How Money-Media Attracts and Retains the Best Talent

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In a full-screen video on Financial Times division Money-Media's homepage—with the headline, "Why should you work for Money-Media?" above it—New York City looks fast-paced and beautiful. We hear from various employees about the career-growing opportunities, trust and camaraderie bursting forth in their brick-laden office. Then we see laughter and food at staff gatherings, a softball title and comfortable meetings.

Towards the end of this crisp, 3-minute video focused on attracting talent, managing director Dan Fink says: "Money-Media is one of those rare places to work. We publish our value on the website for the world to see. Those aren't just marketing spin—we live by those values every single day."

It takes strategy and effort to attract and retain talent these days. At a SIPA Annual 2018 session on Creating a High-Performance Culture Across Your Company, executives Brian Crotty of OPIS, Heather Farley of Access Intelligence and Christopher Mairs of Leeds Equity Partners traded barbs about their young talent leaving for other companies. There was laughter but you could also tell that this was serious business.

Crotty said that OPIS has seven staff outings a year to try to build camaraderie and reduce stress, including a baseball game and food truck day. "We also have a very good policy with flexible leave," he added. Farley said that she is "heavily invested in [her employees'] career opportunities." She meets with every employee and works with them on getting to the next level—if that's what they want. "I do believe if you can get that culturally ingrained in your organization, it builds retention," she said.

"I don't think there's enough leadership development," Mairs said. "You need leaders in place who can take on challenges." In fact, in a poll just conducted by Association Media & Publishing, 81% of media employees said no when asked, "Does your organization give staff enough opportunities for publishing- or communications-specific professional development?"

Fink is justifiably proud of that homepage video and his staff overall, who took home four SIPAwards earlier this month. "I'm so glad you like the video on our corporate site," he wrote me in an email. "We just launched it after investing a significant amount of time and money to produce it... The same team that produced the corporate website video also produces video content for our product websites.

"All of our products are B2B and we have published content videos across our portfolio on a regular basis since 2007. We are seeing video usage rise, especially as we test new formats. [This is confirmed by several studies.] Originally, we published video clips of industry conferences, but over the years we have added formal interviews, man-on-the-street interviews, explainer videos, data visualizations, and more. The last two formats have proven to be extremely popular."

Fink added another important note. "Corporations that blocked streaming video in the past have all relaxed their restrictions in recent years. In the early years we also got comments from subscribers that watching video at their desk was frowned upon, but that dynamic in the workplace has also changed. All of these factors have contributed to a steady rise in our video engagement over the years."

Businesses are increasing their use of video across specific channels: The number of businesses using video on landing pages jumped from 49% last year to 60% this year, and those using video in email jumped from 36% to 46%. Additionally, video use in sales conversions has also experienced a marked increase from 25% to 37%.

In this atmosphere, Money-Media's use of video to attract talent makes a lot of sense. For the first time, smaller businesses—particularly those in high-tech markets—are now producing as much, if not more, video content than their larger counterparts. As Brian Malone showed in his workshop at the conference, it does not take a serious commitment of dollars to produce good video. But it does take a serious commitment.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…