KWF Consulting was engaged to develop and oversee the search process for an editor-in-chief of our client’s flagship peer-reviewed research journal

We developed a workable and replicable search process for the client, detailing the components necessary to complete each critical step in recruiting and selecting an editor-in-chief. In accordance with our client’s strategic imperatives for its ideal candidate, KWF Consulting assumed administrative responsibility for the search process. The client received applications from 10 highly qualified applicants. The search was concluded successfully when the client search committee’s first-choice candidate accepted the society’s offer.

Benefits of our approach

Client-driven process

  • We readily adapt best recruiting practices to your editor search and ensure that our approach reflects the values and priorities of the society

Polished brand representation

  • KWF Consulting associates are publishing professionals; we understand the work of editors and speak the language of researchers

Highly qualified applicants

  • Our professional networking generates conversation, interest, and referrals from thought leaders while our screening process delivers highly qualified candidates

Transparency and ease of evaluation

  • KWF pre-screens editor applications and offers customized evaluation tools to help rank applicants

Logistical support

  • KWF Consulting project manages the process, issues progress reports, and facilitates interviews so that you can concentrate on your core competencies

Effective agreements

  • We can draft editorial contracts, editorial office budgets, and negotiate offers with finalist candidates

Detailed process and client reporting

An initial launch call was conducted with the client to review past searches, discuss potential pitfalls, and identify opportunities. KWF Consulting then interviewed organizational stakeholders to customize steps in the search process to the client’s governance requirements and preferences.

A concise report to the client included:

  • Timelines for each step in the process
  • Suggested composition of the search committee
  • Search committee and Board roles customized per the client’s requirements
  • Essential, client-specific recommendations for candidate qualifications
  • A communication plan
  • Other best practices to guide the organization toward a successful conclusion to its search

With this foundation, KWF Consulting then undertook the recruiting process. Our first steps were to develop a job description and call for nominations. Through an iterative process, we worked closely with the search committee to tailor essential functions for the role. This included experience, qualifications, and characteristics of the ideal candidate, as well as support provided to the editor-in-chief and the current editorial office structure. We collaborated with the search committee to develop and customize a two-step application process.

The centerpiece of the recruiting plan comprised outreach to build of list of interested and qualified candidates. Beginning with a short list of names provided by the search committee, KWF Consulting developed a large pool of more than 80 potential candidates organically, reaching out through phone interviews and email letters to gather referrals and drive applications, all while ensuring highly qualified candidates remained interested.

The client received 10 applications from fully qualified thought leaders in its field.

Our next steps involved assisting the client in evaluating applications and narrowing the field of applicants. We developed a scoring tool based on the client’s essential criteria for the editor-in-chief, which the search committee used to rank the candidates and decide on its list of semi-finalists. KWF Consulting then coordinated interviews, which included formulating written and interview questions and ensuring candidates under serious consideration remained active and interested throughout the time they were under consideration.

Final steps of the successful editor-in-chief search process included sending sensitive communication to non-selected candidates; checking finalist candidates’ references; providing the client with a concise comparison of the finalist candidates’ visions, plans, and budget requests; and updating the client’s editor-in-chief contractual letter of agreement.

The client’s first choice editor-in-chief candidate accepted the society’s offer.

Applied solutions:

Executive and Editor Recruiting

Publishing Policies and Practices