Publishers rely on the Internet or classified ads to spread the word about new positions, but how can you guarantee you will attract people with the best or even relevant skill sets? Furthermore, the more important question may be: Exactly what skill sets should you be looking for in today’s constantly changing publishing environment?
Beyond the obvious characteristics any publisher would want in a new hire—intelligence, loyalty, enthusiasm, writing and editing skills, an eye for layout, business and marketing savvy, and so forth, publishers may wonder if they should expand the perimeter of the required skill set to prepare for embracing the multimedia marketplace.
With increasing deployment of digital content and multimedia marketing campaigns, are publishers looking for multimedia skill sets in new hires, and if they are not, should they be?
“Absolutely,” says Deborah Allen, publisher, Black Dome Press Corp., a small publisher in New York’s Hudson Valley. “I would hazard a guess that smaller publishers in traditional print books are not terribly adept or even conversant in the multimedia world. I know I’m not and need to be,” she says.
Denise Quinn, director of human resources at Sterling Publishing Co. Inc. (New York)—which is substantially larger than Black Dome Press—says, “In my experience, I have found that publishers are not currently focusing on multimedia skill sets.” However, they will need the ability to adapt in the future, she adds.
Gary Colbert, production director at National Geographic Books—which launched its first e-books last year—says, the more skills the better. “As a production manager, I would want candidates to be well-versed in various design programs such as Quark, InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. A familiarity with FTP (file transfer protocol) is important, too, because it is our new bible for moving electronic media around the world.”
The American Pediatric Association (APA) is delving headfirst into the electronic world, so people proficient in multimedia publishing processes would obviously have a leg up.