technology, data to hit hiring targets with minimal financial investment. Simply put, they help companies hire more effectively with fewer resources than their competition.
A fine-tuned hiring machine, growth hacking recruiters have mastered the art of targeting and engaging with job seekers at scale. Leveraging advances in technology, communication and information availability. Growth Hacking, when applied to recruitment, allows recruiters to become more agile, rapidly evolving and fixing hiring processes to increase satisfaction for everyone involved.
A Growth Hacking Recruiter has the data skills to analyse what is happening with a role (funnel hacking), the marketing skills to optimise and attract the right candidates (SEO, PPC, UX, Content marketing etc), the technical chops to automate the process (scraping, data enrichment, bots, AI etc) and the mindset that constantly drives growth!
Having a Growth Hacking Recruiter on your team will make you more hires, grow your brand and optimise every element of your hiring process.
Growth hacking is a mindset, so are the Growth Hacking Recruiters; A new breed of recruiters who can find the information they need to help companies scale teams successfully. Constantly adapting and adopting, the growth hacking recruiter is taking advantage of the newest technologies, data sources, marketing tactics and shared consciousness to rapidly test things, finding what works and exploiting them to make more hires.
I adopted the growth hacking mindset and applied it to hiring and it worked. By adopting the guidelines below, you can do it too!
Hires = Growth
This stuff is not new, it’s old.
It’s 2018 people, if you can’t use the internet to make hires, you need to learn NOW. Growth Hacking applied to recruitment was first written about by Nick Marsh in 2014 in an attempt to coin the term Talent Hacker. At the beginning of 2018 Jan Tegze, predicted growth hacking would be more important in recruiting than AI in 2018.
This is because it’s EASY and FREE to implement.
Having now been working on this in companies since 2014. Soaking in knowledge and building a network of recruiting experts around the world in my search for Talent Hacks. Jan and my vision was that to accelerate the adoption by building a group focused on this we would have a way to share growth hacking tips and tricks that actually work for recruiters.
The community has grown to more than 1500+ members, all recruiters actively engaging in growth hacking the hiring process and there way
They share articles focused around;
Information retrieval & Scraping
Automation and Bots
Digital & Content Marketing (SEO, PPC, Virals, Blogging etc)
The dark arts of Engagement & Hacking
As well as questions, real-world hacks, personal growth stories, life hacks, productivity tricks, collaborative projects and challenges.
As a growth hacking Recruiter, I have chased growth in all elements of my life. If you would like to receive all of the information I have learned. Everything I think you need to succeed as a recruiter, growth hacking your way to success, sign up on our landing page.
These AWESOME Tricks will get you MORE views on your posts ANYWHERE
A recruiter needs to be able to connect hiring teams with relevant candidates as fast as possible. Viral content helps you do that!
Creating viral content can help you drive qualified applicants to apply to a role for free!
ONCE an effective profile is established of the people you are looking to hire. There is no reason why you can’t use techniques developed by the growth hacking communities to drive qualified applicants to roles for free.
Virality is the key to many successful hiring projects. You are making your life easier if you can use viral content to drive applicants via referral and from online sources.
Start with talking to the people you have already hired!
If you start with an internal network you can quickly leverage large hiring teams to create viral content on the web that drives qualified applicants to your roles for free!
QUALITY Native Content is King
Make it CLEAR
Make people want to React
Gaming the Algorithm is OK = Build your Tribe
I talk through these principles in a lot more detail on the Live hangout here.
When I asked him, Hey said the key to good LinkedIn posts are:
1 – Authenticity. Be as authentic as possible with your content. 2 – Make yourself vulnerable. 3 – Timing. How can you leverage other events? I was authentic to myself. Made myself vulnerable and leveraged the event that I was leaving – was his comment.
It definitely seems to be working! Keep it up.
You should take away the fact that hiring people is an event and getting people to share that teams are growing just takes an honest and authentic piece of content that they connect with.
Most social networks are striving to keep users within their ecosystem, so creating content has to be native. For a recruiter, the challenge comes in converting the viewer or engager to the candidate.
While your first mission when hiring is creating good quality content that is shareable and an easy system to gather intent from the job seeker. As a recruiter, once you start to scale this you need to be mindful that candidates on social media should still be treated within a system that ensures a fair route to the role. A challenge I have not seen an HR tech provider truly fix yet in terms of integrating ATS to multiple social platforms and tracking interaction.
Practical take away for every recruiter here is to stop re-posting boring jobs and write about why someone would want to join the team. Take a picture of the work environment. Share an honest story about the challenge you face.
It is so exciting to see more of this content out there and I think we all have an opportunity to lead the way with helping people get jobs.
I hope you enjoy the tips, really looking forward to your feedback.