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Is recruiting and hiring considered stealing?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Jeremy Goodwin, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    Recent posts on the Orlando GA opening board http://www.sportsjournalists.com/forum/threads/44641/ got me thinking more about this APSE article.

    Here are the first few graphs:

    Is recruiting and hiring considered stealing?

    Second Vice President
    Assistant Managing Editor/Sports, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Like a thief in the night, there we are, taking from our colleagues in order to improve our own sections.
    It's called stealing.
    But is it right?
    A writer leaves our respective sports sections for greener pastures and we are left with an opening on our staff that needs to be filled ... yesterday!
    What do we do?
    First off, we scour the talent around the country at someone else's newspaper, with an eye on luring that writer to our respective staffs.
    We steal from each other and feel very good about our hires. And it happens every month.
    But, again, is it right?
    You betcha!
    And here's why: It is the very nature of our business....

    I'm young and new to the industry, but this seems par with my thinking. No matter where you work, you should think that people want to move up or move on. A small town SE might read the local weekly and go after a writer there to fill a potential opening. A big city paper that covers State U might recruit or "steal" the beat guy from from the smaller paper where State U is located. Maybe a major metro editor knows his MLB writer is moving on to a Web site, so they look at the beat person from the small market team in the division...

    It's a SE's job to always be looking for the best staff, which includes reading other sections and going after the best people.

    Thoughts on the topic and article?
  2. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Talk about stating the obvious.

    If you're mad about having to fill a vacancy then make sure that your prized writer/editor/whatever doesn't want to leave. Sometimes you simply can't, because of location or job or whatever. $ometime$ you can make damn well $ure your employee doe$n't want to $earch for $omething el$e. You know what I'm $aying?

    Otherwise $TFU.
  3. Taylee

    Taylee Member

    I'm always looking for our next writer or designer. I've even talked with people to see if they have interest in case a spot would open.
    I would never hold it against a staffer who is trying to get a better job. I look at it as part of my job to help them get better.
  4. spinning27

    spinning27 New Member

    Just like a college AD, any sports editor worth his/her salt always has a list in the drawer of 5-6 people for the next opening. That's why so many jobs go unposted.
  5. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Someone can only steal something that you own. If you're "renting" (paying weekly or biweekly), it's only "yours" for that term. If you want to lock into a contract with someone, then it's "yours" for the length of the deal.
    Just be glad someone even bothers to hire because they think the person is good. Too often, the "stealing" is to plug a certain demographic hole in the staff, regardless of quality. Then someone like Howard feels he must turn around and "steal" someone else's (fill in the blank).
  6. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    I'm not entirely comfortable with the notion that employees can be "stolen." It implies that they are property. As much as this industry might like to believe it owns us, I'll be damned if I'll accept the idea.
  7. LATimesman

    LATimesman Member

    Count the cliches in the full story on the APSE site:

    "Like a thief in the night ........."

    Leaves for "greener pastures........."

    "..........hit the proverbial nail on the head."

    This from one of our leaders in the industry. Depressing.
  8. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    We needed no other topics on this thread.
  9. JR

    JR Well-Known Member


    Howard needs to acquaint himself with a dictionary.

    He'll find the definition of "stealing" under "S".
  10. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    If the employee has a fully-guaranteed contract which specifies he must be paid to the duration of the contract, and the contract may only be terminated early by mutual agreement of the company and the employee, then yes, it is not ethical (or legal) to hire away an employee unless both parties are contractually satified.

    95+ percent of journalists work on an at-will basis, under which employment may be terminated at any time by either party. Newspaper management rarely if ever has any qualms whatsoever about terminating employees at any moment it may see fit. Employees commonly give two weeks notice if they are leaving employment, but are under no legal obligation to do so.

    IF Garry D. Howard, Second Vice President, Assistant Managing Editor/Sports, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, feels it's too much of a burden for him to review candidates and fill staff vacancies when they occur, he needs to resign his position. That's one of the things he's getting the big bucks for.
  11. thegrifter

    thegrifter Member

    Pay people what they're worth instead of what you can get away with, and there would be less "stealing" in this business.
    Plus, this business sucks when it comes to paying for performance. In pro sports, your stud can be replaced when someone better comes along. In journalism, writers are often kept on until they feel like leaving instead of being shown the door because they're performing just good enough to not get fired.
  12. Interesting that he writes this piece barely two weeks after "stealing" his newest Packers writer from another paper. Just as Training Camp was starting, no less.
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