October 31, 2022

Tactics for Hiring Great DTC Growth Marketers

Storetasker is the leading freelance marketplace for top Shopify developers and e-commerce experts, used by successful brands like Samsonite, Dermalogica, and Alo Yoga. 

We sat down with Tim Masek, Storetasker's Director of Growth and Founder of 1-800-D2C, to deep dive into tactics for hiring great growth marketers. We cover topics like:

  1. How to hire a high-performing DTC growth marketer
  2. What to look for when kicking off recruitment
  3. How to orchestrate brand partnerships
"Your Head of Growth has got to love your brand. Don't even talk to somebody, no matter how good they are, if they don't love your product."

How to Hire a High-Performing Growth Marketer

Tim hired many heads of growth at the D2C businesses he worked for before Storetasker and 1-800-D2C, so he knows what traits to look for:

  1. Love for the Brand– This is the number one item Tim wants. If a head of growth isn't all in on the brand's mission and industry, they're not going to come up with non-traditional ideas or spend extra hours pushing the business forward.
  2. A Broad Growth Skillset– A growth marketer needs to understand analytics tracking, acquisition, conversion rate optimization, and retention. 
  3. The Ability to Act and Implement– When a head of growth is first hired, they're the go-to executioner and implementer of tactics. 
  4. Leadership Qualities– They will be in charge of recruiting people to work on their team and collaborating with others. 

In terms of what separates a good Head of Growth from an All-Star Head of Growth: That comes down to having a good understanding of business strategy. 

If heads of growth can't influence business strategy, they're working all alone. That means if the business fails, they fail with it. 

Don’t be fooled however when recruiting Heads of Growth with a successful track record. Many “successful” heads of growth caught a break within a winning team or brand. Be careful if the person you’re interviewing is attributing all the positive results back to them, or is self-aware enough to note that other forces may have played a part. In your next interview with a promising recruit, ask yourself which bucket they fall into: 

  1. The growth function looked good because the product was already destined for success
  2. The head of growth supercharged the company.

Realizing this distinction complicates the recruitment process slightly.

"You want to hire a growth marketer who's brilliant at the basics and can take your business to another level by adding their own spice to the mix. Their work should bring that missing X factor."

How Growth Integrates with Cross-Team Functions

For a growth marketer to work effectively across teams, performance, brands, and partnerships, they need a set of abilities–

  • A deep understanding of what the Growth roadmap looks like so they can talk about the tasks accurately; those tasks should be half scripted (known) and half magic (unknown) when they recruit. 
  • The freedom to test, execute, and measure creative ideas with the right amount of direction, so they're not completely alone, but they're allowed originality. 

If a brand hires well, they'll find a head of growth who brings stability to the company by consistently delivering on the set roadmap while also surprising them with novel ideas.

The “novel ideas” bit is becoming increasingly crucial with iOS 14 changes. Since tracking and attribution are in decline, and competition is also increasing on traditional online paid mediums - your Head of Growth will need to think outside the box to compete. 

They need creativity now more than ever. 

Common Recruiting Mistakes

The biggest mistake recruiters make is not being educated on relevant technical issues. 

Some founders don't surround themselves with technical operators during the hiring process and get fooled by growth recruits who don't have the technical knowledge but are great at selling themselves.

During interviews, Tim asks pointed technical questions, like "How would you implement a new trigger in Google Tag Manager?" 

Growth marketers should know the answer to that; if they don't, it's a red flag. 

"If you're doing the hiring and your knowledge of the technical stuff is limited, get somebody else to ask the nitty gritty questions."

How to Find and Attract the Best Growth Candidates

Heads of growth want to join winning teams. To recruit a great one, founders must show the world that their business is poised to succeed.

For example, Tim joined Storetasker because he believed in the team, their value proposition, and their potential in the current market due to trends he's seen.

Why Growth Leads Don't Want to Join a ‘Sinking Ship’

If a company's ROAS is bad, the first question business owners should ask is if they have ‘product market fit’. If they don't, they have to focus on improving that first. 

What can happen is that when a head of growth joins a business that’s already got a poor ROAS, they’ll immediately fall under a ton of pressure to “fix it”. They’re now the easiest person to place blame on, when in reality - the problem may be a simple lack of PMF.

Brands already lacking PMF or who are yet to prove PMF will struggle to hire great recruits because they don’t seem like winning teams - which won’t intrigue the most desirable growth head candidates. 

SaaS Tools and CRMs for Recruitment 

Tim suggests a few tools to help with building out the hiring and recruiting pipeline:

  • 1-800-D2C– Tim's company, its job board is a go-to place for e-com operators to find their next great gig. Post your jobs here & they’ll be shown to the creme of the crop.
  • Parallel– enables brands to create career pages on their websites and drum up more exposure for their job listings.

Tim also suggests looking at newsletters like Thingtesting & Nik Sharma’s to find more job opportunities.

"Top recruits want to join brands where they're adding fuel to a blazing fire."
Get the latest on Disco products, customer stories, guides + more!
Resources Bulb
Join the Network