For more information on the role of job proposals and how to use them, see the Hiring writers and editors guide.
When hiring for brand publishing roles, the job proposal process is designed to help hiring managers in two important ways. First, it helps clarify and solidify in their own minds exactly what they’re trying to achieve. But in addition, it can prove a valuable tool for ensuring other key stakeholders within the organization are in agreement.
The job proposal is one part of a larger strategic hiring process for writers and editors. It should work in tandem with the overall editorial strategy and goals for how the team will be structured, and should be followed by a thoughtful interview process and post-interview testing.
When done right, job proposals help eliminate any confusion or gaps in communication by forcing clear articulation of a role’s requirements, responsibilities, day-to-day duties and overall strategic goals.
The template below can be used to easily craft effective job proposals.
- Brief: A couple sentences tying the role to the overall goal.
- Scope of responsibilities: A list of day-to-day responsibilities. This section should be practical and rooted in what the person is actually going to be doing.
- Timeline: When do you expect to have interviews and any other testing done, and what is your goal date for decision and hire?
- Obstacles: An explanation of the obstacles or challenges the company might face while searching for the right hire.
- The X factor: These are the difficult to articulate attributes or traits successful candidates will have, those that can’t be measured, necessarily, by education or skills.
- Goals/outcomes: Outline here what the person should accomplish in their first few months and beyond. This will be useful in order to clarify what the role will do and in future growth discussions.
- Budget: What is the proposed salary or budget for this role? (Optional)
[Company] is looking for a senior editor for content. Our content strategy focuses on [sentence on key industry and audience] and the role of the editor is instrumental in [key goals, such as growing content, audience or products.]
Scope of responsibilities:
The senior editor’s duties include creating two articles per week, as well as editing other articles and managing the content calendar for the department. Duties will include:
- Editing 5 articles a week
- Working with writers and managers to plan for content ideas
- Run daily and weekly content meeting
- Planning series
- Planning a conference
- Working with design for website refresh
The senior editor needs to have some amount of independent vision, but is largely going to be called upon to execute various ideas and strategies set by the VP of content.
- First-round interviews: Week of March 1
- Second round interviews: Week of March 15
- Beat memos/post interview testing: Week of March 22
- Decision: April 1
- Start date: April 30
- Finding someone with [sector experience] that has journalism experience.
- Salary is low for the market
- Tight timeline
- Finding someone who can direct and coach very junior staff.
What to look for (the X factor):
Other than qualifications, someone who is a true coach and can work with very inexperienced people. Patience is a factor here. Someone who will be OK in a largely chaotic or undefined role.
In their first six months, the editor would be expected to routinely and confidently execute on the responsibilities outlined above. Beyond that, the editor would be expected to contribute ideas for new initiatives, content strategies and ways to optimize workflow and improve effectiveness.
Budget: [Salary range]