Make Any Essential Hires
Which role are you missing? And again we're talking role. We are talking role. We're not necessarily saying we need oh I've got somebody who's doing this and somebody else who's kinda doing this and that. But we need to have dedicated people. I don't really have a company to my knowledge that has a dedicated person in each and everyone of these roles. There's always a bit of overlap until they get pretty big. Okay? Until they get pretty big. So what major roles are you missing? We don't have anybody to do that? The top row you're gonna need pretty early. The bottom row typically can wait, with the exception of somebody helping out on the analytics side. Generally when we're talking about data analytics we're almost talking about a data scientist. That can definitely wait. Alright now the bad news is that good growth teams don't come cheap. Alright so if you decide that you wanna go ahead and build one of these things from scratch. Yahoo finance was kind enough to inform all these kids ...
that they're the 10 highest paying jobs you can get without going to grad school and one of them is digital marketing. And so I'm like oh crap. 73 grand starting earning potential 209,000. So what I think is actually better for most companies to do. And you can get this. If you're a funded company, or if you're willing to make an investment. Get a head of growth. That's a job that exists now. That's what I'm saying. That's what's so great about this. This is beginning to permeate. You can actually hire a head of growth. Hire a head of growth long before you hire a CMO. Get yourself that growth person. Let him build out this team if you can afford to do it. But if you can't hire to train or train who you have. We were talking on a break right. Hire for culture. Train em how to do this stuff. Marketing, growth this stuff can be taught. Okay it can be taught. It absolutely, positively can be taught. So when you're looking at your team. Right when you're looking at other people these are the traits that I want you to look for if you want to have a solid growth team. The first is someone who knows your product and service well. It is very difficult to grow a company if you don't know what that company is selling. And you need to know worts and all. You need to know what people are complaining about. When it comes to that product. You need to know who's buying the dang thing. And that's when you get into number two. Knowing you're customers. And again what are their annoyances? What are the area where they really kinda irritate you but maybe they're right? They know your product. They know you're customer. And they're great listeners with lots of empathy. You give me someone who understands our product line, who knows our customer inside and out, who has a tremendous amount of empathy and I can teach them Microsoft excel. Well I can't but I can buy them a training on Microsoft excel. I can have them go through Google Analytics certification training. I can put them through that. I can't teach these if they don't wanna know. And the top two take awhile. Alright so if I were to say who in your company knows your products. Your product line really really well. Who knows you customers inside and out they talk to them all the time? And they have a really solid empathy. Who does that describe in most companies? Who's it describe? I don't need like a name. Joan, no I mean that's not helpful. No I mean what role that already exists in your company are these people typically. Go ahead.
Is it the founder?
It's often times the founder. Which is why in most companies the person who heads the growth team is the founder, especially in the beginning. But let's say you're the founder. You launch the product and you begin to make some sales. Now who's typically the first hire that you make once you start making some sales? Okay so you're hiring a sales person. That's good. Now who else?
Yeah, somebody in support. I know for me the very first person that I hired was somebody to handle support. Somebody to handle support tickets. Right? I was doing them all in the beginning. And when I was first getting started. When I launched some of my earlier companies I didn't want people to know as the owner I was also responding to support tickets so I would invent names for people. Like this is Sally to do that. When I hired my first support person they kept wondering whatever happened to Sally. Who's Sally? I forgot that I was using that name. So yeah typically in a lot of companies especially if you're unfunded. If you're bootstrapped you're doing everything. And then you're gonna bring somebody on to maybe help on the sales side. Or if you're kinda doing the sales you're gonna bring somebody and help them support. Now they know you're product they know your customers. They're great listeners with lots of empathy, that's generally people who are in sales. Who are in support. Now getting having somebody who's a great salesperson to migrate out of sales and go into growth can be detrimental to their career sometimes and to your business as well. So I oftentimes don't recruit out of some type of sales capacity into growth. Now a lot of times you have people who they're solid, they're decent but they just don't have the heart for sales. They just don't wanna do it. They don't like it. Some of those people can make really really great marketers. But I've found that some of the best marketers we've ever ever been able to create at our companies started in success. They started in our support and in our success departments. In fact in general if you want to be a marketer in one of our companies you want to be on the growth team you are going to spend time answering tickets. You're going to spend time talking to customers. You are going to spend time in the success department. It's part of the reason that we moved the success department into the growth team. Because it was so much easier to shift people into a different position than to pull them out of a different team. Does that make sense? The best folks that we've ever had on marketing because they showed up day one for that role knowing more about our products and services than I did in a lot of cases. And they showed up day one having talked to way more customers than anybody else in the company. And they would not have lasted and been successful in that role had they not been great listeners with lots of empathy. You get me somebody with those three things I can teach them how to be a marketer. I can teach them how to do all that stuff. So the question I have for you is can you think of one or two potential diamonds in the rough on your current team? Now if you're a team of one the answer is no. Because you can't think of anybody outside of yourself unless you have multiple personality disorder from which case you've got bigger problems which we're not here to solve. So assumes that you got a team. Can you think of one or two potential diamonds in the rough on your current team who embody the three traits and they deserve a shot. They deserve a chance. I love promoting people out of customer care. I love promoting people out of success department. I love it. I absolutely, positively love it. And as a side benefit you're typically not starting them at 73 grand with the top line earning potential in five years of 209,000 dollars. Okay? And that doesn't mean that you're underpaying them because you're teaching them how to do that. You're giving them a new shot, a new career. Give me that person as opposed to somebody who graduated with a degree in marketing any day of the week. We were hiring marketers. I was having to untrain them for awhile. What they teach you in school in marketing doesn't always apply to growth. They're different things. We're talking about building a growth team. Now a lot of questions that does come up at this time is how much do you pay people? You don't have to guess. Indeed dot com, Glassdoor. It's funny I took the screenshot and there's a picture of molly who heads our marketing department. We were retargeting ourselves. So I left that in there. Glassdoor and payscale dot com. And salary dot com. So what you wanna do is go to these sites and show that okay here's where we live because it varies. If you're hiring in San Francisco it's different than if you're hiring in Austin if you're hiring in Sheboygan. So find out for your area what's the general median salary for that particular role. And make sure that the job description that they describe lines up with who you're talking about. Is it entry level? Do they have a lot of experience? And then I simply do an average of the average. And when it comes time to paying people. Have that conversation. Okay I looked at Glassdoor, indeed, payscale, salary dot com. According to that here's market for your position. Here is market for your position. It's within this range. And then based on that person's level of experience based on how effective they are. They're gonna make lower kina lower middle middle upper quartile. Of that range depending on how long they've been doing it in this particular area and now everybody knows. What I like to do as a general rule is I like to pay people about 10 percent over what would kind of what would be the middle of the market. And treat em really well. In my experience if you're paying people a little more than they can make somewhere and you're giving them a great place to work. They're unlikely to leave. You don't have to pay em double. Actually if you do that you're probably gonna ruin em. Alright so when it comes to salary you do that. We use workable dot com to kind of manage the recruiting and hiring process. We tried a bunch of them that's the one that everybody picked. I don't know why, but we tried em all and they said that's the one they stuck one. So I'm giving you the one that we use. Okay I know there's a lot of them out there. What I heard and what the team told me is it makes it easy to manage during the process. So move from like phone interview and those kind of areas. Any other questions on kind of the hiring front before we move on? Yeah.
Yeah I've quite a few. What about equity at this role? The growth role.
So I'm probably not the best person to answer the equity question. Given that all of the companies today that I've started they haven't been funded companies. They've been bootstrapped so we don't offer equity to people who are coming in that role. Again we pay them 10 percent over market and provide a great place to work. If somebody can earn a significant amount of equity somewhere else then they can do that. But the companies that I'm building we are generally not building to sell. And so I don't necessarily want somebody coming in with equity on their mind because all they're thinking is I'm gonna be here for a little bit and I'm gonna vest that's gonna exit and I'm gonna grab my dough and I'm gonna go somewhere else. I find I don't get along well with those kinds of people. They don't like me and I definitely don't like them. So if that comes up early on. That's usually gonna be a cultural mismatch. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with that but I think the idea of getting equity is generally something that's gonna happen at larger companies. If you're bootstrapping company, you're building it from scratch. If they're coming on really really early on then my guess is there is a calculation that generally people in this role receive this much equity but that's still a function of compensation. So that's when you're gonna be looking at the salary ranges and those types of things to determine okay yeah their earning equity therefore they're not gonna make as much salary. But I tell you my feeling on this is that I'm biased. Hold on to that equity with both hands. Super super tight. I think you can find extraordinarily great wrote people. Teach them to be great, have em know your product and not have to give away a lot of equity in the process. And if you don't have to give away equity then don't do it. Don't do it. A lot of the proven growth people who are out there, if they're proven and they did a great job. They probably already got recruited by the really big companies. Like they're gone. And if they're proven and their great and they're able to get that. No offense but they're not gonna come and work for a brand new start up that's unproven. They're gonna go and work for the bigger proven company where they're gonna get equity that's gonna vest and they're gonna be able to liquidate on the stock market tomorrow because they're already public. They're probably not gonna work. So the people who said oh I did this and that at this company and I'm great and that's why you want me. If you did all that for that company and everybody knows it? Why didn't somebody else hire you away? That's kinda what I'd be wondering.
That leads right into my next question. Is a lot of times we are seeing the six months to one year role on the resumes. And it just makes me wonder is it because they did their job and they moved on to the next or it's because they couldn't grow and so they had to find another gig.
Yeah it's tough. I mean you look at someone's resume and you see they bounced around. They've been at companies for less than a year. I'm sympathetic because the climate over the last few years has been such that people were able to leave in a fairly short period of time for a bigger better deal. I can't fault them for that. I don't look at these things as like you're disloyal because you left me. No this is not a marriage. If somebody comes and works for me. This is not till death do us part. It's a transaction. I'm gonna pay you as long as that's a good deal for you. You're gonna stay and when it ceases to be a good deal you're gonna go somewhere else. That's why I'm a big believer of paying 10 percent more than they could make if they were to go and look around and give them a great place to work. Also people don't leave companies they leave they leave managers. So I don't necessarily fault the person for it but I'm certainly going to ask them about it. So during the interview process, I'm gonna say, and our hiring managers say this as well. I see that the last company you were only there for six months. How do I know you're not one of those people that comes in and stays and is gonna bounce as soon as you get a bigger better deal. I'm a big fan of asking very very direct questions during an interview.
But we're seeing it so often I was wondering is that just the nature of this role too?
I think it's the nature of this role depending on the location that you're hiring. So we don't see it as much in Austin. As it might be seen in San Francisco, or even New York for example. Because there's so much competition. But I do think that it's a factor. Growth people are in high demand. They just are. If you're great at growth. You're going to be in high demand. And you can expect that they're gonna get recruited and poached away and do think it's the nature of the role. It's because this matters. It's because what we're talking about matters. And it's so important. People realize that. That's why I'm a big believer in also growing people internally. Training and cross training so if somebody does leave. But don't make decisions on what you think somebody might do. Hire for the role based on their experience. I have every reason to believe that they can walk in a do this job because they've done it before. Or you've got the right person you believe that you can train them up to it. Which i wouldn't necessarily say I would have as you're head of growth. A VP of growth or something like that that should be somebody with some experience. Hire for what they have done. And then make sure that you're clear on your core values and you run them through your values filter. I don't know anybody who just loves the idea of starting a brand new job every six months. That just sounds terrible. But I don't think the vast majority of people want to do that. They wind up doing that because it's a function of the environment and where things are right now. And so I think if you can provide the alternative to that environment then you got a shot at really keeping somebody for the long haul.