Do You Spend Enough Time Scouting Talent?


(By Laurie Kahn) With January almost done, you had better have a solid talent acquisition plan in place. I find it interesting that when I attend conferences or host webinars, the number one issue radio operators share is finding good, talented salespeople. This is a serious issue that won’t go away; as more Boomers start to retire, more positions will need to be filled. If you are still waiting to look for replacements when someone resigns, you are far behind in the process.

Today, it is crucial to be proactive. Just like you watch your programming and analyze what works, you also analyze and plan out your sales projections and have target accounts to call on to try to bring in new business, right? So why is it that most companies don’t plan in advance who they want to hire next? This is a big mistake and will bring on many headaches in the future. 

Talent acquisition should be the top of your list; it takes time and investments to do correctly, and you need to have people or you won’t be able to efficiently run your business. 

Some tips to help you get started at the beginning of the year:

  • Review your mission statement to confirm it addresses your culture, investments made in people for growth potential, and the reputation by which you want to be known. Make sure all employees know and understand it. 
  • Talk to your people. Find out what can be done better and what can be let go. Do they like to come to work every day? If so, why? If not, why? Probe, listen, and put together an action plan to address what changes need to be made. If your internal team is not happy, that is the first place to make adjustments to be able to offer a better environment. 
  • Think about what you can do to make the company more engaging to those there and to attract new people. I am not talking about installing pool tables, but offering recognition, support and the right tools to get their jobs done. One of the most common frustrations that sellers face is when they offer a product or service, then the station can’t deliver.
  • Do a survey to find out what tasks are falling through the cracks. Discuss who can pick them up. In many cases, bringing in a support person to help input orders and traffic instructions can allow your sellers to be on the streets seeing more clients, which is your ultimate goal. 
  • Make sure your website is up to date and answers questions potential hires will want to know; make sure to sell your opportunities here.
  • Research your region to gather critical information such as:
    • Cost of living to determine if compensation is in line
    • Upcoming career fairs
    • What colleges offer classes where you can attend as a guest speaker to lay the foundation to help build future broadcasters
    • What other benefits and perks are offered to attract new employees at other businesses
    • Who all the employees and sellers are who could be a fit for future openings at your company
    • Events where it would be beneficial to network for future hires.

If these are things you haven’t done, there are many sources who can help. Just know, the longer you wait, the longer it will take you to hire the staff you need. 

Laurie Kahn is the creator and founder of Media Staffing Network. She has worked with media companies since 1993 helping them hire top managers and sellers.


  1. Even as new reps get comfortable with “The Radio Story” – reach analysis, worthwhile ROI’s when they are generated and the rest, the reps are also quick to realize that when they go out with spots for approval or even spec-spots, they are carrying a sack of crud.
    In other words: Terribly annoying and ineffective messaging begets lousy results.
    That I even have to bring this reminder to the attention of those who could make a difference is also a startling revelation in itself.
    Or, like they have started saying over to the Senate: “Snap out of it, Mitch!”


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