Hiring Top Talent: What to Look for in Today’s Candidates
hile the transition from manual paste-up to computer pagination was for years a revolution in the making, the impact of electronic content—and ever-expanding expectations of quality and variety in graphics, presentation and delivery—has hit the industry like a wave, propelling some publishers to new heights and leaving others feeling like flotsam. One thing is for certain—having the right people on board is key to success. Managers and executives with an understanding of today’s technologies and an ability to react quickly to emerging ideas and create innovative products based on them can make all the difference.
As technologies evolve, so too do expectations, both for new hires and existing employees. Whether in creating new positions or expanding the role of existing posts, companies expect more lateral thinking from their staff.
“We’re looking for people who are able to add value across the rapidly changing media landscape. … our people wear multiple hats and demonstrate their skills by contributing their talents across our entire product line,” says Toby Maloney, vice president of business development at mental_floss, a science and arts-oriented magazine and Web site for “knowledge junkies.”
“It’s particularly important that our employees bring top-notch content and technical skills to the job. We’re too small to have specialists who are only comfortable in a narrow area of expertise,” he adds.
Troy, Mich.-based business-to-business publisher BNP Media expects digital literacy across departments, according to Publishing Director Tim Fausch. “We believe every new hire should bring enough computer/Internet experience to assume or quickly grow into electronic media as part of their job,” he says. Production managers, for example, must be comfortable collecting ads for Web sites as well as print publications, and should be prepared to proofread online.
As far as knowledge of cutting-edge platforms such as webcasting, podcasting, etc., BNP tries to have one expert on staff. “Everyone else is learning on the job,” Fausch says.