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For managers only

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HejiraHenry, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    It occurs to me, with so many good people getting thrown out of work, are any of you feeling tempted to throw your underachievers out and upgrade at a few lineup spots?

    I'm loyal to my folks, so it won't be an issue in my shop. No, really.

    On the other hand, I'm no longer fearful about that would happen if somebody leaves or gets hit by atrain, God forbid. I figure in the current market I could have 10 people in the lobby by next Monday to interview for a good opening, desk or beat job, if I had one.
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    I don't have enough employed people at my shop to throw out underachievers. If one of my student writers isn't up to snuff and doesn't show signs of improvement, I'm more than willing to give assignments to the writers who are more willing to put in the effort.
  3. Bump_Wills

    Bump_Wills Member

    If we were to do layoffs, I'd have no dead wood to cut. It would be a situation where good people were shown the door, and that sucks.

    Now, if someone were to leave of his or her own volition, I feel confident that I'd have a better pool of candidates than I did the last time I made a hire (more than a year ago). There are a lot of folks out there to whom I wish I had a job to offer.
  4. VJ

    VJ Member

    I think the problem is that at a lot of these places, these layoffs aren't just for the person but for the position as well.
  5. If someone left or unfortunately got hit by a train, I don't think we'd replace them, so it's a non-issue for us.
  6. That's the problem. Anyone leaves now, the bean-counters just chalk it up to good fortune, and we do more with (much) less.
  7. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    I echo the entiment that in this day and age you can't afford to let anyone go unless there are a major liability, because you're not going to be able to hire a replacement.

    In my good ol' days (five years ago) managing a production department, I treated the staff like a pitching staff. I had:

    -- A #1 starter who was completely reliable and could be sent to the mound (or to new projects) regularly without worry.
    -- A #2 and a #3 starter who needed very little supervision and got the job done fairly consistently.
    -- Three or four others who weren't superstars but could be relied upon to fill out the rotation, or at least have 98 perent of their work done by the time they left Friday afternoon.
    -- A couple of specialists who didn't chew up a lot of innings (or workload) but happened to be pretty useful in their niches.
    -- One or two guys that I'd probably trade to another department in a heartbeat in exchange for a promising prospect or in a salary dump to stay under the salary cap.

    That's not to say I was heartless or blind to the concept of loyalty. People who at least tried their best scored points with me even if they didn't totally succeed in a task.
  8. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    If I were at my old shop, I wouldn't want to get rid of anybody, because as soon as I did, management would probably freeze hiring long enough to make the numbers so the pub could get his year-end bonus.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Yeah, HH. What makes you think that any new hires would be made?
  10. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I can speak for my boss when saying nothing like that would happen here. We're happy with who we have, and in my book, it would be ethically off-the-charts wrong to let people go to make an "upgrade."

    If a person is something you're thinking about "upgrading" over, then they should already be fired. If they're good enough they're still working for you, then they're good enough to continue.

    Seems pretty simple to me.
  11. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    We currently have an opening in news (the person left to pursue a law degree), and one of the people on the short list is a person from a much larger publication who was laid off. It would be considered a huge upgrade for us, but that's an opening that happened naturally, not by firing a person.

    Regardless, I'm happy with and loyal to my staff.
  12. I haven't had the misfortune of hiring any "underachievers" yet. If I'm ever forced to drop someone, I'll probably look for another job as well.
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