How To Use Your Own Airwaves To Recruit


(By Kevin Neathery) Constant recruiting is vital to building a great sales force and insulating revenue from attrition. Online job sites are highly effective and a must, but can’t match on-air recruiting to reach potential candidates already living or working in your coverage area, including the most desirable of all: employed outside salespeople you can persuade to jump ship.

On-air recruitment ads can also showcase your stations, talent, and retail success stories to more local listeners and business owners than online.

Many on-air recruitment ads make a station sound desperate and plagued by constant turnover. But that’s only because that’s how most are written. Instead, write recruitment ads like you would a station promo. Radio is show business. Put on a show!

Your intro line should always be a promised-benefit statement based on your number one appeal. Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t ask questions. Promise a  benefit.

“Sales professionals, advance your career as an ad exec at the media ranked number one for retail results.”

Or, better yet, because specifics are always more believable:

“Advance your career and earn $70,000-plus.”

Promise in the intro line, prove in the body copy, identify stations/frequencies, make it easy to apply, and close with a strong call to action.

If your team are top billers, brag about it. “Last year, our average AE, employed 12 months or more, earned $72,531. Next year, that could be you.” Your team will love it. Your competitors will hate it. And you, the GSM, will become the market’s sales talent magnet.

Showcase your air talent. “We have the DJs everyone knows and likes.” Name them and their dayparts. Your talent will love you.

If your market is rated, if you subscribe, if you win, you can turn every recruitment ad into a ratings promo. Show potential candidates that working for you gives them a competitive advantage. “And in the very latest survey, we ranked number one in the prime money demos retailers value most: Persons 18 34, 18-49, and 25-54.” Then even your PD will love you.

Even the smallest market can attract and promote by focusing on the fun of radio sales. Here’s a recruitment ad I wrote last week with a husband-and-wife team who launched a new station in a resort town.

Sales professionals!

Your new career is on the air NOW at the all-new 1019 The Lake, broadcasting 24/7 in downtown Heber Springs.

The Lake is the ONLY station licensed to Heber Springs and blasts 25,000 watts to every drop of Greers Ferry Lake and the surrounding four counties.

The Lake plays Classic Hits to make every day more fun at home, at work, on the road, and especially on the lake.

(Splashing/laughing sfx)

1019 The Lake is 100 percent dedicated to your financial success with generous salary, highest commissions, quarterly bonus, mileage allowance, and exciting workplace atmosphere.

Radio is fun, and the Lake is a fun place to work! And yes, you can wear shorts and flip-flops.

This is Ali King inviting you to join us in local direct advertising sales at our brand new radio station.

Now, you can live at the lake and work at The Lake. So don’t wait! E-mail your resume to me today: [email protected]

The all-new 1019 The Lake on 2nd Street in downtown Heber Springs.

Your new career is on the air NOW at 1019 The Lake.

Once you have a great ad, get it on the air and keep it there! Don’t wait until someone leaves and you get caught “holding your microphone.”

Set up a time every week for interviewing. Make it routine so you never schedule a conflict. Always consider candidates with outside sales experience first. Avoid inside sales; you want relentless prospectors who knock on doors all day long. You want bravery and brains. You want Wicked Tuna captains who steer their own boat.

And nothing “motivates” your present staff like a weekly parade of hopeful candidates waiting in the lobby for an interview.

I’ll close with my favorite recruitment line ever, from Karen Franke at Treasure & Space Coast Radio: “You can be part of an awesome group with five great radio stations in sunny South Florida. Our sales team is hot, fun, and we make lots of money! We wear Rolexes, drive BMWs, and vacation in Spain. We have a hotel on the beach and are anxiously awaiting your arrival to sell radio advertising with us!”

Now, that’s how it’s done!

Kevin Neathery is a record-smashing, award-winning sales manager, 14 years with Saga Communications (Sales Manager of the Year 2008), seven years Pressly Media (two-time Presidents Award Winner), five years Moran Broadcasting. He can be reached at [email protected]


  1. Kevin has certainly made his bones and enjoys a significant credibility in radio sales – as a result of him generating exceptional sales results.
    From the copy department across the hall, however, I have sent him an edited version of the recruitment spot he supplied to Ali at “The Lake”.
    The edited spot still contains the same content and creative bent. The difference is in the communicative process.
    I invite Kevin to forward the edited spot to Ali; have her re-do it and run it for a week, and the original one for a week – off & on.
    This, by comparing elicited responses, would be an interesting and valid test of the two approaches.


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