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Good morning Millers — we’ve got an eye-opening story coming into your inboxes tomorrow morning, but for today I’d like your help. When we announced a few weeks ago that we have raised a round of funding from the likes of Sir Mark Thompson (the former BBC and New York Times boss, now CEO of CNN) and Dame Diane Coyle (a leading economist and University of Cambridge professor), we also mentioned that we are hiring a few key roles. Yes, that’s right, with your help we are boosting the economy of Greater Manchester and the North West by creating high-quality jobs, and all we need is your help filling them with great people.
The application deadlines for those jobs are now imminent — the Senior Editor role based in Manchester closes on Sunday, as does our Staff Writer role in Liverpool. So there are just four days left to apply for those jobs, and I would be exceptionally grateful if you would send this email or those job links to anyone you think might be interested. As anyone who has ever gone through the process of shortlisting and interviewing candidates knows, it’s a hugely time-consuming schlep, and we want to make sure we do it with a wide range of amazing candidates.
Our Head of Commercial role closes a week later, on Sunday, October 1st, but it’s the one we’ve had the fewest applications for so far (roughly a handful, as of this morning) so we could definitely use a bit of a push from our network. It’s probably easier for us to attract applicants for editorial roles because loads of journalists read The Mill and follow the team on Twitter, whereas we are less plugged-in to the worlds of commerce and business and companies that have respectable profit margins and aren’t constantly laying off masses of staff.
All the information you need about the roles is on our jobs page, but just to stir your brains about who you might know who could be a good fit, here’s my brief take on who we need for each job and why they are so important to our operation.
Senior Editor (Manchester)
Salary range: £30k-£45k
Read the job ad
Deadline: This Sunday (Sept 24th)
This role is one we’ve been planning to hire since the beginning of the year, and the funding round allows us to finally do it. Of all the things that have contributed to making this company successful, I think our obsession with editing is probably the most important. It’s the big unseen thing because when you read an article, it’s hard to imagine how much back and forth has taken place between the writer and the editor — how many questions got asked and new drafts got written.
Most of the editing is done by Sophie Atkinson, our brilliant senior editor, and me. We’re actually very old-fashioned in how much editing we do because a lot of journalism these days is published with very minimal editing or none at all, whereas we sometimes make our writers go through three or four drafts until we’re happy. Really big stories, like the one Jack Dulhanty wrote about Mana, go through five or six drafts and involve not just mine and Sophie’s input but other freelance editors who we respect and get input from. Sometimes the process can be stressful but working closely with a talented, committed team of people like this is mostly a lot of fun. It makes our stories much more rigorous and stylish and it means our writers learn how to produce high-quality work a lot faster.
Sophie and I need another Senior Editor to work alongside us because we now oversee three publications and we’ll soon have four or five as we expand to new cities (the role is across Mill Media Co, not just The Mill, so it includes our sister publications in Sheffield and Liverpool too). As we expand, we don’t want to let our standards slip, and we actually see an opportunity to push our standards up by bringing in another editor who brings a different perspective and can contribute different kinds of improvements to stories. We’re also very keen to have someone who is a great manager and organiser — someone who can have hour-by-hour contact with our journalists and keep things ticking over while I’m tied up with finance stuff or Sophie is working on a big project for a day.
This is a senior role (with the possibility of getting share options) so we need someone who has strong experience as a writer and editor and will have a great feel for what makes a good story idea and how to improve copy. It’s such a critical role for us because this person will become one of our key decision-makers and one of our senior strategic team. Please check out the job ad and share it with friends if you know someone who might enjoy this challenge.
Head of Commercial (Manchester)
Salary range: £35k-£45k
Read the job ad
Deadline: Next Sunday (Oct 1st)
For most of our life as a company, everyone who we have hired has been a journalist. Now we have Hannah, a longtime Mill member who joined this summer to help us out part-time with marketing and events, but we’re mostly still a team of journalists. We’ve reached the point where we need to build out the business operations of the company, bringing in people who are truly focused on growing our income so that we can reach our full potential.
The person who takes this Head of Commercial role will work directly with me every day as we plot how to build a new kind of media company — one that focuses on quality rather than clickbait and which genuinely cares about its relationship with readers. It’s a senior, influential role akin to being a COO or co-founder (with the option of being granted share options), and it’s suited for someone who loves both coming up with revenue strategies and actually implementing those ideas.
I need someone who will enjoy selling what we are doing because they really believe in it — there will be lots of selling sponsorships to clients and selling group subscriptions to organisations for their staff. There will also be a lot of problem-solving and strategising: this is a new company that is forging a very new path, so we need someone who is flexible and enjoys the challenge of coming up with ideas, testing them and then responding to feedback. On top of sponsorship and group subscription sales, the person will be setting up partnerships with organisations and events we want to work with, boosting our growth by creating new social media ads and learning from what other companies are doing in the industry.
The kind of person I have in mind is someone who is super energetic, very motivated by growth and probably has at least a few years of experience in a consultancy or a fast-growing company or organisation. They don’t need to have huge management experience, but we do envisage hiring more junior roles around them as we build up our commercial team, so they should have the potential to manage a team. Check out the job ad and please do share it with friends or post it on your LinkedIn today if you have a network there.
Staff Writer (Liverpool)
Salary range: £20-25k
Read the job ad
Deadline: This Sunday (Sept 24th)
This one is a bit more self-explanatory than the senior roles. We need another full-time writer for our sister publication The Post, which has really established itself as an outstanding outlet in the past year. I know some of you Millers read The Post too, in which case you will know about how brilliant its output is — including this hilarious feature about the terribleness of the once-great Adelphi Hotel, this fantastic investigation into what’s happened at the Eldonian Village and last week’s intriguing scoop about the departure of a much-heralded Creative Director at the Everyman theatre.
The thing about Liverpool is that there is just so much news. From extreme council mismanagement to incredibly dodgy property deals, journalists in the city are never bored and all have unmanageable To Do lists. And our readers there are extremely engaged and love sending in tips and guiding us towards great tales. That Everyman story I just mentioned has catapulted The Post to a bumper month of growth — there are now almost 1,250 paying members and almost 17,000 readers on the free mailing list.
For this role, we need someone who loves reporting. Good old-fashioned reporting — speaking to people, going to places, getting great quotes, checking documents. Liverpool deserves that kind of journalism after years in which the local paper didn’t give proper coverage to major issues in the city, and The Post is now leading the way in changing that. Perhaps the ideal applicant would have a few years reporting for another local paper under their belt and strong local knowledge, but we’ll speak to anyone we think has the right skills. Check out the job ad and please share it with friends on Merseyside.
Thanks for reading this and for putting up with our ceaseless reminders about our hiring in the past weeks. Any help you can give us by sharing the links with friends, posting them on LinkedIn or putting them in relevant Facebook groups would be massively appreciated. You can share our hiring tweet or share this whole post by hitting the button below. I can’t wait to tell you about our new hires next month.