There are currently about 14,000 open positions for Social Media in all levels from Manager, Director to Vice President. However, companies search on average for three to six month to find the best matching candidate. Simply hired alone posts about 9,000 "Director Social Media" positions. But "Give it a try – just apply" doesn't work. On the other side of the fence are approximately 50,000 social media "experts" who feel good about taking the job – but not getting it.
What Takes So Long To Get The Right Candidate?
We asked hiring mangers and recruiters. We found out that recruiters are rarely in the game. To sum it up, one opinion that speaks for most others: "All they have are traditional senior managers who have no clue about social media. Most recruiter don't even know themselves." The biggest problem hireing managers have is the quality. We heard the same story over and over from people who obviously requested to be not named: "We don't want to hire some mid age wonnabe social media guy just because he or she has a bunch of twitter followers and can create a fan page." and to the contrary we hear "I'd love to hire some smart youngsters who live and breath social media. The only problem is to have them come up with a social media strategy for a larger company, when they have never seen a company from the inside".
Industry Perspective On Education Has Changed
Cap Gemini stated they hire 1,000 new consultants with social media background. But they also stated that they plan to let others go. Google announced internally to increase the bonus by 25% for successful social media engagement but also will decrease it if not. Not a single US company of the over 10,000 social media positions, nor Cap Gemini or Google mentioned to help candidates with the education. The industry perspective seem to have changed and education is simply expected. Only the largest companies like Oracle, SAP, Salesforce.com or Dell actually funded the education at the Social Media Academy for their employees. Also European and Australian companies are more incline to finance the education of their team than in the US.
Social Media Career – Age Dependent?
Our data from the last two years show that a career in social media is very clearly not age dependent – but vastly dependent on business relevant education. The youngest students were below 30 and the oldest over 60. On average 20% of the Social Media Academy graduates get a job while in the class and 60% of those who had a job get promoted to a higher position or start their own business – completely independent of age.
Key Considerations For Social Media Career Planning
1) Businesses are rather selective with social media candidates compared to other positions. Primarily because the social media manager has a huge responsibility: Making sure customers are happy.
2) It appears that US businesses are rarely sponsoring education. It is pretty much expected that candidates are well educated.
3) Age dependency is a myth. It's hard enough to find a good candidates. People who are well verse with the media, are able to create a strategy and manage a team, (which may be youngsters), is more important than age.
Social Media Education and social media certification are paramount for a great career development