Are you looking to foster a thriving online community, cultivate meaningful connections, and boost engagement around your brand or organization?
In the digital age, the role of a Community Manager has become indispensable.
But how do you find the right individual to nurture and grow your community effectively?
In this article, we explore the ins and outs of hiring a manager and provide you with a stellar Community Manager job description.
Responsibilities & Role of a Community Manager
Here are the key roles and responsibilities of a Community Manager:
- Community Building and Engagement: A Community Manager develops and executes strategies to grow and engage the community. They plan events, activities, and initiatives, fostering a sense of belonging and encouraging participation.
- Member Support and Communication: Community Managers are the main point of contact, providing timely responses to member inquiries and feedback. They maintain open and constructive communication within the community.
- Content Creation and Sharing: Community Managers generate and source relevant content that aligns with the community’s interests and objectives. This may include creating articles, blog posts, social media updates, newsletters, and other content that resonates with community members.
- Moderation and Enforcement: Community Managers serve as moderators, overseeing discussions and ensuring shared content aligns with the community’s values and standards. This may involve removing inappropriate or spam content and addressing conflicts or disputes diplomatically.
- Feedback Collection and Analysis: Community Managers actively gather feedback from community members. By analyzing this feedback, they better understand members’ needs, preferences, and pain points.
- Advocacy and Brand Promotion: Community Managers also play a significant role in turning community members into advocates for the employer’s brand or organization. They encourage active engagement and promote the employer’s products, services, and initiatives within the community.
- Crisis Management: Community Managers are prepared to respond to such situations promptly and transparently. They develop crisis communication plans and protocols to address issues that may disrupt the community’s harmony or reputation.
- Community Growth Strategies: Community Managers actively contribute to the growth and sustainability of the community. They develop and execute strategies to attract new members, expand the community’s reach, and create a more diverse and inclusive community ecosystem.
How to Hire a Community Manager
Hiring a Community Manager is crucial in fostering a positive and engaged online or offline community.
To ensure you find the right fit, follow these steps:
1. Know Your Community Requirements
Before you begin the hiring process, it’s crucial to clearly understand what your community needs and how a Community Manager can fulfill those needs.
Here’s how to approach this step in more detail:
- What are the overarching goals of your community that a Community Manager should contribute to achieving?
- What is the size and scale of your community, and on which platforms does it operate?
- Which platforms and tools do your community use, and should the Community Manager be proficient in them?
- What are the primary tasks and responsibilities you expect the Community Manager to handle?
- What skills, qualifications, and experience are you seeking in a Community Manager based on your community’s needs?
- What are the guidelines, values, and preferred culture of your community should the Community Manager should uphold and enhance?
- What budget is available for the Community Manager role, and how does it align with your expectations?
- Are you seeking a Community Manager for ongoing, long-term management, or do you have short-term project-specific needs?
- What key performance indicators (KPIs) will you use to evaluate the success of the Community Manager in achieving your community’s goals?
Asking these questions will help you clarify your community’s needs and create a well-defined profile for the ideal Community Manager, making the hiring process more effective and aligned with your community’s objectives.
2. Search for the Top Talent
To attract top talent for the Community Manager role, employing a multi-faceted approach that leverages various recruitment channels and strategies is essential.
Here are some effective ways to search for the best candidates:
- Specialized Job Boards: Post the job opening on popular job boards and career websites like CMXHub, Uncommunity, or CommunityClub. These job boards provide you access to an extensive database of candidates.
- Freelancing platforms: If you want to hire a part-time or remote Community Manager, consider finding freelancers on websites like Upwork, People per Hour, or Guru.
- Company Website: Ensure the job opening is prominently featured on your company’s career page. Highlight the organization’s culture, values, and the exciting opportunity of being a Community Manager.
- Networking: Leverage your professional network and connections within the community management field. Attend industry events, conferences, and online forums to connect with potential candidates.
- Employee Referrals: Encourage your current employees to refer suitable candidates. Employee referrals often yield high-quality candidates who are a cultural fit.
- Professional Associations: Engage with professional associations related to community management, such as the Community Associations Institute (CAI), California Association of Community Managers (CACM), or Arizona Association of Community Managers (AACM). These organizations often have job boards and can help you reach experienced professionals in the field.
- University Career Centers: Contact local universities and colleges with marketing, communications, or community management programs. Many universities have career centers that can connect you with recent graduates or interns.
- Recruitment Agencies: Partner with recruitment agencies or headhunters specializing in marketing or digital roles. They can help you identify and recruit top talent more efficiently. You can use the services of Creative Circle, Digital People, or TalentBridge.
- Internship Programs: Consider offering internships for aspiring community managers. This can be an effective way to identify and develop future talent within your organization.
3. Look for Educational Qualifications
When hiring a Community Manager, it’s important to consider educational qualifications that align with the skills and responsibilities required for the role.
Here are the educational qualifications to look for when hiring a Community Manager:
- Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, public relations, journalism, or business is essential for this role. However, candidates from diverse educational backgrounds can excel in community management with the right skills and experience.
- Certifications: While not mandatory, community management or social media marketing certifications can demonstrate a candidate’s commitment to the field. Look for professionals with the following certifications:
- Advanced Degrees: Some Community Managers may hold master’s degrees in digital marketing, social media management, or community leadership. These degrees can provide a deeper understanding of community dynamics and strategic management.
- Knowledge of Online Platforms: A strong understanding of various social media platforms, online forums, and community management tools is crucial. Candidates should be comfortable navigating and utilizing these platforms effectively.
Ultimately, while educational qualifications are important, practical experience, interpersonal skills, and a genuine passion for community management are equally significant. Consider a candidate’s overall fit for the role, including their ability to engage, communicate, and foster a positive online community and their formal education.
4. Analyze Their Work Experience
Analyzing a candidate’s work experience is crucial when hiring a Community Manager. The candidate’s work experience reflects their practical skills, achievements, and suitability for the role.
You will assess their previous roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments to gauge their ability to effectively build and manage online communities.
Furthermore, you should consider their experience in content creation, engagement strategies, conflict resolution, and their impact on community growth and member satisfaction.
By closely evaluating their work history, you ensure that the candidate possesses the necessary expertise and a track record of success in community management, enabling them to excel in fostering a vibrant and engaged online community for your organization.
5. Conduct a Comprehensive Interview Process
Here’s a step-by-step guide to conducting such an interview process:
- Structured Behavioral Interviews: Conduct multiple rounds of behavioral interviews. Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to assess how candidates have handled past situations relevant to community management.
- Role-Specific Questions: Ask role-specific questions to gauge their understanding of community management principles. Explore their experience with tools and platforms commonly used in community management.
- Portfolio Review: Review the candidate’s portfolio or examples of their work, such as social media posts, community engagement reports, or content calendars. This allows you to evaluate the quality and creativity of their work.
- Technical Assessment: Depending on the role’s requirements, conduct technical assessments. This might include creating sample social media content, analyzing community metrics, or demonstrating proficiency with community management tools.
- Real-Time Scenario Simulation: For a final interview, present candidates with a real-time scenario or challenge related to community management and observe how they respond or strategize under pressure.
6. Cross-Verify Their References
Cross-verifying references ensure the accuracy of a candidate’s qualifications and performance claims. During this process, you contact the provided references, typically previous employers or supervisors, to validate the candidate’s experience, skills, and overall suitability for the Community Manager role.
You inquire about their work history, responsibilities, accomplishments, and interpersonal skills, allowing us to gain insights into the candidate’s past performance and character.
We recommend asking the following questions to the references:
- Can you describe the candidate’s approach to building and nurturing online communities? How effective were they in fostering member engagement and relationships within the community?
- Can you provide an example of a challenge or conflict the candidate faced within their community management role and how they handled it?
- Were they successfully creating and sharing content that resonated with the community members and contributed to their growth and engagement?
Tips for Avoiding Red Flags During the Hiring Process
Hiring the right Community Manager is crucial for maintaining a thriving, positive community.
To avoid red flags during the hiring process and ensure you choose the best candidate, consider the following tips:
- Review Online Presence: Scrutinize the candidate’s online presence, including social media profiles and engagement in online communities. Look for professionalism, empathy, and alignment with your community’s values.
- Evaluate Community Experience: Assess the candidate’s prior experience in community management or related roles. Prioritize candidates who have a track record of successfully building and nurturing communities.
- Test Knowledge of Community Engagement: Pose hypothetical scenarios or ask candidates about strategies for boosting engagement, managing difficult community members, and resolving conflicts to assess their practical knowledge of community management.
- Evaluate Tech Proficiency: Community Managers work with various online platforms and tools. Verify that the candidate is tech-savvy and adaptable to new digital tools and community platforms.
- Evaluate Data and Analytics Knowledge: Inquire about the candidate’s experience with data analysis and reporting tools, as Community Managers should be able to measure the success of community initiatives.
- Assess Passion for Community Building: Ask candidates about their passion for community management and how they envision contributing to your community. Look for enthusiasm and a strong sense of purpose.
Community Manager Job Description
Here’s what a comprehensive Community Manager job description looks like:
Job Title: Community Manager
Company: [Your Organization or Community Name]
Job Type: [Full-Time/Part-Time]
[Provide a concise overview of your organization or community’s mission and values. Emphasize the significance of community managers in nurturing a positive and engaged community.]
We are searching for dedicated Community Managers to join our team and support our community’s mission. You will maintain a welcoming and active community space as a Community Manager. Your passion for community building, effective communication, and commitment to fostering connections are essential to our vibrant community.
What You’ll Do:
- Cultivate a positive and inclusive community atmosphere.
- Facilitate discussions and engage members in meaningful interactions.
- Develop and implement community-building strategies and initiatives.
- Act as a liaison between community members and the organization, addressing inquiries and feedback.
- Encourage active participation and contributions from members.
- Monitor and moderate community discussions, ensuring adherence to guidelines.
- Identify and recognize community influencers and contributors.
- Organize and promote community events and activities.
- Gather and analyze community feedback and data for continuous improvement.
- Uphold the values and standards of the community in all interactions.
What You’ll Bring:
- Proven experience in community management or a related role.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Deep understanding of community dynamics and engagement strategies.
- Proficiency in community management tools and platforms.
- Strong problem-solving skills and the ability to address conflicts effectively.
- Creativity and adaptability in organizing community initiatives.
- Commitment to the principles of inclusivity and diversity in community development.
- A passion for building and nurturing communities.
Benefits and Perks:
- Flexible work schedule.
- Opportunities for professional development and networking.
- Competitive compensation.
- Choice of preferred community projects.
- Access to community resources and materials.
- Opportunities for growth within our community.
- Inclusion in a supportive and engaging community environment.
How to Apply:
If you are enthusiastic about community building and ready to make a positive impact as a Community Manager in our community, we invite you to apply. Please submit your resume and a cover letter explaining your interest and qualifications to [email address]. Use the subject line “Application for Community Manager – [Your Name].”
[Your Organization or Community Name] is committed to diversity and equal opportunity. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates and do not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other status protected by law.
Closing Date: [Insert closing date for applications]
Please note that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. We appreciate your interest in [Your Organization or Community Name].
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Community Manager?
Understanding the multi-faceted considerations encompassing the cost of bringing a Community Manager on board. We unravel the intricacies of budgeting for this essential role, ensuring that your investment in community management yields both engagement and growth.
The recruitment cost of hiring a Community Manager can vary depending on several factors, including your organization’s recruitment methods and the complexity of the hiring process.
Here are some key considerations that contribute to the recruitment cost:
- Professional Associations: To access the database and platform, you may have to pay a membership fee. For instance, CAI has a membership fee of $460 per year. On the other hand, CACM has a business membership fee of $500 per year, and their business plus membership fee is $1300 per year. The membership fee of AACM starts at $1250 per year.
- Recruitment Agencies: If you engage a recruitment agency to help you find a Community Manager, you may incur fees or a percentage of the candidate’s first-year salary as a recruitment cost.
Salary and Benefits
The core cost of hiring a Community Manager is their annual salary. Salaries for Community Managers can vary widely, with more experienced and specialized candidates commanding higher compensation.
Entry-level positions may have lower salaries, while senior or specialized roles may demand a higher pay scale.
The average salary of a Community Manager is $80,614 per year, which includes $16,342 per year of additional pay. This additional pay includes bonuses, commissions, incentives, and increments.
In addition to salary, you need to consider the cost of employee benefits such as health insurance, dental coverage, retirement plans and paid time off. These benefits can vary widely depending on your organization’s policies.