Secrets of the ‘Best Book Publishing Company to Work For’: A Q&A with Hays Steilberg, Random House Vice President and Director of Human Resources
Extra: How much has technology and the need to understand and utilize digital technology affected the job requirements for Random House employees?
Steilberg: … We are currently working to extend our in-house training offerings to include many aspects of digital technology to ensure all employees, whether new or with long service records, are current with a basic, Web-oriented, digital-technology skill set imperative to meet today’s publishing workplace demands.
Extra: What unique traditions do Random House human resources executives continue that may not be present at other competitors/businesses?
Steilberg: … Creative freedom. Random House uniquely prizes and supports the autonomy of its publishing units. Our publishers act as entrepreneurs, growing their own businesses and developing the distinct culture of their imprints. [Also,] quality of work-life. Random House makes a firm commitment to the health and welfare of employees and to social responsibility. This includes our extensive offerings in healthcare provision and prevention of illness; our work-life balance initiatives, including our sabbatical program; our many literacy-support outreach efforts; our numerous in-house, quality-of-life seminars and programs open to all employees; as well as our multi-faceted, companywide, go-“green” commitments.
Extra: How have employees’ expectations of their employer, and specifically human resources, changed over the years?
Steilberg: Employees expect employers and HR to consider their individual and personal needs when it comes to structuring work and the work environment. In particular, employees at the beginning of their careers tell us that flexible schedules, work-life balance, a respectful workplace and a meaningful job head their list of priorities when considering an employment offer. Employees also expect that the employer will invest in their continued professional development. Ensuring an individual’s ongoing employability is increasingly seen as part of the company’s responsibility.