By Michael Foy, President of Publishing Search Solutions
I’ve been an Executive Recruiter for over 20 years. In that time I’ve had the pleasure of matching talent to my clients’ needs and observing the impact of those matches on the success of those organizations. There’s nothing I like better than finding those that I placed still with those same companies years later after having achieved success for themselves and their employer. It’s a wonderful validation in my professional life. I enjoy seeing the success of a placement translate to the success of the organization particularly when that success is so obvious that the credit can’t be lost in the noise of a large company’s heirarchy.
Does that mean one can’t be noticed in one of those giant organizations? Not at all. But it’s much easier if the division or department is small and somewhat autonomous. Even better if it’s in a separate geographic location and enjoys a certain autonomy. Sometimes for the outstanding employee the best of both worlds is to work at a physically separate and smaller division of a large company that feels like a small company but with the resources of its larger parent.
I’ve worked with all sized organizations. They’ve included those with less than one hundred people that aren’t household names up to the behemoths that have global recognition like Harper Collins, Lexis Nexis, Oxford etc… But oftentimes the most dynamic work comes from smaller, perhaps more nimble workplaces like PPI in Northern California and Big Ideas Learning in Western Pennsylvania to name a couple of my favorite clients.
In servicing publishing and media houses, I’ve placed many types of individuals that have carried different titles from Editor-in-Chief, to Vice President of Marketing to Chief Technology Officer just to name a few. And with the ongoing evolution of the publishing industry into the digital age, new functions with new titles have emerged as well. Each title has it’s own definition of what it means to contribute to the success of the organization. The metrics of that individual’s success can vary whether one is on the business or content side of things. But everyone contributes in some way. For salespeople, as an example, the contribution is obvious relative to the bottom line. For content development experts the contribution isn’t so obvious even to them. I’ve had to remind them on more than a few occasions that one cannot sell from an empty cart as the old saying goes. In publishing and/or media the cart better contain compelling content. Guess who supplies that?
In all cases the addition of a star performer to a small team can have an outsized impact on a companies’ growth. But no matter the size of the organization, keeping team size manageable seems to go a long way to helping the individual contributors achieve their potential relative to the company’s success. When I’ve been instrumental in that performer’s addition I take pride in that company’s long term success as well. And I try to replicate that in my next talent search whether it’s a large or small client. Have you benefited by a key addition to your team recently? If so, I’d love to hear about it.