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Read the Economist and Run a Central Bank

When it comes to finding a high-profile role, it’s all about who you know. Or maybe it’s all about what you read.

When the Bank of England named Canadian-born Mark Carney its next governor last week, it put a foreigner in charge for the first time in its 318-year history.   Also for the first time in its history, the Bank of England, through Her Majesty’s Treasury, posted the position publicly, allowing anyone to submit an application. The bank chose The Economist as the venue for its job posting.

The Economist provides an audience of the type of people the government wants to attract for top positions, a Treasury spokesperson said.

The 169-year-old magazine has been running a print recruitment section since 1951, but it only launched its online job board two years ago. Just 89 positions are currently available on the site, but they feature some pretty big names, mostly global firms like the World Bank, the European Central Bank, the International Trade Center and a host of other institutions.

Global Influence

“Our audience is a large group of global influencers,” said David Kaye, chief revenue officer at The Economist. “Every president from Kennedy to Obama has been photographed reading our magazine.”

Carney didn’t become aware of the Bank of England job through The Economist – the HM Treasury said UK Chancellor George Osborne saw him at a G20 Summit meeting last February and suggested he apply to the role. But Carney did find his initial position with the Bank of Canada while reading the magazine in 2003, a bank official confirmed to eFC. Carney was named a deputy governor in 2003, and, after a stint at the Canadian Department of Finance, returned to run the central bank in 2008.

Unlike the BoE, the Bank of Canada has consistently relied on advertisements in national and international newspapers and magazines to assist in high-level executive searches, according to a bank spokesperson. Along with The Economist, the bank posts key roles with the Globe and Mail, the National Post, La Presse and the Financial Times.

“The very nature of The Economist, as a global journal analyzing the world's economic, financial and social issues, would seem like a good place to reach the type of profile we recruit: global, well-educated and often technical experts in their respective fields,” said David Theis, chief of media, external affairs, at the World Bank, who acknowledges that cost pressures have recently forced the institution to rely more on social media to recruit top talent.

A standard 30-day online posting with The Economist costs $1,000, said Kaye. A featured posting that gets prime real estate on the site can cost upwards of $5,000 for the month. Print ads are more expensive than online postings; the price varies depending on the size of the ad, said Kaye. And not anyone can get in the door. While Kaye admits that the price tends to keep out the riffraff, The Economist maintains the right to walk away from a posting if it doesn’t fit their audience, he said.

Print Postings

The online job portal attracts 30,000 unique users per month, resulting in over 12,000 applications per month, Kaye said. Still, The Economist considers its online job portal to be a supplement to its print postings, which generate more revenue. “You’d be shocked at how strong the print product is,” Kaye said.

In 2005, Paul Deighton, then chief operating officer for Europe at Goldman Sachs, found his current position while reading The Economist, Kaye said. Deighton saw the posting for the chief executive of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and later applied to the role, according to Kaye. Interestingly enough, Deighton will assume the role of commercial secretary to the Treasury in January, so he’ll have plenty of time to trade stories with Carney.

The Economist is different than other job portals in a number of ways. Its global nature for one, and its structure for another. Unlike other job portals, The Economist doesn’t always need to prove its worth to its clients through applications and job fills.

“Showing a direct link between a job posting and a qualified applicant is nice,” Kaye said, but the publication doesn’t worry about candidates circumventing the company and applying on their own. “Organizations recruiting on a global scale understand our value,” Kaye said.

If you think you’re a global influencer – or aspire to be one – you may want to give The Economist a look.

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor
  • Be
    6 December 2012

    Good use of social media, but that too can get expensive if need dedicated professionals to run it. Interesting stuff. "cost pressures have recently forced the institution to rely more on social media to recruit top talent"

  • Dr
    Dr No
    6 December 2012

    No serious economist reads the Economist.

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