Our mission was to find a CRO Specialist to join Wuffes, an eCommerce brand specializing in dog supplements to create a CRO strategy, as well as oversee the optimization and development of the website and its sales funnel.
During the first 4 weeks, we reached out to 275 people. We had our top candidate in the negotiation phase by week 6 so we slowed down with our headhunting. Unfortunately, we lost the candidate as we were not able to find the middle ground during negotiations and there were some culture fit concerns that came about in this final stage. Headhunting picked up again and we identified a further 125 candidates. On the 12th-week mark, we were able to seal the deal with our WINNER. Overall, we reached out to 400 people who were our target candidates, with 25 calls, of which 7 moved to the test round and from there we were able to narrow it down to two finalists.
Although we spent an additional 6 weeks looking for another candidate after the first round, we managed to find them a CRO Specialist that was able to start immediately, meaning we didn’t lose a lot of time as the initial finalist had a notice period of a month.
The brand had a very good understanding of what the person in this role should look like and was looking for a specific experience.
By far the most important requirement for this candidate was that they have had previous experience working with an eCommerce brand or agency as a CRO specialist and had a successful track record of helping them grow.
As this person would be consistently tracking data and running A/B tests, they had to have in-depth knowledge of analytical tools such as Google Analytics, as well as experience with testing tools such as Optimizely.
Biggest Selling Points:
The brand already established its processes and funnels and had been generating successful results up until this point, so the CRO specialist would be coming into an already developed growth team and have a UX/UI designer as well as a developer to collaborate with.
The brand was created by founders who have a lot of e-Commerce experience between the pair of them, and have successfully run businesses that were profitable and reputable, so they knew what it takes to develop an e-Commerce brand.
As this would be the start of their full-time CRO efforts, the person joining their team had a lot of opportunities for growth and career development, as well as the space to experiment and continue to grow the department.
Skills We Looked For:
- Analytical & data-driven - CRO is based on data, so this person had to love numbers, analytics, and tracking them.
- Creativity - they needed to be able to participate in the creative brainstorming process, so this person had to also be creative and have the ability to see design aspects of CRO.
- Communication - To be able to brainstorm and hypothesize with the team, as well as give feedback on the CRO efforts, this person had to be able to communicate well. They had to be able to put their ideas on the table in an easy-to-understand manner, and they don’t beat around the bush!
- Research - they need to be doing research from the day they get the account till the day they stop working on it, so they had to have a good research methodology in place.
- Pro-active & hungry - This person had to have the desire to be better with every single test and to always be coming up with strategies of how to grow the website. They should always be hungry to learn more and always be staying on top of changes in marketing.
We began by running paid ads in several locations (the brand has a team that’s in the UK and in Eastern Europe, so targeting these regions first). On top of that, we were actively sourcing candidates who have been working with eCommerce brands that were well-established, and eCommerce marketing agencies.
It can be difficult to evaluate a marketer's skills based on calls alone, so we crafted an assessment that will showcase their skills. The test was made up of two parts: the first was about a successful case study and how they accomplished it, and the second part was about their workflow when starting to do CRO and how they would achieve their set KPIs. We chose a website and asked them to guide us through their work.
Key Questions To Ask:
- How would you go about creating a prioritization list of tests to run on the website?
- What was the most surprising outcome of the test that you have done?
- What is your research process? How do you generate new ideas to test?
Challenges We Faced:
The biggest challenge with hiring a CRO Specialist is that this role is still relatively new and it was difficult to target people who specifically dealt with CRO in the eCommerce niche and with the level of experience that was required. In the beginning, we were focusing on Eastern European talent, and we quickly realized that this was not a popular role and it was usually one of the tasks that a Digital Marketer on the team took on, but they were not a specialist.
A second challenge with this role was hiring during the summer months, as most people are in vacation mode. The process of nurturing the candidate took much longer, so it took some time to move them along the pipeline. To overcome this, we targeted many different regions and were active in following up & managing expectations.
Another challenge we faced was finding people with enough & relevant experience, precisely talent within the eCommerce space and experience working with brands with high traffic on their websites that allowed them to conduct statistically significant A/B tests. To find the ideal candidate we targeted both marketing agencies and eCommerce brands. We found that oftentimes, even if there was a specialist working on the company’s CRO, it was done on a project-by-project basis by a freelancer who worked on several different brands at the same time and did not want to settle for one.
- Experience is important, but not as much as the culture fit which needs to be thoroughly identified before the job offer is signed!
- Prepare analytics and data in advance, as CRO specialists are extremely number orientated and will ask about it
- CRO Specialists are looking for companies that understand how relevant and important CRO is to their brand, not just an afterthought
- It’s important for the brand to be big enough & have enough traffic to allow the CRO specialist to properly A/B test and optimize, so ensuring you’ve got the backbone for that is vital
Tips For Similar Hires:
- Get them excited about the numbers!
- Make sure you have your vision and growth plan all mapped out before beginning to look for this person, as this will give you and them a clear idea of how they will develop
If you’d like to expand your creative team, fill out the form on our website, and let’s get talking about how we can help you bring someone awesome onboard.