Interview Questions To Ask A Facebook Display Ads Manager


If you're going to hire someone to manage Facebook Ads, you need to first get a sense of what you're looking for. 

Here's what I'd ask the hiring manager: 

1) What do you want from this?  (sell more, more likes, testing Facebook, testing the candidate to see if they can do more)
2) Are you going to manage the person? 
3) Are you going to be looking over their shoulder the whole time, or do you just want reports? Do you want them weekly or monthly? 
4) What budget are you looking to spend? Do you have that in your budget/the bank? What would make you not spend that budget? 
5) Have you hired someone like this before? 
6) Do you know that creative is not the same thing as ad optimization? 

 Here's what I ask the candidate:

1) Tell me what you did last Tuesday.
2) What's the most you've spent in a month? What could you have done to make that better? 
3) Were you paid on spend, or a salary? Was it worth your while to increase the spend to get a better paycheck?
4) What's the difference between a dabbler and a professional (the word Power Editor should appear pretty quickly)
5) How do you build customized audiences from scratch? What do you need to build them quicker? 
6) Did you have a Facebook rep who would show up when you called? Did you like them? (I love the second part of that question. The answer is usually no, or "as a person, or as a rep?")
7) What kind of sweepstakes and giveaways did you do? 
8) When was the last time you started a new account? (If it's not in the six months, don't hire them for a premium)
9) What kind of training did you receive? 
10) Talk about the CRM/email software you've worked with. 

What You're Looking For
It doesn't matter what they answer in these questions. It matters that they understand why you asked the question. 

If you're looking for interview scripts, feel free to reach out with questions and I'll write one up to post on the blog. 



Interview Answers I Don't Like To Hear From Email Marketers

Over at Digital Marketing Headhunter, I critiqued a couple of job descriptions for email marketers, and then offered up a list of interview questions for email marketers that I would ask. 

But all questions need answers. That part of the script I haven't published, but I will show the answers I don't like to hear:

Answers I don't like to hear from candidates. 

1) We sent out 10 million emails a month (and no explanation of what they were). 
2) We did extensive A/B Testing of the emails. (what does extensive mean? what did you test? Was that a test each week before the send?
3) I've worked with all of the email software programs and know them well
4) We were CAN-SPAM compliant. 
5) Our data team would pull the lists each week, and we'd work with the graphics department to get the right images, and then the IT department to code the email. I would test and send the email (nothing wrong with that, but it suggests someone who is only good in a large operation, and will need each one of those components to work. But at least they know it takes more than one person. Those who don't know this and assume they can do it all, are often lacking in experience). 


If you have your own job description, or questions you'd like to add, leave a comment or email me and I'll publish them. If you want it confidential, please mention it in the email.

List Of Director Of Social Media Interview Questions In a B2C Market

This is a list of interview questions you can use to interview director of social media. It's not comprehensive, but if you had all these answers, you should have a very good idea of that they do and if they're a fit for your position. If you find this useful, and need to hire - consider reaching out. If you use it, please leave the brand Social Media Headhunter and my name in your social sharing. 


What kind of social media do you do? What I mean is that everyone thinks they do social. So I need to know if you use it for inbound marketing, customer response, branding and advertising or research? 

Do you utilize social display ads? Do you work with a Facebook/Twitter client partner? Can you call them on your cell if you needed to? Would they answer? 

How much content creation do you do personally? 

How do you feel about deleting comments on Facebook that include curse words? 

Is it worth it to invest in Twitter? Why? What businesses work best? 

Give me an example of a good viral social media plan that isn't Fiberglass pools.

Give me an example of a good national social media plan that isn't mentioned at every single conference? 

Do you speak at conferences? Do you enjoy it? Why? 

Tell me what you did yesterday. 

What kind of software do you work with? Anything you're expert in? Anything you need to function?

How versed are you in mobile? Tell me why. 

What does it mean when I say social and digital should be integrated? What does that actually mean?



Who do you report to? What title would you like to report to?

Do you hire people in your department? How do you know if they're good?

How many people report to you? What's the most number of people you've had report to you? 

Did you have to fight for your budget bit by bit, or did you have it set in stone? 

How do you stop PPC/Digital from stealing your budget mid-year? 

Have you selected vendors before? How do you decide who to work with? 

What is your career path? 

Wow Factor:

IBM says they care more about Klout factor than SAT scores. Defend and then attack that position. 

Who is someone in social media you know that you're impressed with? Why?

How did Digg work? What is today's Digg? 

Talk to me about sponsored posts.

How good are your private profiles? How much, I guess we'll call it Dark Hat work do you do? 

Tell me how blogs impacted SEO in 2008. What's the change today? 

Pitch me shareability like you're talking to the CEO and trying to get $1MM in budget. 

Four Hidden Reasons You Weren't Hired

Hiring is hard.  The manager is forced to make a decision based on shallow screening of how another person will perform, hoping that attitude, the ability to answer questions, or past experience will translate into an employee who can do what they need. It's an imperfect process - some more imperfect than others - but it's always a gamble. 

"Inside the Mind of a Hiring Manager" is a fun topic to explore, but it too quickly devolves into strategies on how to influence the interviewer. Candidates just want to know how to get the job - they're not concerned with the why. Well they're not concerned until they get that email, or call, or the dreaded silence. Everyone can relate to the interview you thought you aced that went nowhere. You're left wondering how did I screw that up? 

It might not be you at all. Here are four reasons that people don't get hired. 

Reason The First: You're Too Awesome
That's not a typo. Do you know the old saying that A players hire A players and B players hire C players? It can be true. When interviewing, some managers are afraid of you. You either possess skills in abundance of theirs, or your ambition was clear and they're afraid for their jobs. This fear is not always baseless. You might be better then they are. You might be better than their current staff. Hiring you would bring enormous discord to their team - because it would shake them up - and here's the kicker. It might not be best for the team. Chemistry is a tough thing. Superstars disrupt chemistry and take resources away from marginal players. That's great when you're looking for earth shattering sales records. It's not so great when you're trying to maintain a legacy accounting system with 20 year old code. 

Reason Number 2: The Process Is The Punishment
Some managers want a difficult hiring process because they want to feel that you as a candidate earned that position. These can be great managers, but they often have hidden interview tricks that filter candidates arbitrarily. It's not fair, or smart, but it is very common. When a manager has "one great question," it usually is backed up with "that no one has ever answered correctly." 

Reason The Third: They Don't Need To Hire
When preparing candidates, I try to break down the interview into its basic elements. The most basic is that the manager has a problem they want to solve, and it's your job as the candidate to 1) Identify the problem, and 2) Create a mental picture of you working with the manager to solve it. If a manager can picture you making that problem go away, you tend to get hired. This frame of reference helps you understand that interviews aren't about answering questions correctly. They're about connecting with a manager and suggesting that work will be easier if they bring you on board. 

This works very well to ease pre-interview anxiety, but it fails when the manager doesn't have a problem that really hurts. 

Look, when you're on fire, you want someone with a fire hose. When you're slightly thirsty, you could use a glass of water, but you don't have to have a glass of water. You can get one later. This is the dreaded, "Perfection Interview." If a manager is willing to hire, but only if the person walks on water, the feedback is that it's not your interview style. The manager just has different priorities. 

Reason Number 4: Fear Of Success Is Real
Candidates don't realize that when a manager makes an offer, there is a moment of fear that it will be accepted. An employee taking a job brings change, and sometimes that change is terrifying. Let's say you're a VP of Sales for a software firm and your CEO has made it clear that you're responsible for $10MM in revenue in the next year. You have 8 salespeople each bringing in $1MM, and you have two open positions. If you hire both of those positions, you have no excuse if you don't hit $10MM. If you don't hire, you still have the chance to hit your mark, because your current people may perform above expectations. If you hire - you lose the excuse "HR couldn't provide me with quality candidates." Yes, that happens. Many of us were trained to say that. It's an easy deflection that buys you time. 

Fear of success goes much further than simply hitting your numbers. We know that rapid growth is exciting, but it can be terrifying as well. If you've a competent manager, but you know that you're slated for a Director position, you may not want it. A substantial pay raise may come with more pressure than you can handle. You may already be at your limits of work/life balance. Or you may not want the pay raise because you already make more than your neighbors, and even more money will necessitate a move to a new neighborhood and a break with your friends. Hiring great people is how you move up. But what if you don't want to move up?

That sounds crazy to people starting their careers, and to super-achievers. Talk to a couple hundred managers and you'll see its more prevalent than you think. Hiring poorly puts your job at risk. But hiring well brings its own set of problems.

These Managers Should Be Fired!
The title of this piece is Hidden Reasons. Some people are going to tear into these reasons as examples of bad management. They may be right. But jobseekers can't afford to traffic in "should." There's a lot of things that should happen, but as my grandmother used to say, "Should always means someone didn't get their way." 

If someone isn't going to hire, you need to know before you take that vacation day to interview. And you have to understand that managers are still people. They may not know their motivations. They may have different priorities. And the funniest part, is that sometimes the filters in place, as dumb as they are, work. Or at least, they work well enough. 

To end on a positive note: If you didn't get the job after a great interview, don't sweat it. The answer as to why might actually be, "It's not you, it's me."

Understanding The 3 Candidate Personas When Hiring

There are only a few stories in life, and recruiters often make the mistake of complicating the decision to take a new job. There are broad themes that run through all hiring decisions, and most of the obstacles, road blocks, and stumbles occur when we divert a candidate from the right path with the wrong kind of information.

Why does someone take a job? I’ve identified three major themes that cover 95% of hires.

Next Step:

These are the best candidates for a recruiter. A person is getting a promotion, getting a raise, moving from a smaller company to a larger one, moving from a slow company to a fast one, or gathering experience in a new position that will enhance their career.

Next step candidates don’t need to be sold on taking a job. They need to be sold on taking your job. They need to see that this is the right time for them to leave their company and join another. You can identify them when they use words like “career,” or “I’m ready to” and obviously, “the next step.”


Selling points to NextSteppers include; confirmed budget, a better title, more responsibility, and public exposure (like speaking at conferences or access to media).

To win Next Steppers over, you have to talk to their ego, without inflating it. You treat them with more respect then they’re getting at their current position, but you don’t over do it (running the risk that they think their Next Step is bigger than what you’re offering). A script would include something like, “What you’ll find at your next position,” and “At this level, this is how you carry yourself and what you can expect.”

Next Step is also very easy to sell to clients, who recognize someone planning their career.

A New Hope:

Some people are looking for a reboot of their lives. They’re in dying companies or dying industries, or they’ve reached the limit of their desire in their field, and want to move in a new direction. Examples include digital creatives who move into manufacturing, reporters who move into marketing, salespeople who move into consulting, and executives who open up franchise small businesses.

The New Hope is hard for recruiters, because it’s success rate is based on personal relationships or a track record of hiring similar candidates. If you know someone, you can offer them a job and train them. If you’re paying a recruiter (internal or external), you expect someone with experience (it’s a mistaken notion, but a normal one).

New Hope roadblocks include salary considerations (in both directions - both drops in earnings and those whose new job pays significantly more), lack of training structure, and romanticized visions of a new job. It’s important to differentiate here between New Hope and Get Me The Hell Out Of Here Candidates. They often sound alike.

Verbal clues include: “Reached the end of,” “don’t see a long-term vision,” as well as comments like “How many web designers do you know over 40?” You can also identify New Hopers at companies whose industry has struggled through layoffs, even if they themselves have not experienced it. New Hopers are not those who lost a job and need to start over. They’re employed, have a career, and are ahead of the curve in terms of planning their career.

To sell New Hopers, you need to first break them down. A journalist who tells you they are a journalist is not a good candidate for a non-journalism job. They have to fully commit to a new path, which means they discuss writing, research, and interviewing. It’s their skills you’re after, but if they can’t let go of their title, or refer to how things have been done, they’re not ready. You have to tell them that. If they get it, then you need to work with them to remold their resume and story. What have they done that is similar to the new job? This can include phone calls, customer service, accounting, technology, interviews, or management. Recreate their story as a timeline where the New Hope is really a Next Step. Emphasize the commitment at the end, and be sure to include the current title in a Summary or Objective. Repeating the title and skills on paper and throughout the interview will signal that commitment to the hiring manager.

Most important, practice accepting job offers and practice relevant questions. Consider it similar to assuming the sale. If the candidate sounds like they are ready to take the job, the manager will be more likely to see them as competent at the new job.

Get Me The Hell Out Of Here:

This is sadly the most common kind of candidate. From bad bosses to needing money to personal issues to naivete and poor planning, many candidates want something new, but what they really want is to get out of the old.

Competent candidates mask it well. Many pitch it in terms of Next Stepping or A New Hope, but when a candidate tells you they’re open to anything, finish that thought mentally with “anything that gets me out of here.”  Please note there’s nothing wrong with the person. They could actually be a great employee that is just fed up. They could have fear that has held them back, or personal conditions like family or medical issues that necessitate a change. But if you’re going to place them, you have to convert them to a new channel.

Verbal cues here aren’t as useful because the candidate rarely says - “just get me out.” They are often governed by emotions, and while they are in the grip of those emotions, they’re stuck. It’s like a guy in rapids without a life preserver. They’ll take any line thrown to them, but after you’ve hauled them to land, their thank you is short-lived. If they’re on the wrong river bank, or if their peer group is still in the water, they will regret taking that line.

A Note About Channels:

Channels are useful personas to use in hiring situations because they’re true. They are logical progressions that lead job-seekers into a particular train of thought, which is why interview answers sound the same. An example is,“What is you biggest weakness?” The answer, “I’m a perfectionist.” It’s not really the answer - it’s the logical best answer to a silly question.   

The neat thing about channels is that you can’t sell people into them. You can’t train someone to get out of their mindset. You have to bring them to the point where the normal thoughts that everyone thinks in the channel are coming to them. That’s why it’s a channel. Once you’re in it, the normal person moves forward to the same conclusion. Your goal is not to create a script they can follow, but to nudge them into the right channel, and the channel will do all of the work from there.


The Plight Of The Young Worker: 3-5 Years Of The Wrong Experience.

I'm in the middle of a search for a marketing associate.  I have the good fortune of being both the recruiter and the hiring manager and the actual manager in this position, which means that I'm extra motivated to find the right person.  In this search, I not only get to flex my recruiting muscles and build out a network for my local market, I also get to re-experience what it's like to be a hiring manager. 

So here are my thoughts on that. 

I'm looking for someone with mid-level experience.  You know, 3-5 years of experience.  That's not my normal search pattern.  In fact, I far prefer to make fun of companies looking to hire someone with 3-5 years of experience than actually doing that kind of hiring. 

Let me explain with an old blog post

Every recruiter knows that the number one choice for technical hiring managers is that candidate with 3-5 years of experience.  The perception is that these candidates are still trainable, but able to contribute, and most of all, don't know their value in salary, which means they are cheaper than people with 10 or more years.  The thought, often wrong, is that the best time to capture someone is after their green but before they are too expensive.  With college hiring growing at the fastest pace we've seen since the late 90's, the supply of these intermediate employees is going to explode in the next 2-4 years.

I wrote that in April 2007, in the midst of the media boomlet about hiring Gen Y folks.  Do you know what happened the next year?  Total devastation for that hiring group.  Companies were busy laying off workers, not hiring new ones, which means much of the training that occurs in early years at small companies simply wasn't happening.  Those who had jobs couldn't get second jobs, and they were left to languish at their positions, often leaving and not finding new employment. 

Dallas was a challenge, but it wasn't too bad.  It's worse in other areas of the country.  Finding young workers with a few years of experience was not an easy task, and one of the reasons we moved to Dallas was the job prospects for hiring experienced employees was greater.  It is better down here - using my recruiting background, I've been able to quickly identify some top prospects, but it's not as robust as I would have expected. 

What I see instead is a lot of earnest young men and women with little work experience.  They have lots of internships and short tenures with companies doing work of dubious value.  When you speak and meet with them, you're not speaking the same language.  They just don't understand a workplace, or what it takes to learn.  Instead, you find young folks who drifted through corporations, untrained and unmentored.  And their resumes are easy to spot.  They're all "efficient practictioners of a wide variety of diversified and cost efficient marketing and business processes." That's all well and good until you ask them to send a fax or take notes for a meeting, and it's clear you have a lot of work ahead of you.

It's not dire.  The good news is that most of these young workers  want to be trained.  They want to be challenged.  They want someone to look them in the eye and tell them yes, no, don't do that, and go back and do it again.  Companies that need to hire are going to have to recognize this, and begin hiring in a different manner. 

Everything old is new again.   It's time once again to "hire for attitude, and train for aptitude."  The good news, is you don't have to pay high wages.  The bad news is that if you aren't a likable manager, they'll leave you in six months to a year for a better paying job at a company too inept to train their own employees.  Good luck out there.  I'm off to dust off my training manuals. 

Social Media Interview: How Hired A Director Of Social Media

Michelle Magoffin is the Director of Social Media Programming for  Her unique background and high profile fit closely to the types of candidates I like to profile on With experience deeply rooted in an organization, Michelle can offer insight into how to turn your job into a social media position.  The following is an interview on what it took her to win the job. 

Update:  This is what an awesome graphic resume looks like.  

1. You’re coming up on your first year as a social media employee at Edmunds.  What was the process to get hired?  Was there a job description you applied for, did you simply change the title, or did someone just know you and suggest the role?

At Edmunds, the early stages of planning for the coming year starts in the Summer. In the Spring of 2010, I spoke to the Executive Director of Community Operations and Social Media to let her know that I was interested in moving to her department, which consisted entirely of community personnel -- she was handling social media alone. At the time, I was a Director of Product Management in the Media department. I'd worked with her on many projects in the past and she was happy to hear I wanted to join her team. I also spoke with the VP of Product (whom we both reported into) to let him know that, as planning commenced, I would like to be kept in mind for any social media roles that might develop.

Later in the Summer, I spoke again with the Executive Director of Community Operations and Social Media, this time in more detail about what she was planning for the make-up of her team, and what I was interested in doing with social media. Everyone was deep into a site redesign, so it was clear that we were still making plans for the coming year. No teams were changing around in the middle of that company-wide project.

In the early Fall, there was an unexpected development when the Executive Director of Community Operations and Social Media left the company. Because I had made my interest in social media known to the right people, there was no question that a social media position would be mine. The VP of Product had me slated for Director of Product Management, Social Media. What I didn't know was that half of the social media function was staying in the Product group and half was moving to the inbound marketing team, which had previously only covered SEO.

I wanted to be on the marketing side of things, but they already had another person slated for that role. I spoke to the new Executive Director of SEO and Social Media to let him know that I wanted to be on his team instead of the Product team. I spoke again to my VP and outlined why I wanted the marketing role instead of the product role, what my background and experience could bring to it, and how much I wanted it. In the end, I was made the Director of Social Media Programming on the Marketing team but, if I hadn't started lobbying for a social media position six months in advance, I might have never had the opportunity.

2.  Did Edmunds have a clear idea what they were looking for, or did that role evolve over the course of the hiring process?

It was a little of both. Social Media is one of the company's major initiatives for 2011. The company had a clear idea of how they were dividing the social media functions across the Product and Marketing teams, but the exact nature of the positions evolved as they were filled, based on the backgrounds of the people moving into the roles. Four social media positions were created at the end of 2010 and all of them were filled with internal transfers.

I report to the Executive Director of SEO and Social Media. He has an SEO background. I have a product background. On the Product side of the house, there is a Director of Product Management, Social Media who was previously a project manager. Reporting to him is a Sr. Product Manager, Social Media who was already in the Product group.

My role was originally meant to be more of a Social Media Manager but, because I was already a Director, my role became more focused on strategy, less hands-on, than was originally intended. We are a small team, though, so every role is hands-on to some degree.

3.  I tell candidates they are hired for their background, not their social media chops. Your profile says this is true, but is that the case?  Did they give you the role because of your background in product management, your time at Edmunds, or was there significant social media campaign experience?

I had zero social media campaign experience when I started as the Director of Social Media Programming. What I did have was a six-year history with Edmunds and an even longer history of using social media. I had a Friendster account when MySpace was just a twinkle in Tom's eye. I'd been blogging since 2002. I was already on every major social media platform and was closely following emerging technologies. As a product manager, I had been on the team that built the first blogs on I introduced article commenting, rating, and sharing to the site. I'd worked closely with the SEO team on two major site redesigns.

My personal experience with social media, combined with my product experience at, put me in the unique position of having intimate knowledge of all of our products, from the back-end to the front-end, as well as the knowledge of how to engage and market with socia media.

4. In what division do you reside?  Marketing/IT/Corporate Communications/Other?

My team is in the Editorial group, but I expect that will change for next year. The way that the social media functions were divided up, and how we work with the Paid Marketing and PR teams, are converging. I feel like we would function more cohesively if our teams were unified under a single executive.

5.  Did they have a salary in mind when they approached you, or did you negotiate it as the position became clear?

Neither one, actually. Because I transferred internally, in the middle of the review cycle, I retained the same salary I made as Director of Product Management. I was satisfied with that arrangement.

6.  Did you find a need to revisit any corporate policies when you got the position regarding social media guidelines, and what was your role in the widely-shared Edmunds Social Media policy?

I revisited every social media policy and strategy we had, but it was all operational. Edmunds did not have a set of corporate social media guidelines in place. I researched so many corporate social media policies one week that I began to think in legalese. Most of them read like government contracts. They were all about what employees can't do and what will happen to them if they do it. I worked with HR to come up with a direction for Edmunds. We didn't want to create a strict set of rules that was going to end up discouraging employees from ever posting a single thing about Edmunds.

The company explored several options for creating our guidelines but, in the end, the Sr. Product Manager of Social Media really wanted to tackle this project herself. I consulted with her on early drafts and I could not be more pleased with the final product. It is encouraging and useful and looks great. It is the only graphic set of guidelines I have seen.

7. If you were hiring, would you want to do it through traditional channels or through your social media contacts (Twitter/LinkedIn)? - (readers, this is not an excuse to send her a resume)

That's a great question. Right now, we are in the early stages of planning for next year and are discussing how we would like to grow our team. I am already thinking about which skillsets we need to add to the mix. I would almost exclusively rely on my social media contacts to fill open positions. Any open position would be listed on our web site and the recruiters would review all resumes that came in through that route. We would, of course, consider anyone who was highly qualified for the position, but you can't deny the power of a personal referral. And, to be honest, how much could someone really want to work in social media at if they are not already engaged with through social media?

8) Did you have metrics of your success in place prior to your hiring, or did you write them after you got there?

We weren't starting from scratch exactly, but we were cleaning the slate. With my boss, I developed our success metrics and KPIs after I moved into the role. They are still evolving. We're lucky in that we don't have executives breathing down our necks about measuring ROI in a traditional sense. The senior execs at Edmunds are committed to social media and understand it in a way that is uncommon. They have given us the freedom to develop our own performance metrics, and to explain why they are important to the company and how we plan to grow them.

9)  Does experience in SEO/PR/Marketing make for a better social media candidate?

No, I think a true social media lover makes for the best social media candidate. That person might have zero corporate marketing experience. I live for the internet. I have been in this business since 1999 and there is nothing else I would rather do. I was on the cutting edge of emerging internet technologies, not because my job demanded it, but because I wanted to be. Since I have been in this role, I have seen how my entire history in the internet industry in general, and in product management in particular, has contributed to my success as a social media strategist and marketer. If I had come up through a more traditional marketing path, I might have a better understanding of certain marketing aspects, but I would be lacking the breadth of knowledge about web business that is what made me uniquely qualified for this position.

For more on Michelle, check her out at  We'll be publishing a Skype interview that covers more about Edmunds social media plans next week. 

There Are More George Constanzas Out There Then We'll Admit

Seinfeld gets a lot of credit for pop culture references, but it's rare that we admit how well Larry David nailed office life.  

There's the brilliant scene where Kramer gets fired from the job he doesn't even work at. 

There's the entire sage of Elaine and her comically insane boss, J Peterman. 

And then there's George.  Wonderful George, who turns work avoidance into an art. 


He sleeps under his desk. 

He leaves his car at the office to pretend he's in early and works late. 

He acts annoyed all the time, to pretend he's busy (one of my favorites. It reminded me of the days I'd carry around a clipboard because it made people think you had a managerial task.  Another trick in that vein is to always walk fast, even if it's just to go to the bathroom or grab a smoke break. Walking fast is not only good cardio for you, it suggest you're going somewhere, and that's not just a metaphor. 

My personal favorite was the episode with the Penske file. 

George interviews with a manager about to leave on vacation.  The manager is vague about whether George has the job, so George decides to fake it.  He shows up to work, takes an office, and spends the day looking at an enormous file for the Penske account.

When the boss returns, George finds out that he actually was hired, but his failure to do any work causes the boss to fire him.

And that's what I want to talk to you about, because there's a lot more George in the current workplace than I'm comfortable with. 

This isn't going to be a rant about Gen Y, because the behavior goes through all generations. As a recruiter, I hear plenty of sob stories about companies that don't train, don't motivate, and who sell a different bill of goods to employees than the reality of the working solution.

Do you know what I've never heard?

I've never heard any employee ever complain that they were overtrained.  I've never heard someone admit that they were given all of the tools, time, and salary they wanted, but their lack of ability to take advantage of the situation was the single greatest reason they failed to succeed.

Is that possible?  If it isn't possible, or even likely, then what we have is bad expectations of our responsibility to an employer, and inflated views of our own culpability in our employment situation.  And we all have culpability. 

So let me start off.

The last two jobs I held, I failed to maximize the potential offered me by the company.  The companies were not perfect.  They didn't have perfect people or perfect systems, but they did offer a framework that had I chosen to, I could have been more successful than I was.  

This is not to say I was a failure, but in leaving both companies, it's only fair to say that they provided an opportunity to me, and took on the risk of hiring me.  In both cases, one more than the other, I made them more money than I cost them.  In fact, in my last job, I was a bright young star that won a trip to Hawaii in my first full year.  I still could have done better.  

It was the recognition, after winning that trip, that I had more to offer than my current position that led me to start my own firm, but it's only fair to say that the company met their end of the bargain. 

Maybe it's maturity, and maybe it's simply an entreprenuerial spirit, but when I hire, or hire for clients, I want someone who understands where they failed in their last jobs.  I want to hire someone who is making a career move not because they can't succeed at a company, but rather because they can make a bigger impact at the new company. 

George Costanza was funny, because he was a loser who couldn't hold down a job.  We laughed at his foibles and wondered how much we could get away with ourselves.  And we laughed at the too close for comfort depictions of work life.  In real life, George-like behavior isn't funny. Can you be honest with yourself about your George-like habits, both now and in the past?  





Advice On Landing A Job In Social Media

I was one of the voices, along with Dan Schwabel, quoted in a recent FINS/WSJ article on social media in job hunting from Kelly Eggers.

It's a good article, helping explain some different view points but also providing links to other places to look.

And if you've been hired, don't forget to head to Jeremiah the Web-Strategist, and toot your horn with the submission form.

How Facebook Changes Will Affect Recruiting: Recruiting Animal Show

I had the distinct pleasure of joining Michael Kelemen on the Recruiting Animal Show yesterday to talk about Facebook.  If you've never listened to the show, prepare yourself.  It's a call-in show of rowdy miscreants and the occasional unsuspecting guest, all run by the Recruiting Animal himself.  Yesterday's show had some technical difficulties, but the callers jumped in and grilled me, argued with me, and asked a lot of great questions.

There's a segment of the online recruiting world that just doesn't buy into the social media hype.  My hope is I was able to acknowledge their concerns, but also point out there is an incredible amount of value in social media for recruiting, and in the end, that value will begin to creep into even the most stalwart oldtimers.

Here's a short synopsis of what I said, and the major questions.

1) Facebook's new search update will make it possible for recruiters to finally use Facebook as a sourcing tool, but it will require recruiters to build up large networks of candidates similar to what we've done in Twitter and LinkedIn.  The current method of scrolling Facebook updates is inefficient, but with a large enough network and stream, the updates become real time knowledge for sourcing. 

This allows you to combine your personal and professional networks, as before the key was adding only professional contacts so you didn't clutter your stream with personal comments.

2) The addition of the Facebook fan box allows you to port Facebook content out to your career page, but it also allows you to divert traffic into your Facebook fan pages. The major problems with fan pages is getting to them.  The embeddable widget gives you a portal to people who like to use Facebook, and this is a major development for all Facebook marketers.

3) The change happening in internet marketing from Facebook's challenge to Google's targeted traffic will have major implications for marketing and technology recruiters.  Finding people who understand Facebook marketing, and being able to filter them, is a lucrative new niche for recruiters in those industries.

4) The changes aren't there yet, but in abotu six months, we'll start to feel them. The time to build your network in Facebook is now.  Previously, Facebook was only a messaging platform.  It is now a third site for your marketing efforts.

From the questions:
1) Yes, I recruit regularly, and have been doing so since February of last year after a short hiatus.
2) You are not required to play the games or involve yourself in silly activites.  Block or ignore those applications.
3) If you're not getting value from your Facebook friends, you have the wrong Facebook friends.  You're not going to find top executives at Chucky Cheese, and you're not going to find them if you only connect to high school ex-girlfriends.
4) That said, many salespeople and executives are connecting old business connections on Facebook, and driving large amounts of revenue their way.  If your business connections are on Facebook, consider adding them as friends.
5) If you're going to use Facebook for business, add your vanity url to your email
6) The point of social media training is to accelerate your knowledge level.  Yes, you can do it on your own, but you can also learn to play golf on your own.  Or you can take training.
7) If you aren't making money from your social networking as a recruiter, you shouldn't be using social networking as a recruiter.
8) Social media does not replace the skills of recruiting.  I would train recruiters with a bag of quarters and  a phone book before I let them use social media.
9) That said, personally, I would use my current skills over phone sourcing for sales and recruiting (and do).  That's only because I have a solid base of recruiting experience.