by Terry McMillan
When hiring new employees for your business, there can seem to be an overwhelming number of qualities to look for in a candidate. You’ll want to cover the very basics, such as whether someone has appropriate qualifications and demonstrates the interpersonal skills needed for the job; you’ll need to determine if specific qualifications for a position are met; and as we covered in a previous piece, it’s important to consider a diverse range of backgrounds within the broader hiring picture as well. Altogether, this is a lot to consider.
At the same time however, it’s also important to keep the actual positions you’re hiring for up to date with the rest of the industry, and make sure you’re hiring people with the skills necessary to fill those roles. In other words, the strongest general applicant you’ve ever come across might not move your company forward if you don’t have the right position for him or her to fill. With this in mind, we’re presenting some suggestions for the roles and types of hires you need in order to compete in today’s digital business environment.
Social Media Coordinator
In today’s business environment, having a strong social media presence has become almost as vital as having a website in the first place. This is true regardless of what kind of business you run, due to the myriad functions social media can serve. Some consumers use social media primarily for news updates, or to catch up on friends’ activities; others use it primarily to browse products. Sometimes, these functions even blend together, as was evidenced this past spring when Instagram introduced an in-app shopping feature called “Checkout,” turning a social app revolving primarily around photos and friend networks into a consumer opportunity.
Regardless of how specifically a given social media service may be relevant to a given customer’s life, though, it’s important for you to have a presence and engage accordingly. This means having accounts on all the major platforms, such that you can provide updates, post quality photos, send promos directly to customers, and potentially even sell your product, if you have one. Maintaining this kind of social presence as regularly as necessary involves a great deal of work, which is why it’s now vital to have an employee – if not a whole team – dedicated to the effort.
Designing and maintaining a website is a lot more work than it used to be. Plain WordPress sites aren’t cutting it anymore when it comes to how your business appears online, which means a lot more specialised knowledge is required in order to craft an adequate web presence. From the beginning, you may need to hire someone with experience building sites from scratch (which generally involves a degree of computer programming experience, and ideally a portfolio of sites an applicant has already created). However, you may also want to continue to have someone on staff who can maintain, update, and troubleshoot your site as needed. This sort of work can be outsourced as well, but it’s worth considering retaining an in-house design team.
Many businesses operating online are only just waking up to the necessity of strong website content. After all, depending on the nature of your business, written content might not seem particularly relevant or important. However from a digital marketing standpoint, it’s actually about as vital as any other aspect of your website. The digital marketing experts at Ayima explain that a blend of technical proficiency and creativity can drive your marketing effort, and much of the creativity side of that comes down to content production. You can (and perhaps should) outsource some of your content production needs when it comes to detailed SEO practices, linkbuilding, and other specific strategies. But you can essentially think of the internal side of things this way: Strong, industry-leading content gives you more material with which to conduct outreach, whether that means something as technical as generating stronger search ranks through keywords, or something as simple as having articles referenced by others in the field. To get to this point, you may need a strong content writer or two of your own on hand.
No matter what kind of company you are, you will need someone on staff who is visually creative and able to create digital designs. This is not the same as the web design mentioned above. Rather, here, we’re talking about logos, page layouts for promotions, potentially custom fonts, and other things of that nature. These may seem like small, “extra” details, but the truth is they can go a very long way toward establishing your company image. Good design gives the impression that you’re running an innovative, reliable modern business. Finding a designer who fits the aesthetic you envision can be tricky, but for starters, a successful applicant will likely need to be proficient in certain types of design software, like Adobe Illustrator (which is deceptively difficult to use!).
The next time you’re assessing your hiring practices, be sure to consider the available positions and areas of need before anything else. Some of the jobs described above may still be new to some modern companies, but in a lot of cases they’re becoming the most vital positions of all.