As a result of these four things, most companies that I speak to who know they need community help are completely lost on how to find the right person.
Over the past few years, I’ve helped place a number of community managers and have advised dozens of companies on how to find the right person.
1. What are your actual needs? Are you even hiring for community?
This will solve the first two problems right away. It’s easy to know if you’ve found the right person if you’re super clear about what it is you actually need. Forget about titles.
Are you hiring someone to build a power user program? Then look for someone who has done that before.
Are you hiring someone to manage a forum? Seek out that experience.
Are you hiring for someone to do social media marketing? Then find someone who’s done that (and don’t call them a community manager when you hire them, thanks!)
What most companies that post job listings for a Community Manager actually want, and the job listing sort-of-makes-clear, is a Social Media Marketer to get their message across and make their calls-to-action successful.
Community managers and other folks can wear a lot of hats, to reuse a tired phrase, but it isn’t always necessary and it certainly doesn’t need to be this way. There is value in just straight-up community management without the marketing angle.