Why Won’t Copy Editors Apply For My Online Jobs? ‘If You Want To Hire Editors, Make Sure Editing Is Their Job’

Today’s “Ask The Recruiter” is the first we’ve seen from a hiring manager rather than a jobseeker, and the question (and response) is edifying.

An editor who runs a 24-hour digital news desk says she wishes more copy editors would apply for her open jobs, but so far, none have.

Joe Grimm responds:

Ask yourself whether the work you need to have done is truly editing or more like production work that does not have much to do with editing content. One copy editor told me that his new job was basically copying content and pasting it into little boxes in the content management screen. He valued editing, but didn’t think the online desk cared one way or the other. If you want to hire editors, make sure editing is an important part of their responsibilities.

Perhaps, and this was left unsaid but we’ll say it: perhaps the logic goes like this: copy editors are detail-oriented. Producers need to be detail-oriented. Perfect match!

Obviously in real life, filling a job is more than just matching up one of the many required skills.

There are other reasons why the positions may remain unfilled, Grimm says: “We sometimes feel that we should not have to sell good jobs, but if we want to get the best people, we have to sell.” And besides, some copy editors, he says, “shun online work and stick to what they know.” If that sounds like you, please reconsider.

But really now. There does seem to be a dearth of copy editing positions online and a glut of general-purpose copy “producing” jobs online. So if one group isn’t applying for jobs at the other, it’s because they’re not the same.