A Klout round the ear for `Social Recruiters`…

I spend 100% of my time communicating with, talking to, listening to, meeting, engaging with, watching, interviewing, and sourcing specialist talent within the Social Media & Digital industry. I listen to the thought leaders, the movers and shakers, and the people who matter in the eyes of the people who matter. It’s my job – well, it makes me better at my job. 

Now here’s a thing – I DON’T use Klout, PeerIndex, or any other measuring tool as a fundamental indicator in a selection process. 

Too many times, I am seeing these automated, algorithmic tools used as marking posts, and standard-bearers of `Social influence` – as is it often referred. Ok, there is an argument for this. But for selection in Recruitment? >> well hang on a second… 


Now, I am a watcher of this stuff – and I do care about my rating. I wrote about it’s potential branding impact here: http://cloudnine-media.co.uk/2011/09/13/the-great-social-influence-debate/ – The number has a bearing on decisions that are made about you, in some quarters – maybe even with recruiters (sadly) – but for that reason, they DO matter. To a degree. 

The challenge is interpretation. 

We need to think about how these scores are measured. The common theory is that it seems to lean towards quantities, naturally – but tempered by the qualties factors of breadth of engagement, replies, RTs, and the balance of original content versus serial link posting. 

So when I read today that a Head of Digital/Social Strategy should have a decent Klout score, as an indicator of social footprint in the recruiting process – then I suggest caution. Head of Community Management? Yes. Community Executive? Yes. Social Media Exec? Yes. But applying Kloutage to every role within the Social Media profession is bad matching. 

If I am recruiting a Social Media Strategist, a Social Media Analyst, sometimes a Planner – ok, being generalistic with role titles here – but dependent on the content of the role – Klout and PeerIndex scores mean absolutely nothing. If someone’s role is to understand how consumers communicate, monitoring the trends of discussions and purchasing patterns, and building social media marketing strategy upon that – then how they communicate about the ways of the world on Twitter, matters very little. 

In research for the the Influence post I linked to, I found highly influential and prominent people, eg. Scott Gould, Molly Flatt, many agency owners and others; having very modest PeerIndex scores. Volume of communication, didn’t matter. The actions and deeds of these people, using online to create offline brilliance, is what they can only be `measured` by. Influence is created by what you DO, and the Impact of that – not what you say, and how often you say it. This is one of the reasons why the NMA/PeerIndex chart has been met with fairly wide derision within the industry. You just cannot measure the offline completion effect of what effective online communication brings. 

So before the Social Recruiting world and wider – gets caught up in what Klout & PeerIndex are, and how they impact recruitment – hold on a second, and understand what these things are actually measuring; and most importantly think about who actually cares. 


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