Engagement Specialists can be tasked with many different roles:
- There are Engagement Specialists in nonprofits tasked with engaging members toward the success of an organizational campaign or mission
- There are Engagement Specialists focused on finding new talent for Human Resources to hire
- There are Engagement Specialists that manage the company-client relationship
- There are Engagement Specialists that work hard to keep employee morale high and workers productive
Basically, there are all kinds of jobs for Engagement Specialists and really, the only thing that connects all of these roles together, of course, is the term “engagement” in the job title. The Free Dictionary defines the word “engage” as: to attract and hold the attention of; engross; to win over or attract; to interlock or cause to interlock; mesh.
Whether the audience is a member, a client, or a candidate, the goal of the Engagement Specialist is to engage them in the success of the enterprise. Here are the skills and duties of an Engagement Specialist.
What Does an Engagement Specialist Do?
An Engagement Specialist is responsible for bringing two target audiences together in a better relationship.
This could mean serving as a Membership Engagement Manager, whose primary responsibility is to successfully manage the relationship between the dues-paying members or volunteers in an organization and the organization’s mission and purpose. Or, it could require working as a representative of a company, engaging with job applicants and in the marketplace, in order to build the goodwill that attracts top talent.
There are Engagement Specialists working to improve client relationships within a corporate setting. Their job is to reduce client churn, while possibly upselling new services to existing clients. Engagement Specialists also work on large client projects where the success of their company’s deliverable depends on the buy-in of all client stakeholders. In a business, the Engagement Specialist may be working actively to help positively influence corporate culture and to ultimately retain talent.
The work of an Engagement Specialist in any of these roles requires the ability to influence the experience of the target audience. The role may include troubleshooting any problems between the target audience and the sponsoring organization.
The Engagement Specialist must work to understand the unique perspective of the target audience, and their wants, needs, and priorities, in order to improve their interaction with the company or organization. The role typically requires the development of an engagement plan that could include activities designed to build these relationships. The role may also require service delivery, and budget or project management. They may handle billing or invoicing or even work with HR to develop employee engagement programs. Typically, they must identify potential partners in these endeavors. They may spend time educating a target population or coordinate activities to reach this target audience.
The Engagement Specialist will identify and utilize tools designed to improve the relationship between provider and audience. They will collaborate closely with cross-functional teams. They may also analyze data to determine which audience engagement techniques are succeeding and which ones need to be revamped.
This work may require travel off-site, and it usually requires a lot of client-facing (or candidate-facing) time.
Engagement Specialist Skills Needed
No matter the specifics of the job description or the organization that employs the Engagement Specialist, there are some characteristics required by the job.
- Creativity in developing programs and methods for engaging an audience toward the success of a goal
- Relationship-building skills with business leaders, the community, and the target audience of employees, clients, or others
- Organizing, including the ability to manage multiple projects and tasks simultaneously
- Empathy, using skills that allow the Engagement Specialist to determine what is most important to their target audience, and then working to deliver on an organizational promise
- Engaging, having a natural like of people, a knack for leading, and sales skills that help engage others in goals
Engagement Specialists should also be…
- Interested in learning new things
- Flexible, dynamic, and engaging, with strong interpersonal skills
- A team player with the ability to forge new partnerships that bridge people and organizations
- Able to prioritize under deadline pressure
- Responsive to requests from clients, employees, or management
- Experts in delivering outcomes, achieving goals, and solving problems
- Strong communicators with skills in writing and public speaking
- Excellent with time and task management skills
- Able to work independently
- Able to see the big picture as well as the small details
Engagement Specialists are, first and foremost, engaging. They are the kind of people other people like having around. They are the people pleasers that, just like Tom Sawyer, can get other people to paint a fence and enjoy doing the work. Depending on the role, they may even need to be proficient in marketing engagement techniques designed to connect with an audience.
Suggested Software Proficiency
The Engagement Manager should be familiar with social media platforms. They should also understand content and customer relationship management suites. Of course, they should know the Microsoft suite of products, including PowerPoint or Keynote, which would be important for presentations.
Knowledge of Skype or other video conferencing services, as well as project management software such as Basecamp or Trello, would be helpful.
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