So You Need a Community Manager…WHERE TO LOOK?

You're building out an Enterprise Social Network. IT is on board. Communications is ready to participate. HR loves the idea of more employee engagement. Best of all, your team has funded a role for a full time Community Manager. Great news! You're setting the stage for community success.

Now comes the question about where to find the right person for the job. 

You could hire from within, bringing someone who knows your culture and norms into the role. They'll need to really get involved in Community Management groups and activities in order to get up to speed on today's best practices. With myriad resources from vendors, conferences, and practitioners out there, your internal #cmgr will have much work to draw upon.

Or, you could look outside of your company and find a seasoned community manager ready to make a move. The benefit to this approach is bringing in someone who already knows the best approaches to community management, who can predict the hurdles you'll have to face, and who already knows other practitioners and vendors. This could save you 3, 4, maybe even 6 months of ramp up time on your initiative.

How would you find such a person? Traditional job postings won't work if you want to reach the best community managers out there. Here are a few tips and resources for finding the best candidates:

  • Search Twitter for the #cmgr hashtag. This is, of course, shorthand for "Community Manager" - those using it will be in the industry.
  • Read through a few #esnchat threads, and take a look at conversations on Twitter hosted by @esnchat. This is a fantastic weekly chat every Thursday at 2pm EST hosted by a group of seasoned community managers. You'll find dozens of #cmgr types congregating there.
  • Search LinkedIn for groups about community management as well as vendor affinity groups for Yammer, Jive, or another vendor that you're considering for your tool.
  • Post your job to The Community Roundtable's job board - The CR is the premier networking and knowledge-sharing group for community managers today. Hundreds of members strong, @theCR (on Twitter) harnesses the best of the best.

Community Managers, do you have any other tips for prospective companies looking for your expertise?