The Greatest Job Description Ever Written


It's been almost a year since I wrote the Recruiting Manager job description below. Sadly, the role was put on hold a few months into the search and remains vacant. Does this derail my search? No chance. This person is out there. I will find them. While I may not be able to hire them now, I will one day. Together we will make magic (okay, maybe 'magic' was a reach but we will build one badass talent team).

So, are you out there? Are you patient? Does what you read below fire you up? If so, let's talk.

Hey, this job looks familiar? Well it is (kinda)

You may recall a very similar looking job posting for Recruiting Manager, NPR News. That job has evolved a bit to a broader recruiting focus in this new role. The core recruiting criteria (innovative, progressive minded, proven experience building bench strength and talent pipelines, understanding of & interest in social media, commitment to diversity, etc) remain. If you possess all of these traits AND experience recruiting in a newsroom/journalism environment, I will high five you. If you possess all of these traits and no newsroom/journalism experience, but have an interest in the craft and a demonstrated history of recruiting in varied fields, I’d like to hear from you (and you may still get a high five further in the process).

This evolved role will still have primary responsibility of supporting the recruiting and talent initiatives of NPR News, but will also be involved in a variety of other initiatives including: managing NPR-wide internship program, recruiting innovation and thought leadership, collaborate on leveraging social media to engage talent pipelines and prospects, recruiting for other areas of NPR including Digital, Technology, Corporate, etc. Interested? Here’s more:

If you’re looking for a recruiting position that’s focused on posting jobs, reviewing applicants, screening candidates, making offers, and processing paperwork – this is not the job for you.

If you enjoy having a large staff and endless resources at your beck and call so you can solely focus on ‘strategic workforce planning and talent development programs’ – this is not the job for you.

If you’re a heads-down recruiter who is transactionally focused and shudders at the thought of engaging, networking, and interacting with communities in your space – alas, this is not the job for you.

This is the job for you, if…

You’re a pioneer, a visionary, a hands-on, roll-up-the-sleeves recruiter who would be successful with a land line and a phonebook if the internet died tomorrow. You’re a natural networker who’s comfortable interacting at all levels – able to simultaneously woo the Executive Producer of a major newsmagazine while helping an intern with her resume. You understand how to leverage social media to expand your network, maintain relationships, and satisfy your unquenchable thirst for lifelong learning (and perhaps your penchant for cat videos and internet memes).

You have a knack for solving unsolvable challenges. (We’re a not-for-profit, so scrappy resourcefulness and creativity is essential.) You cringe at the thought of reactive recruiting. In fact, you’ve banned the term from your vocabulary. You’re a team player who proactively shares your knowledge and expertise with coworkers. You have vision, not for what we can be tomorrow, but for what we strive to be five years from now. And you have the strategic insight and expertise needed to guide our newsroom toward that vision.

You’re driven to work at one of the premier multi-media news organizations in the world. The mission of creating a more informed public resonates with you, and you’re inspired and motivated to play a vital role in the hiring, retention, and development of the NPR News team.

Essential Duties Include:

If you’re the something different we’re looking for, keep reading.

As the Recruiting Manager, you’ll:

  • Play a crucial role in shaping NPR’s future by identifying and hiring top-notch talent.
  • Work with some of the brightest journalists and news leaders in the industry.
  • Design proactive recruiting and outreach programs.
  • Lead our NPR-wide internship program, ensuring we continue to attract the best and brightest.
  • Bring talent into our newsroom and others teams, ensuring we develop a deep bench across a variety of positions.
  • Focus on diversity, integrating it in every process and every initiative you lead.
  • Flex your skills and resourcefulness to identify top talent in various disciplines.
  • Ensure our recruiting practices are progressive, proactive, creative, and successful.
  • Collaborate with your HR colleagues to build a strong and effective team.
  • Champion NPR through social networking platforms and networking events.


What’s different about you?

You’re an experienced recruiter with 8+ years of proven experience (and references who can speak to that). You’ve spent time in the trenches in a corporate role. Agency experience is a plus.

You ideally have direct recruiting experience in a newsroom/editorial environment. If you don’t, you have a proven track record of successful recruiting in varied fields, and in interest and appreciation for journalism.

You can articulate high-level strategic vision, while drilling down to specific actions that illustrate how you’ll get there (or how you think you’ll get there, it’s okay to have bold ideas that fail in this role).

Your clients love you. Your team loves you. Because of this and your proven results, you’re indispensable. Your current employer will present you with a counter offer that includes a pot of gold and a unicorn if you try to leave them. (Of course, you will not accept this counter-offer because you know NPR is where you should be, and the unicorn will understand.)

You’re not afraid of technology. You can champion the vital role an ATS plays in a talent management strategy. You’d be lost without LinkedIn. You have an affinity for Twitter and its ability to reach millions. You’re always curious about what’s next and find ways to apply it to your recruiting activities.

You’re a natural networker. You would have coined the concept ‘everyone is a candidate’ if recruiting 3.0 didn’t beat you to it. This comes naturally to you, and you understand it’s not a part of your job, it is your job, and you can’t be successful without it.

Your DNA is comprised of collaboration and teamwork. It’s been decoded. You can prove this. (Note: Scientific proof not required; anecdotal proof is entirely satisfactory.)

Being different can make a difference. Apply today.

Okay. It’s decided. You’re convinced that you are just what NPR needs, and you want an opportunity to prove it to us. Here’s what you do next.

Craft a cover letter that illustrates the mastery of your craft, what you bring to this role, and the difference you can make. We want to know the following:

  • Why should we hire you? What unique experience do you bring that aligns with the above job?
  • Why are you passionate about recruiting?
  • What is the most innovative recruiting solution you’ve implemented?

Once you’ve written your masterpiece, submit it along with your resume. Cover letters must cover the above areas to be considered. Details people, details.