Hiring For Social Media: Good Moves


Yesterday, we looked at some examples of social media job descriptions that were missing the mark in one way or another.

But in and among the reams of mediocre, there were a few glimmers of promise. Let’s cover some of those, and start looking to the future for how we can talk with organizations looking to hire folks in this arena.

Unlike the less positive stuff in the last post where I kept the companies anonymous (I’m sure you can find them for yourself), I actually called out the companies (and respective job descriptions) here that I think have some of the right ideas. I want you smart people to be able to find these companies and the opportunities, and they you.

Good Move #1:

Strategic and creative thinker with the ability to take larger strategy and insights and translate into ideas and executable plans in the social media space. (Director, Social Media, TNT – Time Warner Inc.)

Strategize with and educate the management team and others across the company on incorporating relevant social media techniques into the corporate culture and into all of the company’s products and services. (Social Media Marketing Strategist – Medtronic)

Both of these elements in a job description speak to me that these companies recognize something critical: that social media is part of a larger strategy and should be well woven into business goals. That it can’t live in its own world, but rather needs to be part of the overall business approach. As a social media job seeker, I would be keying in on these two things as indicators that these companies may have the right mindset in place.

Good Move #2:

Willingness to experiment and innovate. (Director, Social Media, TNT – Time Warner Inc.)

Heck yeah. This company shows that they know some of this is about trying, testing, failing fast, innovating, trying again. Social media has shallow precedent right now, and a company that recognizes the need to try new things will have a better chance at finding the stuff that works.

Good Move #3:

Engage online audiences, both reactively and proactively, ultimately empowering others to talk about the brand. (Community Manager – Corbis)

The last bit here is what caught me. The good companies know that engagement is good. But the great companies see that the real power in all of this is empowering the network itself to be ambassadors for you, among themselves, and among their own communities. It’s a demonstration that they want to steward and carry their brand to their customers, but that they want their customers to go forth and take it elsewhere. Encouraging.

Good Move #4:

Must be a subject matter expert on social media tools … while possessing the ability and patience to educate internal/external audiences. (Email Marketing and Social Media Manager – Collinson Digital)

Ah, how often we neglect the need for internal education. But not here! Advocates for any business strategy or approach – especially new ones – are as much teachers and stewards of the concepts inside their own organizations as external champions. It only really works if you’re all on the same train headed in the same direction.

Good Move #5:

An enthusiasm to learn our philosophy, history, and facts is critical. … Everyday there’s a story going on. (Social Media Coordinator – Stone Brewing Co.)

As with much of this stuff, this notion doesn’t just apply to social media. But in that context, it’s great to see a company acknowledging the need for social media to be rooted in the company knowledge and culture itself. And I particularly love the notion of storytelling inside a job description like this. Social media folk are so much like digital bards, aren’t they?

Good Move #6:

Ability to establish measurements and success metrics where standards do not exist. (Social and Emerging Media Specialist – Ford Motor Co.)

I can’t tell you how much I love this one. Yay, measurement. Yay, accountability. And YAY for the notion that you can and should establish new standards and metrics if you don’t have any to go on. No one said the only measurements that mattered are the ones we already know. New goals, new objectives, new ways of figuring out whether or not your efforts were successful. Yes?

Some Conclusions and More Questions

Even with some of the positive stuff here, I still see tons of room for improvement in the world of hiring for social media jobs. I am encouraged by some of the recruiting professionals I know in this space like Dave Benjamin and Jen Wojcik who are helping to educate companies not just about how to recruit using social media, but how to recruit for social media.

I do think that – at least for now – companies can do well to have point roles for social media. But these roles ought to be designed for obsolescence as companies incorporate social media as a part of every role somehow, whether from an engagement perspective or an intelligence gathering one. That’s what I’m hoping to see: job descriptions for R&D, for product management, for HR, for customer service, all with elements of social media baked right in, in ways that make sense for that part of the business. I think we’ll get there.

It tells me, too, that there are companies that are getting it. That understand, but need help and resources to equip themselves. And it reinforces the need for we trench workers to keep sharing, to keep focusing on solutions and results, to keep our eye on the ball instead of at our feet and embrace our roles as leaders and practitioners of new, promising concepts for business.

So then, what say you? Between yesterday and today, what do you think the future is for companies looking to hire for social media, and where does this fit into the big picture? Bring us your thoughts.

Hiring For Social Media: Good Moves

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