Time to Add Talent Acquisition into Budgets


(By Laurie Kahn) With budget time quickly approaching, it’s time to really review and decide what is important to invest in for the coming year.

While radio stations have long invested in research for music, on-air coaches to help their personalities grow, management training to help better train sellers, and of course sales training to help their sellers increase their revenues, not much has been allocated to help grow their human capital through talent acquisition.

In a radio station there are two basic goals: 1) to build and maintain an audience and 2) to grow revenue. They really go hand-in-hand. Why is it then that the all-important task of ensuring that a company is attracting and retaining the best talent possible often gets lost on the budget plans? Recently we ran across a major media company, with offices in multiple markets, whose entire annual corporate talent acquisition budget was $15,000, not nearly enough to make the needed changes to get their organization ramped up in the war for talent throughout all their markets.

Hiring is challenging. Many of your staffs contain a high number of baby boomers who will be retiring in the next 10 years. They will be hard to replace. Add that the younger generations have many more choices in and out of media, so not only is it competitive to attract them, but statistics show that they may be in a position only two to three years, so turnover will be more common.

As you start thinking about building or adding a budget for talent acquisition, here are some items to include.

  • If your website does not have a robust career section, you are missing the boat. Job seekers today are much more informed, and they will do their homework. They will go to your website to learn about your mission, your culture, how you help the community, and more. Think about investing in an updated area where you can better sell your opportunities and share solid reasons why someone should consider a career with your company.
  • You will need an active social media policy to help share to your community all of the reasons you are a great place to work. Individual and company pages and profiles need to be up to date and share information to attract visitors to your company.
  • Many managers do not understand how to conduct interviews with “passive” prospects. With low unemployment, as we now have, the universe of job seekers has dwindled drastically. Managers need to be trained in how to become more proactive, how to approach and engage non-job seekers, how to retain the talent they have, and how to do so continually.
  • Compensation is changing. It is an “employees’ marketplace,” and many will not consider working on 100% commission. Benefits or perks need to be reviewed and updated to better interest the Millennials and Gen Zs — and quite honestly, the entire work force.
  • Marketing for talent acquisition vs. just to increase audiences is needed. Your messages need to go beyond promoting talent and programs.
  • Signing bonuses. They have long been done in multiple industries, and with high competition there may be a need to offer additional incentives to join your team. Whether it be a plan to help pay down college debt, an offer to help cover child care, or a much-needed vacation prior to starting, there are many options to gain your offer more attention.

Statistics show that companies that do a better job of selling their opportunities and building a reputation as a great place to work not only have an easier time recruiting, they can often pay less than those companies that don’t have a stellar reputation.

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. Laurie can be reached at [email protected]



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