Magazines Register

Innovative Ways to Find Talent in the Publishing Industry

Finding the right talent for your open positions can be challenging during the best of circumstances, but add in a global pandemic, a major shift in the talent pool from the Great Resignation, and signs of a potential recession and you’ve got a recipe for some major frustrations on both sides of the table. The employment landscape has changed and so should your approach to talent acquisition.

The current state of labor

Many publishers are having trouble attracting talent. “The U.S. is experiencing critical labor shortages, especially among employees in manual labor fields such as paper production,” noted Santa Clara Magazine, or a “talent recession” as Bloomberg  calls it. The consensus is that every industry, including publishing, is facing big hurdles when trying to attract talent. Talent shortages have hit every branch of the publishing field, from bookstores and distribution centers to trucking companies and wholesalers, not to mention the printers themselves. It seems the entire industry is struggling to find enough workers to keep up with demand. This, of course, does not even touch the supply chain issues still plaguing the industry.

Why do publishing companies and others in the industry have such a hard time finding workers? Two organizations at opposite ends of the publishing spectrum, Harvard and Rolling Stone, both say we’re approaching sourcing and hiring talent in the wrong way.

Why Harvard and Rolling Stone say your approach to hiring is all wrong

Publishers can spend a lot of time and money trying to attract talent. Yet, despite partnering with staffing agencies or placing expensive ads on job boards to fuel the search, there’s still something missing. If you’re relying on candidates to apply, it might be a long wait. There are more than 10 million open jobs right now and hiring remains the top concern for the C-suite across every industry, not just publishing.

Harvard Business Review suggests that employers need to change their approach to hiring in several ways:

  • Don’t discount the internal candidate. Make sure all job openings are posted internally. This will help with retention of your existing staff by giving them a career path with your organization.
  • Design your job descriptions with realistic requirements. Consider more employees with soft skills to broaden your labor pool, and then train them in the hard skills they’ll need.
  • Focus on building a passive candidate network. Instead of waiting for candidates to apply, seek out your ideal candidate and solicit them for the job. It’s an approach used by many recruiting firms and it is highly effective.

Rolling Stone also suggests that most hiring processes are broken. This includes publishers who:

  • Have not developed an online presence geared toward attracting job candidates.
  • Do not post to the right job sites for their target audience.
  • Do not leverage social media to build a company brand geared toward attracting talent.

These mistakes are easy to make, and just as easy to avoid, with the right approach.

How to attract more job candidates to your magazine

In addition to fixing some of the issues highlighted by HBR and Rolling Stone, there are other things you can do right now to attract more candidates to your company, including:

  • Increase salary offering. Inflation has hit everyone, but that makes it even more critical to increase salaries to remain competitive and appeal to potential candidates.
  • Improve your application process. A mobile-first, simplified application process will drive higher application completion rates, which means a larger candidate pool to find the right fit for your company and position.
  • Build your social media presence in a way that supports recruitment.

Attracting talent into the publishing field can be challenging. Leveraging creative, proactive approaches to attract and engage with talent will give you a measure of control in a hiring market that, today, seems very uncertain.

Contact your Sheridan representative for a consultation or visit our contact page to learn how Sheridan professionals can help you streamline your publishing processes, reduce costs, and keep up with changes in print and publishing strategies.

Proven Content