If you’re a recruiter or a marketer, chances are you typically think in terms of a funnel or pipeline. You’ll describe the various inputs you can use to turbocharge your hiring or your customer acquisition. This involves a linear relationship between increasing the budget to increase inputs to increase the top-down growth you’re experiencing.
Sounds ok right? The issue is that this is a 1:1 relationship, and won’t deliver you the 10x growth you are looking for. If you’re thinking this might be more of a marketing concept than recruitment, you’d be wrong.
Take a look at the graph below. The typical funnel would put constant pressure on your hiring needs and stretch you as a recruiter depending on the budget being poured into the funnel.
What if your marketing efforts were so compelling that they turbocharged your hiring pipeline without you lifting a finger?
That is where growth loops come in! A loop is simply a case where the actions of one person create an output that attracts another person.
Let’s take a look at how this works for Pinterest, thanks to an analysis by Reforge:
- A user signs up to Pinterest after exploring it with no account
- A user collects their pins building quality signals
- These pins are indexed on search engines
- A new user finds this content via search engines
This is an example of a growth loop, where the customer journey has been engineered for evangelism. Take a look below at how this generally works!
So what ways can you implement growth loops to turbocharge your brand? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Personal viral loop — The more users get involved the better it becomes for everyone. Social media platforms like TikTok are a great example of this loop.
- Supply-side loop — Incentivise your users or customers to share your content. Think about sites like Meetup and Typeform which have integrated sharing heavily into their customer experience
- Financial viral loop — The classic referral scheme where you earn something by referring other users. Platforms like Dropbox have used storage incentives or monetary discounts to great effect
- Social viral loop — This is the ultimate loop. Your product or company is so good that people want to talk about it. This is gold dust for your employer brand in the long term!
- User-generated content loop — As mentioned above with the Pinterest example, user content can be indexed and used as an easy gateway for inbound traffic.
- Physical content loop — If you can be physical, stand out! Scooter companies like Lime can build a physical viral loop simply by the bright color of their scooters around cities. Even if your company’s core business isn’t physical, is there a way you can do this?
- Embedded loop — Let users embed your product or service into their own website or social media. Think of all those Spotify embeds you see, this can be a great growth engine if done well!
So why should a recruiter care about loops?
You’d be right to assume that growth loops are naturally a marketing concept, but the benefits spread across the business!
As a recruiter, your hiring funnel can become enriched by a loop that builds your brand awareness and evangelizes the company as a place to work. Not only does this reduce the sourcing you may need to do overall, but it is a low-cost compounding growth model. The extra budget that may have been ploughed into growth campaigns or toolset can be reinvested into onboarding or employee education.
Another key benefit put forward in an article by Thoughtlytics is that growth loops are easily defensible. Normal growth funnel approaches are easy to copy because the chances are all your competitors are using the same channels, with varying budgets and quality of approach.
An effective growth loop is unique, it is part of the IP of your company! If you are looking to get ahead of your competitors quickly, investing in a loop can deliver the 10x growth that would spill over positively into all areas of the business.
All in all, remember that growth loops aren’t a specific formula! Chances are you will need to experiment multiple times to find out what delivers 2x, 3x, 4x growth, and so on. If you don’t succeed at first, keep going! Find that hook, measure your success and you’ll be growing crazy sooner than you think :)