Reading most community job descriptions, you'd be forgiven for thinking the authors weren't sure exactly who they wanted.
Ben warns about hiring an exec from a big company for a small, growing, business.
Big execs are terrific at managing a big team and optimizing activity. They’re good at dealing with days bombarded with constant interruption and challenges to resolve. They’re not so good at proactively driving new initiatives that get customers in the door.
We see this in community managers too. Community managers from large, mature, communities often struggle in creating new ones for startups. The reason here is simple. It’s a very different set of skills to create a new community from scratch than to manage an existing one.
It's one thing to manage the flow of traffic. It's another thing entirely to generate that traffic.
If you’re hiring a community manager for an established community, it helps to find the one from an established, large, mature community.
If you’re hiring a community manager to create one, it helps to have a community manager who has created several before.
Specifically, if you don’t have a big audience you can drive to the community, you need someone that has experience in interacting with hundreds of members, building their own reputation, and fighting like crazy for each, active, member.
Hire someone that's managed a community at your stage of the lifecycle.
p.s. We're hosting 4 mastery sessions during our SPRINT Europe workshops. If you want to learn a lot for less than the cost of a few day's salary, you should come.