Guest Post: Forrester’s Web Strategist Michele Frost “On Hiring the Community Manager”

I write for the web strategist (web decision makers at companies) and was really pleased that we got a top notch professional here at named Michele Frost here at Forrester Research.

A few weeks ago, I announced that Forrester is seeking a Community Manager, and wow did we get a response, over 20 resumes!

I offered her the opportunity to guest post, and she’s decided to take me up on the offer, she shares her experience building the right team, esp in the world of social media

Guest Post from Michele Frost, Director, Web Marketing at Forrester Research

The custody battle is over! After much debate, I’m thrilled to say that Forrester’s newly created position of Online Community Manager will be part of the Web Marketing team. We’re plugged into the business and work online, so it’s a solid starting point.

With Jeremiah’s input, we drafted a job description and spread the word. Now comes the hard part: We need to hire.

My first hiring experience was my worst: It came to a crashing conclusion with my new employee leaving the office via a stretcher within two weeks. She left behind extensive literature on how to collect workers compensation. Lesson learned.

My methods have since improved, which is lucky for me, my employer, and my new employees. Recent new hires have even been quoted as saying that their job matches the job description outlined during the hiring process. Progress.

But with this newly created Online Community Manager hire, I feel like I’m starting from the beginning. During my agency days at Critical Mass, I developed, sold, and managed community projects. But my team and clients majored in something else and minored in community “things.”

Everything is different in this 2.0 pond. How do you quantify Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections? The personal and professional line is blurred on candidates’ sites and I end up knowing more than I should (or care to) about candidates’ positions on religion, gay marriage, reproductive rights, and music.

Later today, I meet with Forrester’s recruiter: We’ll see how current hiring and legal counsel from Strategic Growth maps with the times.

Fingers crossed.

Jeremiah: It’s interesting that Michele learns a 360 view of candidates online lives, not just the resume that they put forth, truly a sign of the times.

For those that applied, this is a good example of how we’re trying to be transparent, we’re real live people, as we expect you to demonstrate to our customers and clients.

And I can promise you, we’ll do everything we can to make sure no one leaves on a stretcher!

5 Replies to “Guest Post: Forrester’s Web Strategist Michele Frost “On Hiring the Community Manager””

  1. Jeremiah,

    Thanks for posting. I’m curious how applicants express their interest – video, paper, email, twitter, facebook, etc. Please share the delivery mechanisms with as, as appropriate. In my view, candidates should be utilizing these tools to convey their experience and value.

    Good luck!


  2. Great guest post and offers some insight into the review process. I had a funny thought occur to me. What if Forrester adopted the social media approach to hiring and posted all three resumes and allowed the public to ‘digg up’ or ‘digg down’ each? Most diggs wins?!

    I’m afraid it might put Michelle in a stretcher (perhaps a straight-jacked too) but could make for an interesting experiment.

  3. I am a community manager of and I came to the role via being the head of customer service at Fantasy games.
    I would look for people who interact with people online ALL the time in a business sense. I don’t know that a person needs to live their life online to be a great community manager but they do need to UNDERSTAND why people would want to live their life online and how one CAN live their life online.
    It’s about being aware of what is out there in the web and being an advocate for the community they represent.

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