Management 101: How to Hire the Right Community Manager
The wrong community manager, will waste your time, your budget, and potentially break your community. This is why finding the right fit for this role is an important task.
A community manager's purpose is to foster relationships between community members. Compare this to fostering a relationship between an organization and the community. A community manager’s role is much more personal; speaking to members on a one to one level. Some of their responsibilities include:
Welcoming new members
Introducing members to one another
Moderating members' communications
Developing strategic content or programs
Collecting member feedback
Therefore, a community manager is a relationship facilitator. They interact to encourage and grow member communication not just fire out messages on behalf of an organization. Hiring the right community manager is vital to fostering meaningful relationships within the community, which builds an even stronger bond between the members and the organization.
Thus, managers must know how to properly enable members to engage with each other. Now, let’s review how to find an applicant that will facilitate relationships.
How to Evaluate an Applicant
Now that we have established why your organization needs the right community manager, let’s discuss a few ideas to keep in mind when hiring. First and most importantly, make sure your applicant fits personality traits of a community manager.
These often include being an outgoing, detail oriented and altruistic person.
Being able to find and isolate these personality types is key to hiring the right manager. While being both a creative and critical thinker is important, remember:
So how do you figure out if someone is outgoing, enthusiastic or altruistic? Try catering your interview questions to bring out these personality traits. Below, are a few examples of digging into the community manager personality type.
Community Management: Actionable Hiring How Tos
Hiring an outgoing, detail oriented and altruistic community manager is important because they will naturally enjoy the work they have to perform. But how do you know they fit the bill? See if they align with the personality traits that you see most fitting. Here we discuss three we see as vital.
An outgoing person is eager to meet new people. They are often talkative and naturally optimistic. Asking a question like “What do you typically do outside of work that you enjoy?” may seem like an unrelated question but it can easily separate an outgoing person from a non-outgoing person.
If an applicant provides an answer like, “Well once a month my book group meets to discuss our book of the month. Also I am a member of the parent teacher association at my child’s school that allows me to be proactive about their education”, then you know you have found someone who enjoys talking within a community and fostering meaningful relationships around talking points, and thus is outgoing.
If their answer is more on the side of “I enjoy gardening, watching movies and taking my dog on runs” this person may be more introverted and may not be the right choice for community management.
Similar questions can be asked to figure out if a person is detail oriented and altruistic.
Seeing if your applicant took notes during the interview is a great way to see if they are detail oriented. If the applicant asks detailed questions that make you further clarify specific job functions is another tell that this applicant is detail oriented.
To see if an applicant is altruistic, ask if they have a pet, or if they volunteer somewhere. Doing things for others without being asked to is a key strength for an effective community manager.
Once you have established a pool of applicants that fit the personality of a community manager, you can further narrow the pool by sorting through work history and specific skills. That is where you must match the goals of your organization with what the applicants have achieved in the past.
Recap on Management Hiring
Establishing how success is measured in your community, will make it easier to sort through community manager applicants to match your success measurements with an applicant's past experience. Training on how to create a forum, invite members and analyze member engagement metrics is simple compared to training someone how to actively communicate effectively.
So, you must establish what goals this manager will handle and then match a personality that best fits. From there you can narrow your applicant pool even further by getting down to skill sets and past experience.
Good luck in your hiring process, and remember, “Hire for attitude train for skill”
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Written by Christian Britto
Christian is the Operations Manager at rasa.io
We created rasa.io because we fundamentally believe that up to now, the approach most associations take to online community building has been far too narrow. Networking, resource sharing, and Q/A are just a part of the online community experience, so we created a platform the puts member engagement where it should be - at the heart of your association’s community.