Hiring for Social Media Positions: Technical Fit First, then Culture Fit – Part II

the social media landscape

You need more than a good culture fit to efficiently manage your company’s social media presence.

Last week on the Down2theHire Podcast, Nick Eubanks, VP of Digital Strategy for W.L. Snook & Associates – a digital holdings company, joined the show to discuss what he looks for when hiring for social media positions.  Listen to Hiring Social Media Managers and Community Managers – Part I.  This week, Nick talks about the mistakes he’s seen companies make when hiring for social media positions, and how he first wants to make sure candidates have the technical chops to do the job before worrying about culture fit.

Mistakes companies make when hiring for social media

The most common mistake Nick’s seen companies make when hiring for social media positions is that they put a premium on culture fit at the expense of making sure their top candidate(s) is a technical fit.

Nick says, “I think technical has to come first in my opinion.  The person can be a fantastic cultural fit, everyone likes them and they get along, and they believe in what the business believes in, but if they don’t have the technical chops to do their job at the end of the day, they’re not going to be effective.”

Nick gets the technical requirements out of the way up front, and then worries about culture fit later on in the hiring process.

Small businesses need people who have the technical capabilities to complete the tasks and requirements for their job, which is far more important when it comes to getting new money in the door and growing a brand.

How to make sure social media candidates are technical fits

Nick gives social media candidates questions that forces them to think critically about business problems that they’re going to have to solve for in their jobs.

One sample question that Nick uses is:

A customer leaves a very upset comment on our Facebook page about a recent campaign we ran.  How are you going to respond to this comment?

For Nick, an immediate disqualifier is if the candidate says that they’d delete the comment from the Facebook page.  Nick believes that anytime a customer engages you on a social platform, it is an opportunity to create a positive experience and show that you care about your customers.

These types of exercises provide key insights into how candidates think and react in social environments.

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