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Media Jobs Monthly Newsletter

August 11, 2010
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The debate is on! Despite little change in the unemployment numbers, many firms are still struggling to fill open positions. Everyone is (or should be!) asking, "Why?" Here at, we have seen strong job posting activity, and yet many people are still looking for work. We're not the exception -- there are several articles attesting to this "new" structure of unemployment in the United States, and here's a prime example.

But what this article doesn't do is ask outright: Do employers have to pay more to get the workers they need? Economics 101 reminds us that if something is in short supply, the price goes up. So it's no surprise that strange things start happening as a result, like headhunters paying a candidate to take a job. Really?

And when labor markets are tight, some recruiters might be tempted to just fill jobs for the sake of filling them, but at what cost? What mystifies me is how some people can focus on the challenge of getting "passive" candidates to respond to recruiters without even considering a few magic words: "You will be paid what you are worth." I'd answer that call! Then again, if you can't pay well, you might as well be blunt about it. Just take some advice from media star Tucker Carlson: "We're very up front that we promise long hours and low pay in a cult-like environment."

Are you successful at bringing candidates in for interviews, but losing them afterward? In a tightening labor market, everything else counts more, so watch your body language. It all makes me wonder what the best way is to say, "You can earn more at this job!" Maybe we should just all wear our requirements on our sleeve -- or on the back of our T-shirt, like this guy.

Bill Conneely,
Director, Strategy

U.S. Sheds Another 131,000 Jobs in July (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Total employment declined by 131,000 in July, the second straight month of negative employment growth after five months of gains. The loss was largely attributed to census workers ending their temporary assignments. Private-sector employment edged up by 71,000.

Some Firms Struggle to Fill Jobs Despite High Unemployment (
The number of job openings in many fields far outpaces the number of hires in these industries. Why is that? Economists blame unemployment benefits, the housing market (because people who can't sell their homes can't move for a job), and the simple fact that the job market has changed.

What You Tell Candidates Without Opening Your Mouth (The Hiring Site)
Is your body language telling a candidate one thing while you're saying another? This is a problem, because as an interviewer, "you have a direct impact on the candidate's impression of the company and the resulting decision to accept or reject a job offer." Here's what to watch out for.

On Getting to Yes on a Job Offer... Here, Candidate Joe. Take $5K Out of My Own Paycheck. (Fistful of Talent)
Would you offer a candidate part of your recruiting fee for taking a job? Is it even ethical? Some recruiters argue no, because you can't then prove you've got the client's best interests at heart. Read the post and weigh in yourself.

The Cost of a Bad Hire: Butts in Chairs and How to Convince Hiring Managers to Avoid Them (
Shortsightedness in hiring "often ends up backfiring," says Dr. John Sullivan at Here are 30 (!) reasons why you don't want to hire a warm body. One of them: "Most informal assessments peg the cost of a bad hire to be 150-300 percent of their annual salary each year they remain employed."

Recruiting Passive Candidates -- How to Get Top-Notch Referrals (
"If you can mention the name of the person who provided you the referral, you will more than double your callback rate," writes recruiter Paul Adler. "Hyperbole -- 'the greatest position in the world' -- will cut it in half." The lesson? Name-drop, but don't hype.

All in the Family (Fistful of Talent)
Recruiting for a family-owned business carries its own set of challenges. Candidates and recruiters alike need to be aware of the issues within some family-owned businesses before getting in too deep. "When an employee has a disagreement or challenges a family member, it's very hard for the employee to win," writes Tim Tolan. No solutions here, just a frank examination of the issues.

Worst Candidate Ever? (Recruiter Earth)
This picture says it all. Would you want this guy walking into your office? Read the thread comments for more candidate stories.

So What Do You Do, Tucker Carlson, Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Caller? (
Curious what it's like to work at The Daily Caller, or what Tucker Carlson's management style is? Here's how he sells the work environment to new hires: "We promise long hours and low pay in a cult-like environment."

--Compiled by Rachel Kaufman, editor,

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