Wouldn’t It Be Nice… to Hire an A-Player

Do you have a Wouldn’t It Be Nice list at work?

  • Wouldn’t it be nice to consistently be blogging?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice to research this topic or research that technology?
  • Wouldn’t it be nice to do a better job managing my network or email database?

I do!

I have list of things I’d like to do on Down2theHire.com involving keyword/SEO research, more guest blog posts, and increasing the number of eyes that see the blog.

I could use an intern.

Hiring an intern is similar to hiring an employee: there’s a BIG payoff if I hire the right intern, but a wake of WASTED TIME if the intern isn’t a good fit.  Last year I took on an eager unpaid intern to help out with another professional blog I was running.  Turned out the intern was over-committed, over-distracted, and wasn’t proactive in going beyond the basics – not a good fit.

This time around, I knew I needed to do a better job of defining my ideal intern – create a standard to which I’ll compare the candidates I’m interviewing.  I used the process Eric Herrenkohl laid out in How to Hire A-Players to define ideal intern or A-Player I’m looking to hire as a Blogging and Social Media Intern (BSMI).

Using the How to Hire A-Players methodology, here are some questions for you to answer, along with my responses as examples:

What does success look like with an A-Player in the position?

For the Blogging and Social Media Intern (BSMI) position, I wrote:

An A-BSMI will help increase # of quality blog posts each week, along with the size of our email database; and greatly increase reader engagement in the form of blog comments, poll responses, and email replies.  An A-BSMI will help increase our target Twitter followers and start effectively using Linkedin to engage target audience.  This will free me up to write and produce more content that the A-BSMI can format and post via blog, email, twitter, and/or Linkedin.

What are the key results you’d like to see once the A-Player is hired?

For the BSMI, I wrote:

  • Double the # of quality blog posts we release each week.
  • Increase blog engagement – generate at least a couple of comments per blog post.
  • Triple our email database within our target audience.
  • Double our open and click rate on email newsletters.
  • Increase Twitter followers in target audience to 100+
  • Create and execute a plan to engage target audience on Linkedin.
  • I will at least double the time I have to write since I will not have to worry about formatting blog posts and email newsletters, or maintaining the email database.

What do the most successful people in this position do?  What do they avoid?

For the blogging and social media intern, I thought of the behaviors of the most successful people in the blogosphere and social media space:

  • Experiment with different things.
  • Pro-actively curious – research questions or problems and network and ask different people to get their feedback and perspective.
  • Likes to be helpful – find helpful information and share it.
  • Disciplined and thorough – detail oriented, and able to work independently and effectively manager their time.
  • Quick to ask questions when they don’t know or understand.
  • Not distracted – while managing multiple things at once, able to give individual interactions and tasks the required attention.

What skills, talents, and experiences is an A-Player in this position likely to possess?

  • Able to quickly learn how to use popular web applications – WordPress for blogging, and MailChimp for email marketing.
  • Strong interest in Marketing and/or Human Resources/Recruiting – should be a connection between school work, extracurricular activities, and internship.
  • Networking and sharing business-oriented content with people on Linkedin and Twitter.
  • Ability to research and synthesize information online.
  • Independent learner and worker.
  • Able to write and edit business oriented content.

What are the impossible/difficult to teach skills and abilities that I’m looking for?

  • Pro-actively curious – takes the initiative to research questions and problems, and network to get the perspectives of others.
  • Able to find,, write, and share helpful information.
  • Has a disciplined and thorough (detail-oriented) approach to both school and work-related assignments or tasks.

What employment and educational background would an A-Player possess?

  • Education: High School Diploma and must be a full time college student majoring in business with an interest in marketing or human resources.
  • Work History: Consistent work or extracurricular activity that involves business/marketing/human resources.

I’ll keep you posted on how my search for an intern goes.

If you know a Philadelphia-based college student who you think could be a great fit – here’s the one-page Blogging and Social Media Internship description for you to share.

If it is a success, you’ll probably be see a lot more great content being regularly posted on Down2theHire.com!

Everett Reiss

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