Four Issues to Address with Work-from-Home Staffing
Spirited debates about the possible transformation of work-from-home jobs from temporary to permanent have dominated discussion forums for the past month. To some extent, views I’ve offered on the subject, while well received, have duplicated solid thinking other authors have expressed.
Now, perhaps, editorial managers should instead be devoting their attention to improving practices that will prove beneficial to future staffing no matter how it is set up. Here are four issues to consider:
- Where will entry-level positions fit into hiring practices? Will hiring bright beginners be abandoned in favor of acquiring experienced candidates?
- If you’ve never created quantitative goals for all staff jobs, now is the time to start. Doing so will help you better create performance expectations that can be quickly adjusted as circumstances change in the future.
- For many sites, the quality of online news is subject to attack by aggressive competitors. Don’t wait until it’s too late to upgrade your e-news.
- With editorial travel outlook already under a cloud, how will you fulfill the challenge of maintaining adequate national coverage?
To get you started, here is some additional thinking about each point based on my own experience
Which way to go when hiring. Ordinarily I would make a strong pitch for hiring bright beginners. But I haven’t thought through a suitable process for remote training and ongoing supervision of work-from-home beginners. Even so, there may be a case to make for hiring beginners for full-time positions in a work-from-home setting.
Short of that, you may want to consider work-from-home interns. This could have a hidden benefit for employers, considering that, based on fall-semester scheduling delays that colleges may implement, interns this year might have an extra month or so to polish their skills with basic assignments.
E-news improvement needed. There is consensus among publishing gurus that online news needs more and better original content. Of course that mandate always has been with us. But it’s hardly being achieved if 65% of e-news content produced consists of lightly-edited PR announcements. In my annual e-news studies of B2B publishers, an ongoing shortcoming I’ve found is the lack of exclusive interviews with authoritative end-user sources.
Competitive weakness will be trashed. Advertisers are allegedly abandoning print media in favor of digital. How will that affect you? Predictions call for increased use of sponsored webinars featuring chief editors as moderators. This trend could become an ethically troublesome necessity.
A positive trend involving e-news, on the other hand, is the ability to quantify enterprise reporting prominence. Right now, most B2B sites are unable to achieve the minimum 60% target.
Full-time job opportunities for experienced freelancers. By this time, editorial managers should have planned out possible travel activity for the rest of the year. Among other challenges, how will coverage of national events—if such in-person events are in fact held—be handled? Will more full-time field editor positions be created? Will existing field editor descriptions have to be heavily revised?
Do you have ideas about the future you can share? If so, contact me by email at www.editsol.com or call me at (201) 569-7714.