How To Recruit Top Social Media Interns
By AJ Agrawal
When it comes to hiring for social media, most businesses are eager to find talent. After all, these candidates are not only ahead of the latest and greatest trends, but can bring a fresh perspective on how your messaging and branding candrive new engagements and sales opportunities.
Strong social media candidates some of the most sought after because they could potentially help your marketing efforts grow tenfold. The social wizards of the world have a knack for understanding how current trends are going and applying the best methodologies in tracking behaviors and engagements, which are skills not always taught in school. Yes, a great social media intern can do wonders for your business, which is why we’ve compiled a guide on some tips to finding the right ones.
Offer a Paid Internship
I list this first because it’s probably the most important thing you can do to land top quality talent. Not only is it true that “you get what you pay for,” but unless they’re receiving college credit (or you’re a nonprofit) then it’s illegal to host unpaid internships. Furthermore, you’ll find that paying for a top social media intern will almost always provide the best results.
Paid interns are going to be more dedicated to your firm achieving whatever business and growth goals you’ve set. This means you’re able to set benchmarks, as well as have hour requirements for how long they work. Additionally, as this is one of their first entry points into the working world, they’ll take the job more seriously if it’s treated well…like an actual job. Oh, and paid interns are also way more likely to get offered higher salaries than their peers, meaning you get an employee off the bat that knows your system, brand, and how it operates.
I’ll note that while this might be distasteful to some, paying your interns is not only the right thing to do but a point in which it makes you reassess your values as an employer. While your intentions might be in the right place in saying “you’ll gain experience,” you shouldn’t be offering positions you can’t afford to compensate. Believe me; there’s no gray area here. If you want quality employees, then pay them what they deserve.
Value Their Experience More Than Their Education
Although there are many young people getting degrees in Marketing, Communications, English, and Media and eager to work in social media, remember that this is a relatively new field. And as such, their experience is going to be much more valuable to your firm rather than their education.
While school is almost considered the benchmark requirement nowadays, the experience that follows is going to be what makes your interns have a leg up. People that have some familiarity with the field are known to perform better, as well as bring on a knowledge base of the inner workings of best practices and tools. Also, as they’ve already dedicated the time to learn the subject, they’re more likely to additionally be up on the latest trends in the industry, bringing a wealth of knowledge that other generations might not have.
As social media is a field that nearly everyone is trying to find the next big thing or trend, remember that those using it on a day-to-day basis both personally and professionally will be the ones to set the bar in the near future.
Understand Their Story, and How It Fits
Aside from all the talk about metrics, engagement, and audience numbers, the most vital skill to anyone working on social media is storytelling. After all, this person is potentially going to be assuming the role of the voice of your brand. This is a big responsibility, and perhaps one of the most significant indicators of their potential to deliver quality work and make an impact on your brand.
To begin, look at their portfolio/current social media profiles and ask if they’ve established a personal brand. This doesn’t necessarily mean they need a logo or even professional website, but understanding what their digital representation of themselves looks like is crucial. Additionally, testing their storytelling abilities in the interviewing process can reveal their skills, personalities, and approaches to work.
When you hire social media interns, you’re essentially handing over the keys to your brand’s channels. Finding the right person to take on these brand building and communications initiatives is key to your future success.
Article originally appeared on TG Daily.