Moving jobs in a recession

This article first appeared in Press Gazette

It’s September: the kids are back in school, the holiday in Cornwall seems a distant memory, and you are back at your desk. Again. Writing captions on unfunny photographs of minor celebrities. As every year before, you start to think “there must be something better than this”. You log on to to look for new media jobs.

Except this is September 2009. If you are lucky enough to have a job, the last thing you are going to do is look for a new one. The economy is shot, advertising revenues are in freefall, and the world has suddenly gone risk averse. Why on earth would you think of moving jobs in a recession, when nothing is certain and the worst position to be in is “last in”?

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The changing face of communications

In an era when many consumers are as comfortable making purchases online as they are on the high street, the benefits of a strong digital offering are obvious. But the changing face of communications means that the online space is also highly competitive. Users are fussy about their experience and it is costly to get it wrong. The best sites demand the best people, and they are increasingly sought after.

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Media headhunters’ view: marginal differences of publishing in a recession

In a tough trading environment, the difference between success and failure is marginal. Let’s assume that 5% makes all the difference. This means publishers squeezing 5% more out of their budgets; sales directors improving their profitable revenues by 5%; and editors getting 5% extra creativity out of a budget reduced by 5%. The same principle applies for the events and research sectors – indeed, for any business.

But how does a company achieve this? Well, it requires a senior team which is flexible, dedicated, and leads by example. And that means hiring the right people for publishing in a recession and, where necessary, replacing the wrong ones.

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Media headhunters: recruiting in a recession – but still recruiting

There is so much gloom and pessimism in the market at the moment that it is difficult to see any silver lining.

But here’s one:

Since we launched our headhunting business in March, our clients in the media sector have been extremely busy. Over the past eight months, they have retained us to find editors for three newsstand consumer magazines; an MD for a conference business; a sales director for a growing B2B publisher; editorial directors for two publishing houses; a publishing director for an online information service; and the editor of a national newspaper. In addition, we are currently involved in building teams in London and New York for a major news business.

Good news for us, obviously. But why is it good news for the market?

Well, it shows that our clients at least are confident enough to invest in their businesses. They believe that

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