Congratulations. The editor-in-chief of The Daily has chosen you to be part of their leadership team. Follow these steps to get started and lay the foundation for a successful semester. 

  1. Goals. You and the editor-in-chief agreed on broad goals for your desk. Review them so you will hire people who can help you achieve your goals. 
  2. Payroll. The editor sets your desk’s payroll. Work with the editor to determine how many paid positions you can afford and how many interns you will need to achieve your desk’s goals. You must stay within your weekly budget and treat every employee fairly. Full details on payroll, including what to clock and when to clock it, are listed here
  3. Job descriptions. Every position needs a clear, detailed job description that clarifies how much experience is required, duties required and hours expected. The point is to group employees according to a measurable criteria (experience, hours, output), then be sure everyone in each group is paid the same. 
  4. Screening. Department-wide recruiting occurs near the end of each semester most commonly, resulting in dozens of online applications from OU students. Editors are responsible for reviewing applications quickly. Reply to those who meet your criteria to set up an interview and have them potentially supply more materials. 
  5. Recruit. You can do your own recruiting. Talk with classmates, friends, current and former Daily staffers. Remember newsrooms should be diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and viewpoint. Cast a wide net. 
  6. Interview. No one should be hired without a formal interview. Invite the top three or four applicants for each position to interview. Allow 20-30 minutes for each. Ask them questions that probe beyond their qualifications, getting at qualities like integrity, intelligence, energy, ego and drive. Depending on your desk, consider giving the candidate a test on subjects like AP style or page design. Ask the applicant to critique The Daily. At the end of the interview, tell the applicant that training will be mandatory and confirm they can attend. 
  7. The job offer. Only the editor-in-chief can hire and fire newsroom employees. So when you have decided whom to hire, take your list to the editor-in-chief for approval of person, rank and hours. Only then may you offer a job. Once cleared, here’s how: 
    • State that you are offering the person a job. 
    • Restate the job description, duties, hours, days and – if not an intern – pay.
    • Remind them that training is mandatory. 
    • If they accept a paid position, direct them to the required, formal steps of the HR hiring process
    • It is imperative you make clear whether the position is paid or unpaid with no ambiguity.
  8. Wait and see. You do not have to fill every paid position at once. It is best to wait to hire someone into a paid position once you are certain they are ready to take on those duties. Holding some positions open, especially the start of the semester, gives you a chance and interns motivation to see who is ready to consistently take on more.
  9. Understand our composition. When you do invite any person to join your desk, ask them to complete our identity and diversity survey, which they may complete anonymously if they wish.