Publishers need to hire people who are curious, and must ensure they have adequate support systems to retain staff, Orion's digital marketing director Marissa Hussey told The Bookseller's FutureBook conference.
In a panel titled New Voices: Who Should You Hire and How Will They Change Your Company?, Hussey said publishing needed to hire "people who want to know the answers and learn new things". And once they are hired, Hussey said they needed to be supported and trusted to do their jobs. "I don't expect my boss to understand everything," Hussey said. "I need him to respect me and be supportive."
Crystal Mahey-Morgan, formerly of Penguin Random House and now a freelance digital marketer, said in attracting new people to publishing the industry needed to make sure it was "not producing entry barriers because of low pay".
Headline's senior publicity and digital campaigns manager, Ben Willis (pictured), said that publishing had an image problem, and needed to "lose its relatively stale image" to attract people who would otherwise go to work for start-ups or tech companies in places like Shoreditch and Soho.
Sanne Vliengenthart, digital co-ordinator at Hot Key Books, spoke about her success as a YouTuber, and how that led to her building a relationship with Hot Key Books and seeing the job opening for the role she now has.
She said companies who were recruiting for people in social media positions needed to know what platforms they wanted to target, and "hire someone with experience of that platform".
"Publishing experience is not necessary," she said. "A love of books is."