Recruiting a great customer service team to man your company’s social media profiles sounds so easy. Just get a load of tech-savvy youngsters in who seem to spend half of their time on Facebook and Twitter anyway – what could go wrong?
Of course, even the least reputable recruitment agencies in Belfast know that it isn’t quite that simple. In any case, these people are at the front line of your firm’s customer service, so you need to make sure that they really are the right ones.
It isn’t just about qualifications!
Sure, it’s great to find a candidate who seems very social media savvy and who has worked in a customer service role before – maybe they even have a relevant qualification or two. But what about their ‘soft’ skills?
Remember that it can be harder to convey such important emotions as empathy via a written response channel like Twitter. You therefore need someone who is good at knowing the right thing to say in a given instance, including in pressured and urgent situations where it’s vital for them to be confident and resilient.
Don’t be fooled by the age factor, either
Surely, it goes without saying that you want the kind of fresh-faced under-25s on your team whose thumbs are practically welded to their Facebook smartphone app?
Not quite. After all, customer service staff are often all the better when they have plenty of life experience to call upon, allowing them to more easily understand and empathise with a wide range of individuals. That’s not necessarily the case for what may be a hot-headed, impatient youngster.
The truth is that your social media team, much like the rest of your workforce, is best kept diverse – not least given the lessons that the older hands can pass on to your younger employees.
The internal vs external hiring question
The appeal of recruiting ‘ready made’ social media professionals is obvious, but don’t overlook the staff that you already have. Consider which of them are the strongest ambassadors of your brand and the best advocates of truly brilliant customer service.
As the leading recruitment agencies in Belfast like ourselves here at Webrecruit Ireland so often say, it’s easier to train up someone who already has the vital personality characteristics, than a person who may have a string of social media qualifications under their belt, but who otherwise lacks empathy skills and a belief in your company’s values and mission.
When interviewing for a whole new social media customer service team, consider a group interview so that you can get a sense of how multiple candidates play off each other, perhaps even giving them a ‘response’ test to complete.
The bottom line is, getting your social media team right is so much more than the work of 140 characters.