2023 Mega-Conference

To build a culture of recruitment, teach your staff to become talent ambassadors for your organization


The keys to modernizing your newspaper's recruiting efforts include three important steps, recruitment expert Julian Placino told attendees at the Mega-Conference.

  1. Always be recruiting, even when you're not actively hiring.
  2. Know your Employment Value Proposition (EVP) and believe in it.
  3. Cultivate a culture of recruitment.

"One of the fundamental disciplines every new recruiter is taught at the beginning of their career is something called pipeline recruiting," Placino said.  For media companies, this means you should always be building your pipeline of reporting talent, sales talent, etc.  When you do this, he said, it improves the quality of candidates and the speed at which you can bring a new staff member on board when an opening at your company does occur.

Placino called on several audience members to demonstrate the concept behind Employment Value Proposition — identifying the most compelling reasons why future generations of talent should come work in this industry and, specifically, at your newspaper. He asked: Why are you passionate about the media industry and genuinely optimistic about its future?

Among the responses from the audience:

  • "Every day we get an opportunity to impact our community and leave local businesses and folks in our community better ... and it's very rewarding, particularly for our younger employees who want to make a difference in the world." Leonard Woolsey, president of Southern Newspapers and publisher of The Daily News, Galveston, Texas
  • "For me, it's the commitment that local newspapers have to keeping our communities informed." Laura Martin, director, The Taos News, Santa Fe, New Mexico

What can your individual company offer the candidate marketplace that no other organization can?

  • "By being a locally-owned family company, we offer our employees the opportunity to innovate ... and try new ideas in a fun and welcoming culture and environment." Emily Walsh, president, Observer Media Group, Sarasota, Florida.

Placino also showed several video clips of an interview with Brad Waters, president of Sentinel Media Company in Rome, New York, in which he talked about the ability of all staff members to have a voice and the flexibility that comes with being a family-owned company.  Placino said that while a lot of people might view being a small paper as a weakness, he said being small actually can be a strength. For example, he noted that Waters is often able to recruit from larger organizations where staff members find it harder to get their ideas across.

To implement these keys, Placino shared an action plan:

  • Talk with your employees — in the minds of your employees you'll find your Employment Value Proposition. 
  • Craft your newspaper's Employment Value Proposition and refine it along the way.  Make it public and make sure everyone in your organization believes it.
  • In creating a culture of recruitment, enlist your employees for their referrals.  He said employee referrals are four times more likely to get hired, 25 percent more profitable to the company and stay 70 percent longer.  The employee voice also is three times more credible to potential employees than that of the company CEO when it comes to company culture.  "Your people are the best recruiters for your organization," he said.

He encouraged top level executives at newspapers to be responsible for driving home the recruiting message.  Department heads need to become recruiting captains who are constantly building a talent pipeline and maintaining a Top 10 list of potential candidates. The rest of the team needs to be empowered to refer talent.

To request his PowerPoint presentation, fill out the form at the bottom of this page on his website: https://julianplacino.com/recruitment-masterclass/

In the field, "What is your biggest challenge in recruiting?" ... type Send Presentation


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