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What to look for when hiring social media tech talent in 2014

Sharon Florentine | Jan. 8, 2014
Social media professionals need to have a specific set of communication and technical skills as well as varied experience if you expect them to be a strategic part of your business in 2014.

"It's interesting that so many of the jobs on our site that require social media experience are not jobs with social media in their title. Social media skills are going mainstream," Goli says, and these skills are becoming necessary for business pros in general, not just social media specialists.

"Companies are looking to achieve myriad goals with social platforms. These goals range from providing customers with a more seamless experience between digital channels to improving products through the public data available in social media," he says. These kinds of initiatives cross departmental lines and interconnect otherwise separate business units, says Laserfiche's Samuelson.

"You need community-focused people to manage engagement, but you also need the technical skills to develop in certain APIs; to perform SEO successfully," Samuelson says.

"Social media's role should be more strategic — businesses have all these content channels, data, customer information, but your talent must understand the sum of all this communication and how to best use it to drive business," Samuelson says.

Dice.com's Goli agrees: "Companies that consider themselves social media platforms need technology professionals who understand the convergence of technology, communications and product. So it is less about a different breed of positions and more about different breed of technology professionals," he says.

As an example, he cites a large online retailer hiring for a position that highlights this convergence of skills. Goli says that the retailer is looking for someone that can lead engineers to improve the automation of social media advertising.

"On one the hand," Goli says, "This tech pro needs experience with a variety of skills like cloud computing, scalable services, and mobile development. On the other hand, this professional will be an evangelist of social media at the company."

Because of this dichotomy, social media pros must possess a wide variety of skills and experience, and that can be hard to find. In 2014, it could get even harder, as demand for job seekers with these skill sets rises.

"Many of these social media jobs require a technology professional to oscillate between being a technologist and being a passionate communicator. The social platforms will need similar technology professionals with hands in a number of different fields," Goli says.

 

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