Does this sound familiar?
Seeking: Social media rockstar with 5-7 years experience in digital marketing including community management, analytics, and digital strategy. Candidate should also be a fantastic writer, with a sense for content that resonates with key audiences. Candidate should have a background in PR and marketing, agency experience, strong organizational skills and an insatiable curiousity to explore new tools and technologies in social media. If this sounds like you, please email John Johnson at XYZ company today.
OK, so I had a little fun with that, but you get the idea.
Due to my HAPPO work, and being a solo consultant (read: Not connected with an agency or corporation), I get all sorts of requests from friends and colleagues to help them identify candidates. In some cases, I’m able to help. Other times, I’m not. But, one trend has emerged in the last year–companies seem to have relatively unrealistic expectations about candidates when it comes to social media/digital marketing.
Just look at the fictional job description above. Community management experience. Analytics expertise. Exceptional writer. How many people do you know that have ALL those skills? I mean, most writers HATE math. Sure, that may be changing a bit, and there’s a few who have taken on the analytics mindset, but those people are in HIGH demand right now–and they’re a good 3-5 years ahead of the hiring curve.
Community managers can be found–no doubt. But, community managers aren’t necessarily the best writers. So, is that a realistic skill combination? I’m not so sure.
Part of the problem, in my view, is companies are either greedy (“I want it all” mentality), or a little clueless. I’ve noticed both. They want the social media “unicorn” as noted in this post. Or, they simply don’t know what they don’t know. In that case, you get job descriptions similar to the one above. In addition, it still is relatively early in the social media life cycle, so many companies are still figuring out how to hire for this evolving discipline.
What do you think? Are companies unrealistic in their social media hires? Do you see this improving in the years ahead?