John Smith, VP of Social Geekness

I am not sure that title will stick, but its true that social media in talent/recruiting is here to stay. If you do hundreds of hires a year, its likely you are using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others to find candidates and break into the elusive passive candidate marketplace. If you are doing dozens of hires, you are likely considering using these tools, and if you are doing thousands of hires, this is probably a hot topic between you and your corporate communications group.

Over the past few years, and we just celebrated our fifth year, we have taken an unusual position on social media – i.e. we really don’t have one. We don’t endorse any particular theory, system, community or whatever mainly because we hold firm to our original concept that each organization has a unique mix and makeup of tools and resources that will work effectively for them. Not to mention that we are not in the business of selling short term strategies or technologies. Social media is going to be around for a while, but the players and features and leverage points change faster than the seasons.

Back to John…social geek. You will need him (or her) someday. You will need to control your brand on these mediums, and use them to attract, source, and even retain talent. So let’s forget about what John should be doing each day, and lets talk about what competencies John will need. Here are just three:

1 – John can interpret current and new features of social mediums to your brand easily and demonstrate value quickly. John is not simply a LinkedIn LION network holder. Or has 3000 facebook friends. Or has a YouTube channel. Please don’t measure the value of a social media expert on the size of their network. You don’t know its relevance, how well those people are in contact, or why they are in contact with John to begin with.

2 – John knows how to translate the processes of social media to lamen, and educate executives effectively and efficiently. My mom could probably run my facebook page if I taught her, but it doesn’t mean that she can explain why, how, and instruct the value to executives. John is a poised speaker, and can answer questions diplomatically and with ease. Realize that some social media experts are so because they are introverted and lack the ability to deliver ideas in person, thus they stay in front of a screen all day.

3 – John can design strategies and processes, and teach to others well. He is not especially fond of maintaining or executing the actual social media plan. Are you really going to hire someone to place status updates on FB all day? Or are you going to hire someone who can show you how FB, YT, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be used to drive 30% more passive candidates towards your staff up in sales through a campaign they have designed and can be automated?

These are just a few – but hopefully I got you thinking. When you find your “social geek”, make sure you are designing that job to be strategic and customer facing on purpose. John’s expertise is in managing change quickly and effectively – not posting on your Wall.

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