Job requirement: Twitter followers

A recruitment ad for a Sr. Manager – Emerging Media Marketing Job at US retailer Best Buy includes an item under the “Preferred Qualifications” heading that applicants have “250 plus followers on Twitter.”

bestbuytwitterfollowers

I guess it’s one way of noting a preference that applicants are savvy, active and connected in the twittersphere and, by implication, might have a better understanding of how social media tools like this work in a business context.

I’m not surprised to see this in a recruitment ad by Best Buy.

This is the company whose President and COO (now CEO), Brian J. Dunn – who, incidentally, is on Twitter – was awarded the IABC EXCEL Award this year and whose keynote address about communication at the IABC conference in San Francisco in early June was one of the most inspiring I’ve ever heard from a senior corporate executive of any company (here’s a taste of what Dunn said, in a brief Audioboo I recorded from my spot in the auditorium).

The IABC EXCEL Award recognizes leaders who foster excellence in communication and contribute to the development and support of organizational communication.

So, Twitter followers as a preferred “qualification” when recruiting. Is this a sign of the (coming) times?

This has clearly captured many people’s imaginations this morning, judging by the number of retweets of my original post on Friendfeed about it, as well as retweets of this blog post.

(Via Nathan Driver)

[Later] A comment by Best Buy’s Joshua Kahn talked about a new development regarding this recruitment opening that would be posted today on Barry Judge’s blog. He is Best Buy’s CMO.

Sure enough, there is now a post that opens up an intriguing development in what I’d call the co-creation of a job description in a way that would make a distinct connection with people who have an interest in the company, not only those looking for a job. There’s also the huge buzz potential that gets Best Buy talked about.

[...] In following the conversation around this job posting we discovered that many people had other ideas for how this job description should look, and what the qualifications should be.  We realized that perhaps we hadn’t thought of everything.  Beyond that we thought perhaps we could find a way to enable a more pointed discussion about this relatively new job category of Emerging Media.

It seemed to us to be a natural progression to get the community involved in crafting the job description and qualifications. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

We’d like you, (yes all of you), to help us write the job description for our Sr Manager of Emerging Media Marketing job.

We’d also like you all to help us pick the best description.

Here’s How To Participate

1. Starting now, until Tuesday, July 14th, at 5pm central submit your job description idea to our Best Buy IdeaX site.  IdeaX is a site where people like you can share your own ideas on how to make Best Buy better – through idea posts, popular vote and discussions with the rest of the IdeaX community.

I do like the rationale Judge expresses, especially his number 2 point:

This role is a new one for us as it likely is for other companies. We have a lot of smart and social media savvy people here and amongst our partners and friends.  However, there are a larger number of smart and social media savvy people “out there”. So instead of thinking we know it all, we’d like to increase our chances of getting it right by surveying the wisdom of the industry.

Sort of an Ideastorm for HR.

This should catch on.