Recruiting for change management: six key considerations

Use of MOOCs in educational publishingAs an executive search firm serving the media and information sectors, a large number of recent briefs have focused on hiring people to drive or assist transformational or cultural change within a client organisation.

The majority of our clients have been looking for executives and managers with a proven track record in changing the way teams work and/or think.

For the hiring firm it’s often difficult to know the exact qualities they should look for when hiring new people to bring change to their business. What makes a good manager of change? It can be so different from one business to the next, it’s often difficult to draw up a specific list of requirements. There are, however, a few fundamentals – things to look for – that hiring firms should take into consideration when recruiting for change management. (more…)

Recruiting a Head of Digital? Have you considered these six key issues first?

MTA media headhuntersWhile Martin Tripp Associates specialise in filling high-level positions right across the media sector, the vast majority of searches we’ve completed over the last three or four years have had one thing in common: nearly all of them have been about finding executives to assist in a transition from print to digital, or increasingly, from one kind of digital presence to a more advanced one.

In that context, the job title ‘Head of Digital’ can seem anachronistic. After all, if your business is digital-first (as many of our clients now are) then virtually every department – editorial, sales, marketing, product development, the lot – should have digital skills at the core.

However, some clients still have successful print businesses with separate digital teams that need to be managed. In that context, when they’re recruiting a Head of Digital, what they really need a matrix-managing figure to establish digital best-practice across the business. (more…)

What do they know about data? Two key themes to explore when recruiting content managers

Data, data, data… it’s everywhere. Regardless of whether your role is commercial or creative, a good understanding of the uses of data is evermore important if you want to progress.

As an executive search firm used to hiring content teams and senior digital heads, we work closely with client organisations to source the best possible candidates – and questions about their knowledge and experience of working with data are asked increasingly.

One of the growing requirements for content specialists, we have found, is knowing what data to gather, analyse, and how to use that to personalise, and successfully shape on-going content programmes, build a loyal following, and convert into leads, and eventually customers.

Now, content managers don’t have to be data specialists, but a bit of knowledge can be very useful.

So when recruiting content managers, a hiring firm might be tempted to look for candidates with a good understanding of how to use data constructively and in a way that is timely, cost-effective, and entirely practical for their business. (more…)

Six key skills to look for when recruiting general managers for global teams

As an executive search firm which specialises in making senior leadership hires in the media and information sector, we are often asked to find general managers who have a track record in leading international/global teams.

Many of our clients have operations in the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas, as well as in Europe.

Leaders who have experience of managing geographically-disparate and culturally-varied teams are essential if these firms are going to work well and in a cohesive fashion.

When recruiting global team managers, a hiring firm should look for a candidate who has experience in, and insists on, these core competencies:

(more…)

Current affairs print magazines thrive as other decline

Cover of the Economist magazine

Earlier this month my eye was drawn to an unexpected stat amid the latest crop of ABC figures; amongst the various lists of declining circulations was a rare piece of good news: the UK’s current affairs magazine market is, if not booming, at least outperforming the rest of the market by quite some distance.

A quick look at the figures suggests at least half the titles have grown circulation year-on-year, some quite substantially. When you consider the current climate for print media, that’s an astonishing achievement.

Big beasts like The Economist, The Week, and Private Eye, all continue to put in a strong showing. Two of those three are still growing and while Private Eye’s sales have dipped slightly, they retain the highest paid circulation figures in the sector. Our good friends at Prospect magazine are also on the up, as are Monocle, New Statesman, The Spectator and the possibly miscategorised BBC History magazine. (more…)

Facebook At Work: will executive search firms use it like LinkedIn?

Media recruiting: Facebook logoWorkers rejoice! The days of firms barring employees from looking at social networking websites could be at an end. Why? ‘Cause Facebook is aiming to help everyone do their jobs just that little bit better…

In-house recruitment professionals should be especially excited by news that Facebook has launched a new social network specifically for office communications – it’s called Facebook At Work.

The speculative amongst you may care to think that sounds a bit like Facebook making inroads into LinkedIn’s territory, albeit in a different way – we’ll come to that…

So far just a handful of companies have be asked to join an extended trial of Facebook At Work, but the service is expected to be rolled out to the wider business community in the coming months of 2015.

Like its big sister site, Facebook At Work lets users create an account, post content, and interact. But instead of doing that with friends, it’s with co-workers. (more…)

Personalisation: it seems to work, yet more than a third don’t bother

The coming of the New Year brings with it an annual rush of predictions on the trends and technologies that will dominate the next twelve months for those businesses keen to use digital channels to expand and improve the way the talk to – and do business with – their customers.

In the latest of these predictions, Tech Radar said last month the key trend for retail technology in the next 12-months would be the rise of ‘hyper-personalisation’. Instead of looking at portfolios of individuals, customer management would instead be looking at customer persona as a way to drive innovation and keep shoppers engaged.

“Only by serving the changing needs, preferences and behaviour of the customer,” it said, ‘will retailers and brands be able to meet today’s hyper-connected consumers on their terms, across all channels of interaction.” (more…)

Key hires for 2015: recruiting product managers

MTA media headhuntersAt the start of 2015 I went back and had a good long look over our recent completed searches. One thing really stood out: over the last four years, the number of product management roles we’d been asked to fill has increased dramatically. Four or five years ago we’d barely been approached to place one product manager, we’re now doing at least four or five every year.

For businesses still struggling with a print-to-digital transition, or even if you’re a well-established online player, product manager is an essential position. Why then, do so many media businesses seem to struggle with the discipline? Why do so many struggle when recruiting product managers? (more…)

Publishers need social referrals: so why have so few tapped into Pinterest?

Mention Drudge Report to any web publisher and they’re likely to grow wistful and yearn for the days when a single link from the site could send their annual traffic sky-high.

With few referral sites, small audiences and less competition, things were simpler for web publishers in the not-so-distant past. What traffic a site drew was usually direct, or via a search engine, and the volume of pages published on any given day often determined the size of the audience.

Fast-forward to today and the situation couldn’t be more different: the competition for eyeballs is more fierce than ever and (thanks to social media) the number of high-volume referrers has gone through the roof. (more…)

Social isn’t just bringing new skills to customer service – it can also change its function

Picture the situation: your firm is an airline, a customer enraged by the delay in getting back to him about lost baggage pays to promote a tweet about the ‘horrendous’ customer service. It gets seen by 76,000 people, what do you do?

Well, if you’re British Airways, you take eight hours to reply, enrage him all the more with your excuse, and carve out your own little corner of Internet infamy.

Customer Services may once have been the preserve of call centres but now, thanks to social media, it has become a high-stakes game. Not only do firms have to deal with a new channel, they also have to deal with a new culture. Now, customer grievances and the responses they bring are aired in public. If your firm gets it wrong it could end up like BA – with a black mark that (despite all recent improvements to social customer service) remains shareable and searchable. (more…)