Are growth hackers a scarce breed?


At least, we didn’t think so back in August when we announced a vacancy for a growth hacker. Until now, the job opening has been visited more than 3,000 times, the content has been edited four times, and like true growth hackers we A/B tested headlines as well. However, it’s now October and guess what? Yes, you got it right, we still haven’t found our next growth hacker!

Before you click away, thinking that this is a last, desperate attempt at advertising for our open position, it’s NOT. Rather we want to address a prevailing debate and issue in the growth hacking community: what does it take to become a growth hacker? And just as important: is the greater society equipped to supply the next generation of growth hackers? What can we do ourselves to remedy this matter? Hold on for three minutes to discover how we can fix this.


So, what does it actually take to become a growth hacker? Opinions differ and that’s just adding to the, in our case, already difficult task of finding an addition to the team. A while back we asked on, ‘what to look for when hiring growth hackers?’. (Quick piece of advice, if you’re not already familiar with this site, check it out. It’s an online network of more than 150,000 members sharing high quality content on growth hacking, user acquisition, marketing channels, engagement, product launch, and more cool stuff).

Following from our question, we were referred to a previous discussion with a similar starting point, and Sean Ellis, growth hacker of them all, took part in this discussion sharing his list of skills for what to look for when hiring a growth hacker. He ranks the skills like this

  • Creative/resourceful problem solver
  • Pure ambition and drive
  • Empathetic to understand human needs and psychology
  • Discipline to follow a process
  • Analytical (right tools can help fill a gap here)
  • Coding skills to have autonomy to quickly test own ideas and tools
  • Bravery/boldness to take risks and ask for forgiveness

Another way to illustrate the skills of a growth hacker is to use this model, inspired by Growth Tribe, who came up with the idea of the t-shaped player.

growth hacker, t-shaped player, growth hacking, copywriting, analytics, Conversion rate optimization,

In addition to these skills, we want to add curiosity to the list. This is something that is super important for us. For instance, how curious is the candidate? During the first interview, one of the questions we ask is always: what have you done that was close to, if not on, the edge?

As Sean points out, his list is more about personality type (or mindset) than a skill set, except for the coding skills. So let’s rename them, refer to them as traits and now look towards some of the actual skills a growth hacker should have. Several perspectives exist, and therefore we have narrowed them down to three essential skills based on input from the previous discussion.

Knowledge of the growth experimentation process is key.

It’s critical for a growth hacker to know how to create and execute good experiments that are recorded with a clear hypothesis and backed by data.

Quantitative analysis.

As a growth hacker it’s essential to know how to decide on a fundamental metric and how to examine the key variables that influence the metric (that is, being able to segment the data to fully comprehend it) while also knowing how to analyse single experiments.

Qualitative analysis.

Numbers aren’t everything. Therefore, it’s just as important for a growth hacker to be able to identify what prospects are motivated by, their fears and criteria of decision-making in order to use this information to improve the efficiency of growth experiments.

But hey these are the desired skills of a growth hacker, so don’t freak out if you don’t yet master them all. Life is all about learning, right? Especially in this field. But why mention these skills at all then? Well, recalling from the beginning of this discussion, we also asked ourselves whether or not society is equipped to supply the next generation of growth hackers, and by society we mean the educational institutions. Are they prepared to meet the demand of highly skilled growth hackers?


Before we posted our vacancy, a wise man told us that the ratio jobs versus growth hackers is 8:1. This already says a lot, however, it’s not enough to prove a point, so let’s have a look at a few other examples, and what better place to start than turning towards the universities that got considerably influence on shaping the marketers of the future. Skimming through the curriculum of a marketing student, you still find several references to Kotler, who is widely considered to be the world’s leading marketing guru, and not a bad word about him or the principles he preaches, the question is, however, whether these principles are consistent with what the current market demands. Or put differently, is there a product-market fit?

At the moment, we don’t think there is, and that’s why we’re focusing great efforts on offering training in addition to our other services. We are not the first to offer this as there already exist other opportunities for learning growth hacking. However, the big difference is that these additional options are very expensive. Therefore, we have created our own academy where experts share their proven knowledge through several hands-on and practical courses against a fair and reasonable price.

Our academy is for anyone who wants to either take the first step to become a growth hacker or improve or update their skills. Find the course that fits you the best depending on your goals and ambitions. Do you want a half-day workshop, a two-day growth hacking course or a 7-week course. No matter your choice, we guarantee courses full of experts that will inspire and teach you to hack your growth! Let’s foster the next generation of growth hackers, together!

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