Patrick Gillooly

Patrick Gillooly on growing and running a social media team at Monster

“Right now, I'm looking at a screen showing 70,152 people who, in the last 30 days, have said they want a job.”

Having a human behind the wheel is the most important thing for our team.

Patrick Gillooly, Director of Digital Communications and Social Media for Monster, says, “Those are all candidates that Monster can help, and that's what my team is here to do. We love supporting people who want to find better careers and better lives.”

He says that it's easy to love his job when they've heard from candidates that a tweet Monster shared helped them find a job and change their lives. But, Patrick explains, it's difficult to consistently make those one-to-one connections when your team is small.

“We were missing a lot of opportunities to engage because we weren't dedicating enough human resources.”

“Having a human behind the wheel is the most important thing for our team. If someone interacts with Monster on social media, they are interacting with a person on the other side,” he says.

And on top of keeping up with social monitoring and engagement, Patrick explains that interest in social media internally has also skyrocketed. Employees are interested in being brand advocates through social — and Monster wants to empower them and develop a social workforce.

To start meeting those needs, Patrick has recently doubled his team in size.

If you find someone who can write really well, you can train them to do almost anything else.

In addition to bringing a summer intern onboard, the team recently added a new community manager to complement one current full-time community manager, bringing his extended team to five. The new role focuses on external engagement, but also on helping Monster become a social business internally. Where did Patrick find these candidates? They applied through Monster, of course.

“We're always looking for a go-getter and jack of all trades. I want somebody who either knows a little about a lot of things or wants to learn a little bit about a lot of things,” Patrick says.

He explains that his team doesn't necessarily divide their effort by creative, platform, or audience. They all chip in on multiple fronts — editing photos one day, creating videos on another, and writing tweets.

His advice for hiring a great candidate: Look for somebody who loves to write and is risk aware.

“Someone once told me if you find someone who can write really well, you can train them to do almost anything else. You also have to play by the same playbook and understand what can get a brand in trouble. But it can't hold you back from trying new things, because hopefully the reason you're bringing new people on board is to do just that.”

Patrick says earning buy-in to double their headcount wasn't as hard as you'd think.

With executives already active and well-versed in the value of social media, Patrick says it was just obvious to them that his team needed more resources. One way they made that need clear: Monster's Social Media Center — or “The Fishbowl,” as they affectionately call it.

The room seats five staffers and has a wall covered in six reconfigurable monitors on one side and a glass wall on the other. He says their open door policy helped show just how much work the team handles.

“People walk into the Social Media Center, and they say, ‘Wow, you guys are doing a lot.' They no longer ask us, ‘What's the ROI on what you're doing?' because they realize that the volume and quality of our engagements is inherently beneficial to the organization.”

Inside the Social Media Center, Patrick's team plans for the future of social at Monster.

Our open door policy helped show just how much work the team handles.

Each week, they hold hackathons much like a software engineering team. For two hours, it's all hands on deck to define a new problem, tackle it, and finish solving it. It's helped the team create great video content, analyze new platforms, and just get stuff done.

They also do a weekly gut check and quarterly deep dives on existing platform presences on a rolling basis to determine what's working and what they could do better.

He says it's all about having a strong foundation for the team while staying adaptable.

“It's got to be fluid. The brand is going to adjust over time, platforms are going to adjust over time, and audiences are going to adjust over time.”

“We have a center and system in place where, if I left the organization tomorrow, things would still run smoothly — and even better in some cases,” Patrick laughs, “all because we have that foundation in place.”

Follow Patrick Gillooly on Twitter and ask about his time as a digital storyteller for Monster, MIT and more. Patrick's been a member of since 2013.