You may have read my previous article on starting an in-house team and wondered what those "specialized roles" might mean. Perhaps you are considering hiring someone to help you with your church's website, and their resume reads like a Latin church service. More importantly, aside from a business card, you are unsure what skills they truly possess, and the credentials that this person their so-called expert status. Instead of focusing on job titles I will discuss some common skill and credentials those potential employees and volunteers should possess.
Specialized Web Skills
- Skills: UX practitioners work with your leaders to create prioritized experiences; integrating your strategic goals into every aspect of the site.
- Credentials: Portfolio of website designs that focus on how components of the site solved specific strategic problems.
- Skills: These tactical resources make sense of taxonomies, content, and produce wireframe prototypes.
- Credentials: Portfolio of content audits, component libraries, interaction guidelines, and website prototypes; tactical solutions for strategic problems that management or a UX Architect provides.
- Skills: Your website needs the appropriate color, font types, and spacing that wireframes and prototypes typically have not refined. A bonus skill would be interaction design, which is providing guidance if an element on the screen changes when clicked or needs to move.
- Credentials: A full portfolio of work, with plenty of examples of modern web designs. If not provided, ask about the decisions they made in the design
- Credentials: Examples of website and code. The focus should be on how clean the code is and (if it is a live website) how well the interactions work. You may need help from another web professional to determine if these are indeed true.
- Skills: Many websites interface with back-end systems, such as databases and mainframes. While this will not be nearly as common with smaller and simpler websites, you still may require this skillset from time to time. Even a content management system such as WordPress uses a database to store all of its content.
- Credentials: Code examples will most likely not going to help you hire someone, but a resume with a suitable history of companies and projects will suffice. Also, I would suggest asking about their troubleshooting abilities; as often they have to fix complex problems or find work-arounds for difficult situations.
Search Engine Optimization
- Skills: There are very specific rules and guidelines for creating good content with the proper HTML tags. Plus you also need to set up, configure, and track your progress using an analytics package. Lastly, creating reports that demonstrate the performance of your key conversion points is what will help inform various teams and leaders.
- Credentials: A track record of success, with lists of projects and campaigns, plus reports and data to back it up.
Social Media Specialist
- Skills: A firm grasp of how to use various social media platforms is a good first step, but working knowledge of the latest content formats, standards, and policies will put you over the top. Experience using tools that allow you to monitor multiple accounts, schedule postings, and track interactions is an added bonus.
- Credentials: Ask for examples of how they have both grown the following of a particular platform, and increased interactions. Also, see what they know about typical demographics and audiences for each platform; and ask how they intend to approach each differently.
Copywriter / Content Specialist
- Skills: In the end, content is still king of the web. It should be obvious that grammatically correct and properly spelled content comes first. However, writing for the web is a relatively new skill, and the ability to write condensed content that gets to the point quickly and effectively is a must.
- Credentials: Ask for examples of content such as articles, summaries, instructional text, error messages, social media snippets, and emails.
Well this is quite a long post, but I hope it helps you better understand a core listing of skills your website might need. If you are just starting out and have a basic installation of WordPress, maybe the development skills can wait. Also, understand that people will often have several of these skill groupings. Their titles may vary, but hopefully the skills they represent on their resume match what your church web team needs.