A recent Forbes article suggests that social media is the hottest job in the journalism industry this year. This trend is something that I’ve seen popping up a lot – a Google job search for “Social Media Jobs” comes up with 10 different sites in the top 10 advertising SM jobs. Mashable, number nine for the keyword search, boasts nearly 40 jobs for the industry.
New jobs are always a good thing and I hope that all of the companies looking for folks get someone good for these positions. My main question is who is vetting the candidates?
Social media is new water to many companies. They are looking for someone to bring them into the space because they read that it’s important, their competition is doing it, or it is something that they do not know too much about – or a combination of those factors. Companies that don’t know enough about the space are at risk of being taken for a ride by a candidate that is just as clueless in the space as the company is.
While there are a ton of great people who could fill the positions, there are an equal number of snake oil salesmen out there. So how can a recruiter or hiring manager tell the difference? Here are some tips to consider.
If social media is a skill set on a candidate’s resume look for the following things
- If it’s not there ask what accounts he has managed and ask for links
- If it is, look at the content. Is it original and relevant or does it simply rehash Mashable and luminaries like Chris Brogan?
- What does the candidate blog about?
- Is he chiming in with original content, or just repurposing high-profile blog posts?
- Ask how he has tracked ROI and how he plans on making it work for your business
- If he says it’s subjective, pry for more as that is an easy cop out. You can always track SM, just determine the metrics.
- What is the candidate’s idea of finding the conversations?
- Is it a Google search or is it more?
- If it is a monitoring service ask him if he has used it before.
While these are a few options available, it pays to do your homework. Look at what the candidates are saying before they come in to make an opinion before the interview process. You want someone in this position that can help you company grow – not just their ego. If you are in doubt about someone – ask an outside person that you hold trust in who is active in the space, as they can help spot the poop shovelers.
Image – stochastic geometry