How you can get your social media hire spot on

If you are looking to hire for a social media role in 2018, we spoke to our sponsors ADLIB about things to keep in mind when looking for that perfect candidate.

Social Media Teams and Agencies as well as Social Media capabilities within Marketing Teams here in the South West are growing. A fact reflected in the amount of Social Media specific briefs we get from our clients as well as the mention of “Social Media skills” in most Marketing job descriptions we work on, comments Stacey Tylisczuk, Digital Marketing Specialists at ADLIB. She goes on to describe the current social media employment landscape in the South West.

No surprise. Our “Social Media Employment and Usage” research predicted that during 2015 and 2016, 41.7% of businesses (that have a social media function) were planning on adding at least one member to their social media team. We’ve seen this growth within the sector and investment into South West Social Media Employment on our desks.

But…”recruitment” can be tricky says Stacey..

For businesses of all shapes and sizes, making a bad hire can get expensive and the impact goes beyond that: shaken up internal relationships, project delivery implications and time wasted into the recruitment process…to name just a few.

Getting the recruitment process right is an important one to secure scarce social media talent. In our 2015 Social Media Employment Survey results, 45.5% of responding SW businesses said that finding the right social media talent might have held their business growth back and the same percentage mentioned “shortage of skills” within the market as a barrier to acquiring the right talent. It will be interesting what this years survey is going to reveal…

But what skills does it take?

To be exact, we are seeing an increase in job specs specifically mentioning skills to work with Hootsuite, Google Analytics, CMS, Sprout Social and Buffer as well as Community Management, Blogging and Copywriting experience.

What’s becoming more and more apparent to us is that there seems to be quite a blurred line between the work of a social media and a content specialist. The remit of a social media specialist is vastly expanding and we notice additional requirements being spelled out more and more often on Job Specifications. For example social listening, experience within paid social advertising, and the ability to produce SEO enriched copy. We are essentially seeing a trend towards more ‘insight led’ social media to be able to demonstrate more tangible results. This often translates into a specific requirement for social media specialists having to be able to demonstrate at least a basic understanding of paid search principles. Paid advertising experience is being looked at more and more favourably by businesses. 

But it takes a lot more than “being able to do the job” to be a fit.

Once established that one “can do the job”, the next, and equally important consideration should be if they fit into the team, culturally. Clients often ask us about ‘how to get this right’.

The system that works for us is to recruit against behaviours when adding to Team ADLIB. Individuals remain individuals with their own characteristics of course, but underneath all of this, we find out if they share our behaviours and values.

For us, the key behaviours and values for people working at ADLIB are the following: Honest, Knowledgeable, Straightforward, Progressive, Committed. We ask candidates outright to share their ambitions, their values and behaviours. If your employees’ behaviours mirror your business’ behaviours, you are onto a winning combination.

But how to keep them? ‘Simple’, you have to engage them.

Regular 1-2-1 catch ups with your social media team and sharing your business’ vision help to ensure your team is engaged. Defining a (most likely unique to your business) structured career path and formal salary reviews contribute too. Ask for feedback, possibly through internal employee surveys. In this way businesses can ensure that everyone remains on the same page, working towards common goals and feeling secure.

To hold on to your social media talent, employee engagement is key. Make the effort to understand your employees.

To paint a current and real time snapshot and picture, we are running another Social Media Employment Survey (SW). Please help us with some answers. The survey is open now. Follow the link to help us with some answers.

ADLIB Social Media Employment Survey