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Media Jobs Monthly Newsletter

December 30, 2009
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If the media industry had a Black Friday, it would be the month of January. We've always experienced a spike in job postings at the top of the year (sometimes as much as 70 percent), and lots of factors drive it. So now is a good time to recruit... or is it?

I believe in the economics of scarcity, but does it apply to recruitment? Honestly, employment scarcity is really just a reflection of a company with great retention (or one that isn't growing!).

We know that when talent is scarce, companies compete for it, and there are signs here and there that the competition has started early in some sectors. Poaching also appears to be on the rise.

But old dogs can learn new tricks. That's promising because, whether you are competing for talent or making yourself scarce, the one thing that seems to matter always is having a recruitment strategy.

I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same.

So, on to 2010. Here we go again!

Best wishes for a new year.

Bill Conneely,
Director, Job Market

What Zhu Zhu Hamsters and Recruiting Have in Common (Fistful of Talent)
"If Black Friday was every Friday, no one would care, no media outlet would cover it, there would be no lines outside of Wal-Mart." The key is to make your employment scarce just like recent holiday sales or the current frenzy over a certain electronic pet. "The way NOT to do this is to make your hiring process so lengthy and complicated that only the most patient folks will be able to compete. That strategy really only gets you the patient and/or desperate."

When Is the Best Time to Recruit? (The Staffing Advisor)
The golden window is the first three weeks of January. "Every year, a huge number of incredibly well qualified people come on the job market in early January." However, most managers are swamped in December, so their jobs don't get posted until late January or sometimes February. Strike now to get the best people.

Need Talent? 25 Percent of Companies Are Contacting Competitor Employees Directly (HRM Today)
Another tidbit from the Institute for Corporate Productivity's Competitive Recruiting Practices survey: 16 percent of companies plan to increase their use of headhunters, but 23 percent said they don't plant to headhunt.

The Doors Are About to Open: Can You Really Keep Your Best People? (
"The keenest firms are hiring people even when they don't really need them!" Why? To keep them from the competition, and to "stockpile" talent for when growth begins again. So how can you retain the people you've recruited? Encourage communication, encourage sharing of knowledge, and help the employee build a social network -- a real one, not one on Facebook.

What's Short, Salacious, And Is Killing Journalism? (MediaJobsDaily)
"They are short and spicy and can easily be inserted in the country newspapers. In the city journals they can be contradicted the next day…" So, which T-word was a former U.S. president speaking of? We'll give you a hint: it's not Twitter.

So What Do You Do, Bill Wilson, President of AOL Media? (
The prez of AOL Media says the group is still adding talent despite the company's recent layoffs and break from Time Warner. What does that mean for the rest of you? They'll be competing for your editorial hires.

What Is Your Hiring Strategy, and Is It the Right One? (
You may have started off with a great strategy, but watch out for evolution: suddenly you're back to the old post and pray. "If you want to implement a maximize-quality-of-hire strategy, you should first go through each step in your current sourcing, interviewing, and recruiting process and see if it's counterproductive in some way or preventing the best people from consideration."

Selecting Talent: The Upshot from 85 Years of Research (Bob Sutton)
Work sample tests are a better predictor of how well an employee will work than years of experience, education, or references -- the top things employers often look for in a candidate.

Fordyce TV Replay: Young Dogs and Old Dogs (The Fordyce Letter)
Catch a recap of Jeff Kaye as he interviews two outstanding big billers: "old dog" Mike Kittelson and "young dog" Jason Johnson. Hear how a Generation Y recruiter is taking on the mindset of The Old Guard, while an industry veteran is learning new tricks. One easy one: Plan for the next day at work before you leave the office.

Moving Beyond Behavior-Based Questions (HRE Online)
"We all know that winners don't win all the time," so why are interview questions so often, "Tell me about a time when you..."? Here's how to fix that problem.

--Compiled by Rachel Kaufman, editor,

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