#SMWLdn: Avoiding a Social Media Skills Crisis

“Just because you can tweet and use facebook and linkedin doesn’t necessarily mean that you can execute an advertising campaign that uses twitter, facebook etc.” – Lucy Amstrong, HR Manager at 1000heads

Social Media Week 2012 is almost over. Among the multitude of social media related events and discussions being held in London, ‘Mind the Gap: avoiding a social media skills crisis’ raised some common yet often overlooked issues within recruiting Social Media talent: what companies will need, how candidates equip themselves, and what is needed from Academia.

Here is a summary of what was discussed:

  • Bridging the skills gap: doesn’t simply require employee and employer training, but also requires the reorganisation of the corporate/company infrastructure.
  • Companies and organisations are accountable for new behaviours in communities, and the way they are using social media in their roles, and should therefore ensure adequate methods are implemented to allow their employees to become influencers that drive change.
  • Three key issues candidates face when seeking a job (and the ones recruiters and companies themselves should take into account when forming social media strategies):

– What does the employer want? What should I do to get there and how?

– How do I advertise/promote myself?

– How to deal with each steps of the processes after initial contact with the company?

Are CV’s becoming irrelevant now that Linkedin (and social networking sites) is becoming more popular? Becky Gloyne, Nokia’s Global Talent Sourcing & Acquisition Manager said that there is double the traffic through their Linkedin and Twitter profiles in terms of graduates applying to work for them.

  • Bridging the skills gap: some universities encourage their students to organise and hold their own events/conferences rather than having the careers department do it for them; as such, allowing for direct and more personalised contact between students and potential employers.
  • Employer skills gap: brands that are still building their social media strategies often don’t know what skills they are looking for in people, and marketing/comms managers often don’t have the skills themselves to be able to distinguish what type of candidate they need for the role. The question then is how do we educate/teach employers about the skills they need or should look for in candidates so that they can adequately evaluate them and thus pick out the ones which have the potential to execute campaigns that use social media platforms?
  • Internal skills gap: Marketing or Communications managers themselves might not have adequate social media know how which, as one of the girls in the audience pointed out, makes her job within a social media role more difficult than it already is. Although her knowledge and use of social media strategies might be best suited for a task at hand, she is unable to implement them or has to implement them incorrectly because of her managers’ lack of know how in this relatively new field. If this inability to set adequate objectives, manage and evaluate candidates is allowed to continue, there is a risk (which is already the case in several companies/organisations) that graduates or even higher ranked employees might quit…

What are your views on bridging the skills gap in the context of social media?

If you are HR/Recruitment Manager or work within the Social Media space, you might find our Social Recruiting Conference interesting as it showcases practical examples of diverse organisations engaging talent via Social Media platforms!

2 thoughts on “#SMWLdn: Avoiding a Social Media Skills Crisis

  • Lilian

    Hi Flore. Thanks for making a recap of the discussion panel 🙂 These gaps are very important to take into account, in order to make a progress and optimize the organization’s effectiveness. 

    Social media’s not a fad, and companies going for this view are opening doors.Prior to the ‘social media skills’ discussion, shouldn’t we talk about having an healthy workplace, a culture of trust and sharing? 

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