(By James Bahm) Spending over a quarter century in broadcasting taught me a lot about how to not only recruit and hire the right candidate for the position, but what to do once they come on board.
For the past seven months, I’ve taken a step away from broadcasting to work as a recruiter for a global staffing agency. I’ve done everything from designing and placing an ad on social media, to writing job ads that were published on multiple job boards, to screening and interviewing candidates for a variety of positions in multiple states. There are many similarities between filling a role in a new warehouse in Oregon and hiring a new Account Executive for your station.
1. The Right Ad Attracts the Right Candidates
Placing a job ad is an advertisement that needs to be treated and approached the same way you work with your clients on their campaigns: write your copy with your target consumer in mind. All too often I see job ads that look like someone with a PhD wrote it to attract MBA (or PhD) graduates. Speak plainly and candidly about the position. Say what you’re looking for in prospective candidates. Tell them how to apply, then make it very easy for them to apply to your company. And write it entirely from THEIR perspective.
2. Interview with a Real Conversation
When I talk with a candidate – be it face to face or remotely via Skype or the phone – I follow the same general outline and ask the same general questions. Rather than sounding like I’m reading a script, I have a real conversation with the gentleman or lady I’m interviewing, making my questions seem like a natural part of the process. (Hint: when your talent or client is reading a script, make sure they are having a conversation with your audience and are not just reading a script! Too many local-direct spots are being read and not announced conversationally, and your audience can tell the difference!)
3. Hire Fast
I once heard Colin Cowherd talk about interviewing and hiring those working on his show. He said he knew within the first minute of the interview if he was going to hire them or not. And I believe this is the same more times than not for others making a hiring decision. When I meet with a candidate I know — based on the conversation, their body language, eye movement, and what they don’t say — if I am going to move forward with them. I’d venture to say you do as well. When you interview a candidate you want to hire, hire them ASAP. Chances are they’re interviewing with your competition. If you like them, they’ll like them, too. Would you rather them serve your clients or your competitor’s clients?
4. Passing on a Candidate
When you do pass on a candidate, take 27 seconds and send them a short email. Offer them some constructive feedback. If they did something well, tell them. And give them brief direction on what to do better, letting them know why they weren’t offered the position. You ask your clients to tell you why they opted for your competitor versus taking your solution; therefore, show the handful of candidates you turned down the same courtesy. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes in their psyche. I’ve recommended some candidates for another position with another client who was hiring.
Bottom Line: Talent always shows up. When it’s in a room across from you, make an offer rather quickly or they may not be available!
Next time, we’ll talk about what you can to do to ensure they need to stay with you long-term!
James Bahm is a 25-year broadcasting veteran and owner of the Bahm Consulting, a sales and marketing consulting firm in Las Vegas, NV.