Recruiting in a Recession…

December 15, 2008

Recruiting in a recession – insanity? Absolutely not!

Given that running a portfolio of magazines with a burgeoning online community, including two blog forums, daily content management inputs, as well as increasing commitments for advertising-linked copy are all making time demands somewhat unreasonable – not that it stops the fluffy PRs ringing daily and emailing of course – it is an appropriate time to recruit in some junior editorial talent.

Well, it makes sense to expand the editorial department, seeing as advertisers are screaming out for more online opportunities to promote themselves – and possibly because more and more customers are buying banner ads, online insert equivalents and sponsorship of websites.

First round interviews out of the way – down to the final three.

And the results thusfar? 38 applications, of which only 6 had the required (and requested) NCTJ qualification. A few promising magazine-trained candidates, and a few straightforward chancers.

The perennial line: “I appreciate I do not have the required NCTJ qualification, but…”

As for the news-writing exercise which formed part of the first round…well…how hard can it be? 30 minutes, 150-word News story from a PR’s bog-standard press release.

Anyway, back to the start – recruiting in a Recession.

It seems that there are alot of people out there wanting to work in the Media: maybe it is a perception of glamour and huge salaries. Maybe they imagine it is fun to deal with fluffy PRs all day. Perhaps they think it’s easy to write good copy. One of the candidates commented “my Drama degree has given me an understanding of working with words” which obviously gave me a huge amount of hope and the added propulsion required to send the application to the bin.

So – quantity does NOT guarantee quality, as we all know. And the impact of a Recession is clearly being felt, when scores of jobseekers apply for a position which is totally unsuited to their core skills and abilities.

The Feature-writing exercise will be separating the proverbial Men from the Boys – which is interesting, because the strongest final three candidates were not male. Maybe women are better-equipped than men to deal with tough economic times? The guys in our recruitment first round didn’t handle interviewing as well as the majority of their female counterparts, irrespective of newsroom experience. What are your experiences of recruiting in editorial?


2 Responses to “Recruiting in a Recession…”

  1. bristoleditor said

    Hi Ben & Team

    Hope all’s well and thanks for the link – much appreciated. Good luck with your recruitment endeavours in 2009, great looking site you have.


    Bristol Editor

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