Thursday, 10 January 2013

Recruiting for Social Media: It’s Easier Than You Think

Your company understands that it needs to be active on social networking sites. Your Facebook page is quickly becoming more important than your website. The dilemma most small business owners face is though they understand the need for social media, they don’t understand the most effective ways to use it. You’d like to ask your marketing guy to do it, but yesterday you saw him make a voice call from a landline to a record store to see if they had the latest albums. At this point you resolve to hire someone to create and manage your online presence. Here are a few tips for when you’re looking.

1.  Age Doesn't Matter

Most people will assume that a young person will be better at social media, because they grew up in a generation that uses it more readily. This is incorrect. As a young person, I can tell you that we are literally not better at ANYTHING. Experience trumps (whatever the hell you think young people have) every time. We are more apt to engage in social media, but someone in their 40’s with an affinity for social media also has “life experience,” “related job experience,” “industry experience”  and other things to draw on that a younger person wouldn't.  Social media skills require a specific way of thinking. The person can’t be intimidated by a new program or feature, because there’s a new one every 5 minutes. There is no reason someone in their 30’s or 40’s can’t have this skill.

2. Hire a Writer

It’s all words. Your employee needs to make the words happen and he needs to make ‘em happen good.

3. Check Up on Them Online

If this person is planning to work in social media, they should have given you links to their social media accounts, and their presence should be quasi-professional. As much as you think you would like to separate the people from the organization, now that everything’s online, you really can’t. They will put your company’s name on their LinkedIn, and attach their Twitter feed to this account. Others will look your company up on LinkedIn and see who your employees are.  Anything they've made publicly available on purpose is fair game to use in your assessment.

4. Beware of Experts

Someone who walks into an interview telling you they know exactly what needs to be done and exactly how to do it is a dud. Social media is social, therefore you need to get to know the clientele before you’re able to really understand the best way to engage with them. A good candidate will offer suggestions of possibilities along with the caveat that everything is subject to change based on the results of the interaction.  

Don't make assumptions based on what you believe a good social media expert should be. Put these people through the same process you put all of your employees through. Identify the key skills and relevant experience you're looking for. Assess them thoroughly, and hire someone who is the right fit for your organization. 


  1. Great article Scott. It seems unbiased, which is relatively rare now-a-days. Btw, if someone is saying they are an expert in social media, they better not have like 100 Twitter followers :)

  2. Thanks Eric. I won't claim that it's unbiased, because it's my opinion. I will agree with you that it's great though :). Yes, one of the things you need to look for in their personal social media is consistency and ability to create engaging content and grow and retain a following.