Making the most out of social media hires

I’ve had this article sitting in one of my Firefox tabs for more than a week now.

You know how there are chores or odd jobs you need to do, but just can’t seem to get them onto the front burner? Inc.com has an article titled, “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media,” and it’s been burning a hole in the back of my brain trying to figure out what to make of it.

As a seasoned worker, I’m all about the 11 reasons not to hire a kid to do a grown-up’s job. There are too many of us talented folks sitting on the sidelines either unemployed or under-employed.

The list reads like the seven deadly sins of any corporate hiring.

1) They’re not mature enough.

2) They may be focused on their own social media.

3) They may not have the same etiquette or experience.

4) You can’t control their friends.

5) No class can replace on-the-job training.

6) They may not understand your business.

7) Communication skills are critical.

8) Humor is tricky business.

9) Social-media savvy is not the same as technical savvy.

10) Social media management can become crisis management.

11) You need to keep the keys.

The article makes a good point when author Hollis Thomases points out that just because a CEO or president of a company doesn’t understand the marketing tool of social media doesn’t mean they should turn the responsibility over to somebody’s niece or nephew who is fresh out of school.

Over the past year, I’ve seen more than a fair share of social-media manager type positions posted on job banks and other work opportunity postings. It’s as if about two years ago all the CEOS went to a big honcho convention and the first order of business was some expert standing up and saying, “You need social media — NOW!”

And so the sheep all returned to the fold and told their human resources person to put out a search for a social media guru.

Eventually some companies got it. They really embraced what social media could do in terms of promoting their companies and keeping a critical eye on consumer opinions.

Then there were others that made the hire and watched the person set up a Facebook page and Twitter account and fiddle their days away playing Farmville in the name of research and development.

I think you can take any of the concerns raised in the Inc.com article and raise them about job candidates of any age. But just the same, they are points well raised regardless of the candidate’s age or experience. An employer needs to do due diligence in whomever they hire.

So, while I’m busily blogging my way out of a job by sticking up for the millennials, hopefully one of them will be start up a new company and realize their new social media person is right here.

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