Heather R. Huhman is the founder and president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. You can connect with Heather and Come Recommended on Twitter and Facebook.
Social media has become a hot new job opportunity in the past few years and companies are snatching up the social media pros left and right. Brand managers, community managers, social media strategists, content creators — the social media job titles go on and on. So how does any employer find the right social media talent?
The answer: Hire a recruiter. In an industry such as social media, people are claiming "guru" status if they know how to use Twitter and Facebook. A recruiter can help you find truly talented social media professionals who have the skills you're looking for and the right cultural fit for your organization. Plus, having the help of a recruiter to hire the right person the first time around can reduce employee turnover, ultimately saving you money; the average entry-level hire costs $5,700 to $8,900, not to mention the added expense of training.
Think about it: You have a doctor to treat your illness and a mechanic to fix your car. Why not hire a recruiter to find your talent? Select a recruiter who has experience in identifying social media talent. Many recruiters specialize in different industries, so find one who knows the social media market like the back of his hand. Some key questions to ask a potential recruiter:
1. What is your recruiting background?
This will give you an idea of this recruiter's experience. Has he worked with social media talent before? Has she been successful?
2. What are some key skills that you look for in a social media professional?
The recruiter should be able to answer this question clearly and directly; he or she should know off the bat what skills are essential for social media talent and be able to give you examples of what he or she will be looking for when searching for a candidate.
3. Where do you begin looking for a social media professional?
Again, a recruiter with relevant experience will be able to answer this question without hesitation. This will show you that the recruiter has a plan in mind of how to find social media talent; he or she knows where to look to deliver you results.
4. How do you determine cultural fit?
This is important when hiring for any position; even if a potential candidate has every skill you need down pat, if they don't fit into your organization's corporate culture, you'll likely lose them down the line. A good recruiter will know this, and take cultural fit into account when identifying potential talent for your organization.
Once you've hired a recruiter, three things are important when working with them to find social media talent:
Be clear when conveying your needs to a recruiter. Maybe you don't know exactly what the title of the social media professional you need is, but you should be able to convey what goals and tasks you're expecting an employee to accomplish. Your recruiter, with his or her experience in the social media industry, should be able to work with you to help clarify exactly what you're looking for.
Be realistic with your expectations; no "perfect" employee exists. You should be seeking realistic skill-sets and backgrounds and offering a reasonable salary for a potential candidate before you can expect your recruiter to find talent. Your recruiter should be able to tell you if your expectations are realistic and if not, what you should expect from the social media talent market.
Keep the lines of communication open between you and your recruiter. Continuous discussion of your expectations and your recruiter's progress will help keep you both on the same page when seeking social media talent. Social media is an industry with many specific talents, roles and niches. To find the best talent to play the right roles in your organization's social media efforts, hire a recruiter with relevant experience, and focus on continuous communication to set clear, realistic goals.
Have you ever worked with a recruiter before? Tell us about your experience below!
Author: Heather Huhman / Posted: 19-03-2012