Community
Glasses icon
6-min read
August 24, 2022

Community Manager Job Descriptions: Some Pointers for Your Next Hire

Much like communities, the roles of the people who manage them vary widely. There are so many factors to consider when creating a Community Manager job description — particularly ones that span departments and workflows in the way that community management does. Luckily, there are a few common threads running through the fabric of community management across industries.

Your People team will have your company values/story, salary, and benefits down, and they’ll be looking to you for the specifics: who your ideal hire is and what they’ll be expected to do in this role.

With all of this in mind, here’s a guide to creating your own CM job posting — and finding the right manager for your community.

What will this hire be responsible for?

Any Community Managers reading this will likely be thinking, "Uh, what don’t I do?" CMs usually have to be jacks-of-all-trades (and masters of some too — more on that below).

Usually, however, a CM’s role involves a degree of:

  • moderating and engaging in the community they manage
  • content creation (both informal everyday chat and larger content pieces) as part of their community engagement calendar
  • strategic work aimed at improving the quality, breadth, and outcomes of their communities
  • research and collaboration within the community to feed into other parts of the business, like Customer Service, Product, and Sales.

These will likely form the foundation of the Community Manager job description, but you’ll need to get specific about your community (or the one you hope to build). What does your community program look like? What technology does it/will it run on, and what are the core elements (forums, live events, etc.)? Which teams the CM will be interacting with the most?

Make a list of the most important things the CM will work on and take ownership of, and explicitly list this in the job description. Here’s an example from our 2021 CM job description at Commsor:

What you'll do at Commsor

Good old Community Management:

  • Manage the day-to-day for the primary Community Club community spaces (Slack, Forem)
  • Refine and execute on our engagement strategy
  • Assess existing policies and practices and suggest (and implement) any updates
  • Get to know everyone! Be a connector for people in the community

Program management:

  • Assist with existing programs (mentorship, book club, etc.)
  • Research areas of opportunity for new programs

Experimentation

  • Use our community as a test bed for engagement techniques and write about it for our community of community professionals

What skills do you want this hire to have?

As we shared above, a CM’s role touches on multiple aspects of community building. While their responsibilities — and the corresponding skills they need — will vary from company to company, there are some basic boxes a great CM should tick.

‍Strong generalist

Jack-of-all-trades, remember? The most successful CMs can seamlessly shift gears between different working styles and regularly learn new processes.

‍Great at project planning and organization

Effective CMs should be comfortable balancing tasks within multiple projects with different stakeholders, which requires a high degree of organization. They should be able to manage both everyday tasks and long-term campaigns.

‍Comfortable with technology

‍Easily adapting to new software and user interfaces is a must. CMs will need to be the primary administrator and operator of the software or platform their community runs on. What’s more, CMs need to be confident working across platforms to set up ancillary workflows, like onboarding sequences, forms, and databases.

‍Excellent communicator‍

The best CMs are storytellers, skilled in both written and verbal communication. Different community positions require different modes of communication. For example, some community roles are almost entirely text-based, whereas other roles expect their CMs to speak on video regularly or even host live events.

‍Devoted to data

CMs need to be comfortable collecting and interpreting data. That means being able to accurately describe its significance, and understanding what it means for the community and/or business.

‍Empathetic

The ability to empathize is a key skill for any CM, useful in everything from building relationships and understanding community dynamics, to diffusing conflict and more.

👉 Hiring your first CM? Read more about the hiring process from identifying gaps to creating a compelling job offer.

Community Manager hiring dos and don'ts

We’ve gathered a few tips from community experts to get you started thinking about the job description.

Do explain what your community is

‍In other words, where does your community live? "A Community Manager working on engaging customers in a forum would have different responsibilities, skills, and qualifications to a Community Manager working on offline events," Director of Creator Community at PicsArt Jocelyn Hsu points out. Also worth flagging here is whether your 'community' is exclusively made up of your social media audience. If so, you might want to consider hiring a Social Media Manager instead.

‍Do consider what level of seniority you want

"Community Manager can be a pretty vague title and you should try to be more explicit if you want someone with more strategy experience," says Commsor’s Chief Community Officer, Alex Angel. Note that candidates with four or more years of experience under their belts are qualified for more senior roles.

‍Do be transparent about salary

‍This means doing your research on what is fair compensation for the amount of work that's expected. Our 2020 Community Job Survey and The Community Club’s Salary Repository are great places to start.

‍Do include who the CM will work with

“Community teams have historically been very, very small, and it's important for people to know if they're going to be a team of one or if they'll be working with other folks directly,” says Alex. “Many people can and do thrive in that solo contributor role, but for some that's a deal breaker and it's good to highlight before you enter into the interview process.”

Community teams should work cross-functionally within the company and shouldn't be siloed, adds Alex. “They should touch each part of the business in some capacity, and there will be people from those other teams who are close collaborators with the Community team. By sharing cross-functional partners, you're giving a nod to applicants that your org values community and other teams are already bought in (to a certain degree, at least).”

Do clearly define the parameters

Hiring managers should not see CM roles as a dumping ground for everything that doesn't fit neatly into another position, says Commsor's Director of Community Education Noele Flowers. "For example, writing a newsletter for community members is appropriate. Writing sales emails to the entire email list? Not so much.

‍Don’t go overboard with requirements

‍Having a list of 15-20 must-haves will limit candidates who apply. Keep your list to the five or six most important things to attract strong candidates who are well-suited for the role.

‍Don't discount introverts

You might be tempted to include a call-out for applicants with bubbly personalities or extroverts, but Alex advises against it. "Those aren't important traits for CMs to have to be extremely successful at their job, and many fantastic CMs are introverts."

Say hello to the ultimate Community Careers Guide

You take your Community team seriously, and so do we. That's why we've brought you The Community Career's Guide — an ebook to help you explore various emerging roles, career paths, specializations, and opportunities in the rapidly expanding community field.

The free-to-download eBook is jam-packed with candid perspectives, insights, and tips from people across the industry.

The cover for the Community Careers Guide, featuring an illustrated map of the metaphorical community landscape, including mountain ranges, lush forests, a desert, and ice-capped ocean

Download The Community Career's Guide

Kirsti Buick
August 24, 2022
Commsor dinosaur

Template, tips, and additional resources to stand out and attract the best talent.

Unlock the full potential
of your community