Congratulations, you’ve built your company into a powerhouse in the radio industry! And with growth and power also come more struggles and headaches. One of the biggest challenges we hear, from large and small companies, is the problem of finding qualified sellers. This is a challenge for all companies in all industries, not just in radio. However, in many cases, radio has lagged behind in learning how to recruit, how to build a culture that is attractive for potential hires, in compensation, and in how to treat employees.
Becoming an employer of choice is crucial in the war for talent. For many years national and local publications have given out awards for the “Best Companies to Work For,” and, sadly, broadcasters have not been on those lists.
While there has been a focus on advertising and marketing to gain listeners, there have not been adequate budgets to recruit, if any at all. Not only does a company need to build a great environment, it needs to promote what it does to gain more interest. Consider what some of the newer media companies are doing to attract workers — on-site dining and exercise facilities, more flexibility, ongoing training, encouragement and recognition for thinking out of the box, compensation that someone can live on, team-building activities, and more — the list can go on and on. How many articles have you seen about the Google offices and how Google motivates people? They get their story out in the news!
A major issue that large or “powerhouse” media groups face when recruiting, especially managers, is that all of the decisions come from the top down. Local managers have little to no authority to think on their own, as all decisions must come from the top. Many top performers want to get into management so they can make a difference, and when that element is removed, that’s not a company that is attractive to some of the best talent out there.
The solution starts with having a solid strategy on what needs to be done, both internally and externally. Find out who the top employers are in each market, and find out what they do that is different. Look at some of the companies you are losing potential hires to, and find out why you are not getting the hire Ð this is no different than finding out why you were not on a buy!
Ask your current team to submit confidential suggestions on what they would like to see done differently in your company. They are on the streets and can offer great information.
When budgeting is being done, add a line or two to include recruitment and environment. Recruitment should include money for marketing, advertising, career fairs, travel, referral fees, recruitment assistance, signing bonuses, and possibly staff. An “environment” budget can include more fun stuff in addition to informational items such as training, team building, and contests. Think about making your offices more employee-friendly with free coffee, soft drinks, and snacks. If you are tight on space, think about doing a trade with local fitness centers, and encourage staff to take the time to work out. Remember, healthy people will be more effective at their jobs. Consider summer hours where employees can enjoy more flexibility.
Very important, especially with millennials: Make sure you give back to the community. Set up companywide volunteer opportunities where your staff can feel good about giving back and the community benefits — make a big deal out of this, and get coverage. Or simply give each employee a “volunteer day” where they can go work for a charity of their choice.
Last but far from the least is compensation. Forget offering someone a 90-day guarantee. If you want to hire the best, especially if you are looking for someone with experience, make that transition easier by offering them a package that gives them the financial security they need to get going — and that won’t happen in only 90 days! Know what the going rates are by market, and be prepared to be creative when offering a package.
It is a daunting task, but not impossible!
Laurie Kahn is the President/Founder of Media Staffing Network you can reach her at 480.3096.8930 or [email protected]