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How to Hire Your First Growth Lead for an Early Stage Startup

What is Growth?

When should you hire your first growth lead?

Who should you hire?

  • Someone who has experienced the first steps of startup growth, either working in-house or agency-side.
  • Someone with real, hands-on experience doing the growth work themselves (and not just managing outsourced firms).
  • Someone who has experience specifically with user acquisition, as they tend to have a broader perspective when it comes to growth.
  • If you do hire a leader from a big company, check that their position was broad enough to include the building of channels or that they have previous experience in building channels themselves from another company.

How should you interview growth leads?

  • Ask very specific questions. Do not just stick to general questions like: “Did you manage Facebook campaigns?” or “Do you know how to work on Google Data Studio?” Focus on specific questions that require the candidate to express themselves: “What’s your approach for testing messaging?” “Which metrics do you usually look at when viewing analytics?” or “What metrics do you look at when optimizing content for Google search?”
  • Ask about previous involvement with creative teams. The growth lead is not a creative expert, but they should know how to manage work with creative teams, whether in-house or outsourced.
  • Ask about analytics capabilities. Your first growth hire will be intimately involved in setting up your analytics structure. Have they taken part in analytics implementation? Have they built dashboards for tracking results?
  • Get to the root of their hands-on experience — especially for candidates from large companies. Bear in mind: at bigger companies or agencies the infrastructure is already in place and not all growth positions are in touch with creative teams or have technical involvement. You may need to do a little digging to understand the candidate’s actual individual skills beyond their ability to manage teams. (Yes, I know I’ve already made this point several times. But I’ve seen this mistake so often that I feel it bears repeating.)

How should you test growth candidates?

  • Creative: “Write a brief for a Facebook campaign. Mention 3 USPs and give inspiration examples from other companies.” or “Write a brief for an influencer to create content to promote our product.”
  • Data analysis: “Analyze the following campaign data set and provide insights for campaign optimization.”
  • Way of thinking: Ask open questions, like “We are launching our new Giraffe AI generator. The budget is 500K. Prepare a three-month media plan.”

Grow — steady and slow



Aleph is a venture capital fund focused on partnering with great Israeli entrepreneurs to build large, meaningful companies and impactful global brands. It is a partnership of Michael Eisenberg, Eden Shochat, Yael Elad and Tomer Diari. Visit

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