I was chatting with Jackie Huba on the phone today and she asked an extremely interesting question:
“How do you search for people to fill community roles”
We chatted a bit about the types of people that make up good community people. Is there a profile? A certain skillset? A college degree that would say “I’m going to be a great community person”?
I think there are two big requirements for any good community person:
· Communication skills – written, oral, internet based, face-to-face. It’s amazing how much time I spend in the course of day simply communicating. I’m working with colleagues to get them excited about working with community, community working with the company, and general transferring ideas.
· Social skills – I know this seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget. A community person’s job is all making and maintaining relationships. It’s incredible important to know how to interact very well with others.
Sure, some formal education in certain fields can help, but they can also be a hindrance too. I’m not crazy about old school marketers or PR people doing community work, as they tend to try to shove community into their pre-conceived notions of what the process should be. But I think younger marketing and PR folks have some advantages.
But overall, you really have to actually search for good people. Typically a “job search” hasn’t been much of a search. You post an ad, and wait for people to send in resumes. But with community people, it’s important to actually seek out good people. People who get it.
Those folks can come from any department within your company (the guy who works for me in Europe came from the legal department before joining the community team). They can come from the the community you’re hiring for. They can come from another community you frequent. They can come from your local church group.
The key is personality.