Over the last few weeks we’ve had a front row seat to the global debate over Salesforce.com’s use of the Klout score as a “desired skill” for the position of Community Manager.

Salesforce Posts Job On Ongig Listing Klout Score As “Desired Skill”

On July 27th, Salesforce.com posted a Community Manager job through Ongig with video, pictures and a bunch of specs about the job. One spec, in retrospect, was new and different: they listed a Klout score of 35 as a “desired skill.”

About a month went by and the job got lots of views and applications but little controversy.

That was about to change: the blogosphere would soon go wild.

Neville Hobson Is First To Spot The Klout Score Requested Skill

On August 3rd, Ongig started to see traffic (in Google Analytics) to the Salesforce.com’s Community Manager job coming from NevilleHobson.com.

We did a quick search on the web, and found Neville’s blog site generating out of the UK.

It turns out that Hobson had just published “Influence Rank: The Shape Of Recruitment Today”. That signaled the beginning of a debate on how Salesforce.com named Klout as a “desired” skill, and that the social influence algorithm could make an impact in hiring. And a debate that turned out to be much bigger and broader than we might expect.

It turns out that Neville’s article was a narrative into the fact that “reputation capital” will be an influencing factor on your career over the next decade.

The Klout score was simply cited as a metric, alongside PeerIndex, that is emerging for employers to use.

In an article tweeted out 88 times, Neville responded to a reader’s comment with added perspective: “I do believe online reputation will become a significant element in recruiting”.

Of course, several folks disagreed in the comments section, with reactions ranging from “#FAIL” to “moronic”. It was clear very quickly that Neville had touched a hot point with his readers.

Betabeat Writer Jessica Roy Gives An “Ugh” To The Klout Requirement

Jessica stated her opinion (summed up as “ugh”) on using Klout scores in her article “Want To Work At Salesforce, Better Have A Klout Score Of 35 Or Higher”. She outlines her argument against using metrics fromt the social influence site in a section of the blog site titled “How Not To Write A Job Descrption”. While the Klout piece was a small part of the job description, it was obviously big to Jessica.

In the article, Jessica claims a source (not named) who had their interview cut short because of a Klout score of 34. Is this true? After clicking on the link to another article, it was easy to see this was misleading. In the context of the article, it appeared it was Salesforce.com cutting short the interview. Having met Nathan Freitas in-person I was highly skeptical of him cutting short such an interview to begin with. Turns out it wasn’t even a story related to Salesforce.com.

Jessica’s article acknowledged that the job description is for a Community Manager, and that could be more relevant in using a Klout score.

Her article was shared 136 times across the three top social networks, as the conversation over the use of Klout scores continued its proliferation across the internet.

TechCrunch Writer Drew Olanoff Takes Klout CEO To Task Over The Issue

Three days after Jessica’s article, Drew published a piece centering on the use of the Klout score as a job requirement. The writer was unequivocal in communicating his stance on the debate over Klout.

He titled the article “Klout Would Like Potential Employers To Consider Your Score Before Hiring You. And That’s Stupid”. According to the article, Drew was set off by a tweet from Klout CEO Joe Fernandez about Salesforce.com’s usage of Klout in their job description.

While Drew made no mention of the previous articles on the subject, the audience that TechCrunch carries showed its power: 15,000 people read the story — many were skeptics who railed against Klout in the 78 comments. That said, there were a few good candidates saying…”hmm, this is an interesting position” too.

In the middle of the debate were Drew and the Klout CEO himself on Twitter. As you can see in the Twitter conversation below:

People Love A Controversy, And So Did This Job Description

Interesting to think that all of this attention may have actually helped get more eyeballs on the job opening. While some of the comments and chatter may not have been positive, inevitability thinking will have you believe that a few folks found the position of interest (although now filled…sorry!)

The numbers for traffic on a job description were eye-popping. Think about it, when’s the last time you saw a job description with views and shares like this. By the way, the “embed” number represents the views compiled on other sites like TechCrunch.

The Salesforce.com Job Description Got Results!

While the masses were debating the merits of a Klout score’s inclusion on a job description, two candidates were being hired. Hiring manager Nathan Freitas was likely happy with progress because he was now bringing two A-players on his team.

During the debate, Salesforce.com’s newly hired Community Manager Anna Eschenburg responded with the news:

Yes, the score is attached to one’s personal brand versus that of the employer. However, in a position like this Nathan made it clear that he wanted candidates with an overall familiarity with social tools. The Klout score was just one tool in the measurement of their skill level.

Ongig’s Position On The Position

Job descriptions should effectively advertise an opportunity to candidates.

In this case, it was important to Salesforce.com to advertise that a high Klout score is desirable. Asking for a metric related to social connectiability for a “Community Manager” job seems reasonable.

That said, candidates who either do not have that desired skill, or are turned off by the request for it, are then entitled to voice their criticism or just move on to the next job opportunity.

Salesforce.com got its hires and other users got to vent.

Irononically, the controversy over the job (much of which was negatively critical) helped get the job in front of 15,000+ new people, generating extra awareness of the job.

What Were The Klout Scores Of The 2 New Hires Anyway?

This article could not end with a quick check of the actual Klout scores for those who got the jobs.

It looks like they passed the requirement…and then some

You can see the “desired skill” was met, and both have resulted in two great hires. What are your thoughts?

by in Hiring, Networking, Technology, Uncategorized