Jimmy McLoughlin: Hiring a podcast team

How the careers counsellor and former SpAd built a recruitment strategy around his podcast

For podcasters seeking to build their show into a viable business, there eventually comes a point - if they’re lucky - where they need to start looking at bringing in additional staff to help manage their workload. However, if they’re coming from an independent or creative background, they may not have experience in the process of hiring a team. 

Jimmy McLoughlin, creator of Jimmy’s Jobs Of The Future, is something of an expert in this, however; not only is his independent podcast focused on the world of careers and employment, his experience as a former business advisor within Downing Street gives him an added insight into building effective teams. On this week’s episode, Rhianna Dhillon and Adam Shepherd talk to McLoughlin about how he’s grown his team, why he’s a firm believer in (paid) internship programmes and what the future holds for Jimmy’s jobs.

Key takeaways

Think about how you can give back

“The overriding ethos of why I started the podcast… was I felt that I had been very fortunate in my career to have some great opportunities and wanted a mechanism to be able to go back - because I think business is exciting and I never think it's been a more exciting time. But I do think it's quite overwhelming and that's what we are trying to do with our episodes.” 

“It’s like, if you could transport Miles Jacobson, the chief executive of Football Manager, into every school in the country and say, this is why you need to learn computer programming, this is why I'm short of English language people - you wouldn't necessarily think of that with a football game, but he's short of those people - and if we could do that for every sector and every exciting company, I think we can make a real difference.” 

Know the right platforms for your audience

“We fundamentally use LinkedIn [for recruitment] quite a lot. I mean, I'm coming from government, one of the most uncreative places in the world, to a podcast media production company, essentially - which, turns out, is very creative. And that has been a big step change for me, 'cause I don't really have networks to hire from.” 

“Most startup leaders that you speak to, the first 10 or 15 people generally come from people they've worked with before, or other people that know of people that are one degree of separation. Now that is not very democratic, it's not particularly socially mobile, but that is just the nature of the way that people hire those first roles. So it has been a bit of a lesson for me in terms of, well, how do you recruit? What titles do you recruit for?”

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

“It's very hard, isn't it, to know what actually leads to podcast growth… And how you build that community I think is gonna be a bigger and bigger part for podcasts. You had the chap on who'd done the horror movies recently, which I found fascinating in terms of the kind of communities that have been springing up off all sides of that.” 

“At the moment, we haven't done that much on Jimmy's Jobs’ community - just because I appreciate that community management is a whole job in itself as well, and you actually have to be quite careful of it in lots of ways. And it's also yet another platform to manage as well, which I'm still so scarred by my early days!”


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