Friday, July 10, 2009

Twitter followers as job criteria

There was a tweet that went around "One of Best Buy's preferred qualifications in a job ad is "250+ followers on Twitter." ". What it observed was that Best Buy in the US advertised a job where alongside a BSc in Marketing you had to have 250+ twitter followers.

On the one hand bloggers are seeming to celebrate this as corporates recognising the need for online social media skills which is a good sign but there is also a flip side to this.

With my tongue firmly in my cheek, here are some opposite views :-
  • Someone with 250+ followers doesn't work very hard as they are too busy being a social animal online
  • "Norman no mates" like me who have a few followers but not 250+ will now scrabble to build followers by any means fair or foul which should bring some interesting traffic. FollowSpam will become a real problem for twitter forcing it to check out every follow transaction.
  • All these new "get 10,000 followers" services springing up will IPO in the next few months.
  • Personally I have not been that promiscuous in building online friends in facebook or twitter as I don't think that how many followers you have is a measure of how cool or important you are. I am not that interested in having an online friend in Outer Mongolia just because.
  • What happened to Quality vs. Quantity? Is there no measure of who those followers are i.e. if the person's tweets are all about getting lager'd up and clubbing is that Best Buy material? I can see new consulting services starting up where people vet the quality of candidates' twitter and facebook. Perhaps online snobbery will come in we we are all measured by who we are connected to online. "Oh my dear, I wouldn't friend that person, web 2.0 guru's are so passe."
  • On the opposite side o that coin will we see "Oh yeah, he fell-in with a bad [online] crowd."
  • What about relevance, are we going to be in a job market where the person with 260 followers gets the job over the one with 250 ? By this criteria Stephen Fry should sail into the job (he would probably do it standing on his head with his intellect) but is he the right candidate.
Overall I actually think Best Buy did a great thing . I am rushing off to create "" a new startup focussed on making sure job applicants have enough followers when they are interviewing.