My Love for Growth Runs Deep

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. 

WHY?

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.

Hires = Growth. A Growth Hacking Recruiter persistently Chases Growth, Design for people, tests ideas, builds on Failures, Use Data, Measure things, Automate, Listen to feedback

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;

  1. DATA GIVES YOU SUPERPOWERS
  2. TEST. LEARN. TEST. LEARN. TEST. LEARN. TEST. LEARN…
  3. CONTENT IS KEY
  4. START NOW – THE BARRIER TO ENTRY IS STILL SO LOW
  5. BUILD A RHYTHM
  6. MINDSET MINDSET MINDSET
  7. WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO!

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.

START NOW – IT’S EASY!

The highest earning YouTuber is a seven-year-old. Every one of us has a chance to make our mark in whatever we do. The UK in-house recruitment award for employer branding video this year was won by one person using their phone to shoot the video.

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. 

  1. 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)
  2. Write three comments when you Log In on every Platform
  3. 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.

Focus on what you can do to grow things now!

 

Breaking Recruitment.

*FIRST POSTED ON MEDIUM HERE*

I became obsessed about the idea of breaking the recruitment space a few years ago. I had a Post-it on my desk when I still worked at Propel that said “Focus on the problem not the solution.” but it’s only in the last few months that I feel I have started to understand the problem and make headway on actually building a solution.

We all have heard it too many times how recruitment is broken and it’s an industry ripe for disruption. Yet for some reason no one has come up with the silver bullet yet. The internet and big data have definitely changed the nature of the beast, but the reality is that it is still a painful process to both hire someone and to find a job.

Why is it a problem?

It’s Different Every time

Building a team should be easy!

If only building teams was this easy.

Have you tried to get together a bunch of people to play a sport or a game? Even if it is only for a couple of hours a week, it can be tough to organise.

Hiring people is the same, and in business it’s not just a group of friends to kick a ball. Successful businesses want to build the best team to do the job. It’s a hard and expensive process.

There is no rule book to follow, every company, every candidate, every time it’s different. Everyone has a different point of view on it!

In a perfect world you could easily solve the problem with some technology or an algorithm. Automated CV matching, easy to use job boards and Big data search tools leveraging machine learning; are all amazing things. But there is still huge monster in the closet that gets in the way of these being affective. This is a people problem… People

You may be able to find the person you’re looking for so will using a tool or technology help? — No!

You need a person to hire another.

Machines wont make friends!

So who does the hiring? HR people and recruiters? I think your wrong.

I’m sure, like me. Every time you hear about people in HR or Recruitment you conjure up images of shiny suited kids in headsets doing recruitment by numbers and bored HR staff enforcing form-filling and complaining when things aren’t part of the process. Sadly however, they are the biggest weapon in a CEO’s armoury and most people don’t understand what they are here to do.

A HR person or a recruiter has never hired anybody… Unless it was for their own team. They are just the tool that a company uses to accelerate the hiring process and protect themselves.

If your building a business then you need, you are the one building a team your talent team is the resource you use to do it. By way of resource, we dont hire people for you, we just help you navigate the hiring landscape. We provide you with insight and expertise, introductions to the right people and advice on how to influence there decision and get them to work for you.

I think, my job as a recruiter is to make it easy for you to build amazing teams. Sometimes you think I am going to hire you someone, sorry thats your job… I’m just here to make it easier for you.

Now you know what I am here to do, why I sit at a screen stalking people on line all day. We can figure out what recruiters need to do to get better so you stop moaning about the fact that our industry is broken!

Recruiters must share stuff!

It’s not a silver bullet, but a step in the right direction and all of a sudden I love my job because I share stuff.

I share and benefit from other people sharing ideas every day, so do you, it is a bit post modern to write a blog about it, right?

Some Context. I am lucky enough to work with a very innovative company (Lyst) and this year they sent me to FOSDEM. It wasn’t just to recruit someone, it was to learn something. FOSDEM is a snapshot of a global community that’s based around the development of free and open source software. These are super smart people that are considered anarchistic hackers by governments and nerds and geeks by the rest of the world.

Open source communities are collections of like minded people working towards a common goal. Whether it’s cryptology or scientific discoveries. They all want to fix something that is broken and understand that it is only as a collective that they will do that.

You probably use open source software everyday. You probably don’t realise why it is so much better.

So we have the best intellects in the world sharing information and projects. Why cant the rest of us do it?

The action of sharing is a day to day normality for me. I get up and read stories that people have shared with me on twitter. Head to work and share the train and the route with people I know and recognise. Arrive in the office share my thoughts with a co worker, share some insight on twitter with my coffee and instagram my lunch. It goes on and on right.

Why don’t recruiters do this?

I only put this here so that if anybody comments about not sharing I have pre warned them how childish I think that is.

Most of the time it’s because they are greedy and want to make money. The hunger for profit is what has destroyed our industry to the point that when I tell people what they do, they get scared and run away. Yes that is the truth, it happened to me again on Friday, it might be the beard…

Why on earth would you pay £15,000 to get someone’s name and contact details?

It sounds mad right! But trust me it is a normal everyday practice in the world of recruitment and it’s this profiteering secrecy that has led to people like me not telling you what I do.

It is probably the hippy’s war cry but If we share more the world will start to be a better place.

As recruiters we need to get better at our job and have more information at our fingertips. The internet might answer a lot of your questions, but it is hard to know where to look. Information like this is what helps people make a profit, but to break the industry we have to stop this rampant profiteering.

It’s tough when you work for a business to have a safe place to share information, we have tough questions to ask and answer and sometimes share a candidate with. I don’t want to publicise my needs or share someones contact details. (As your recruiter — I don’t think you would want me to either) but great news things are changing!

In London, I am very lucky to be part of a group of recruiters who are attempting something along these lines. Using tools that are free and the generosity of our peers and a few suppliers we are building a safe haven for in-house recruiters. We have built a network where we can share things that are useful to use and advice that is sometimes not — you can find loads more about it here.

NOTE: This does not represent the views of my employer and it does contain some very broad brush strokes and generalisations. Thats what makes it a good read.

Thanks to this guy for letting me use his awesome picture!

I wish I didn’t have to tell you what I do..

*Originally posted on my medium blog here*

A startup networking tale from the dark side.

I was on the phone halfway through another of londons amazing startup meetups and before I put it down I told her;

I love coming to these things but sometimes I wish I didn’t have to tell people what I do!

Of course its not 100% true — sometimes telling them can be incredibly rewarding, but I work in an industry that is surrounded by stigmas and most people view those with a similar job title to mine with a certain amount of contempt, disregard and distrust. Especially at a startup event in London! I work in an industry that is considered something evil. Something that has encroached on every area of industry in every area of the world to the point that it is now one of the UK’s most profitable and fastest growing sectors of industry.

Let’s make one thing clear; I honestly and truly really really really like my job! Its fast paced, engaging, entrepreneurial, constantly changing, good money and once things are running smoothly its incredibly emotionally rewarding. It draws on every ounce of the skills that I have built up since I started my professional career deadheading roses and cleaning out the chickens at the local pub when I was 14. It pushes me and challenges me and the moment I start to feel comfortable in it I realise I can learn more and do more… But there is one problem with it that I want to change! What people think when I tell them what I do.

When I’m out and about with friends and family and they ask me what I do, I find it hard to tell them! When I’m at the meetups and events that I attend on behalf of my employer and people ask the question; “So, what do you do?” I am always hesitant to answer. Sometimes, I can avoid it for so long that if the conversation is interesting I will never let them know.

Should I change job? NO and anyhow what else is there that I can do that will reward me as much emotionally and financially? Nothing is the answer and trust me I have looked! (those of you that don’t know what I do yet will soon realise I am exceptionally good at looking!)

Is it because I’m not confident enough? Well that can’t be true, if you hadn’t figured it out by now — I am pretty confident. If you ask anybody that knows me they will tell you that I am so confident that I can sometimes be considered arrogant or rude. (But that’s only because I’m a bit like Marmite in a social environment)

It has dawned on me more recently that it might not be my problem at all — it maybe something that is industry wide. In fact it has now got to the point that I 100% believe that this is one of the largest problems with my industry; Most People don’t know what I do!

Which often means that other people with the same job title as me forget what they do too! Not saying that all my competition are rubbish (saving that for another blog) or for that matter that everyone I come across takes an instant dislike to me. When people ask, I look them in the eye and as I tell them what my job title most of the time I see a look of distaste, a twinge of anger or a simple cringe flashes across there face!

I understand why, Every one has had a bad experience with us me included. However, from now on instead of telling them Im an EVIL Recruitment Consultant I’m going to say;

I find jobs people NOT people jobs!

Did you know that’s what we do?

Just to make sure, these are my own points of view not those of my employer. They do not in any way represent anything more than a start of some ideas that will hopefully lead to changing the recruitment industry and please get in touch/comment if you wish do discuss or disagree with any of the points here. Professionally, You can of course get in touch with me on LinkedIn or twitter and I will try and be as helpful as possible.