Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Applicant

"To thrive, you need to identify those with the highest potential, get them in your corner and on your team, and help them grow."  --

The songwriter who created Ronnie Dunn's hit "The Cost Of Living" originally had titled it "The Application," due to the stress of trying to land a gig you want.

This is about the opposite side of that situation, which can be equally difficult.

Great radio stations - looking from the outside in - seem to be a magnet for the very best people, but when you talk to the programmers of them you learn that the same “average” people apply at those places as do as every other one.

The difference between the best and the rest:  programming management takes time to thoroughly interview every possible candidate for each opening and is much more selective in hiring.

They start by having each person they interview sign a confidentiality agreement and even assure the applicant that they’ll do the same if they desire, making it clear that keeping secrets is important.

They want to know..
  • Exact detail of experiences from each radio station they have worked. 
  • How they got into radio.
  • What interests them most about listeners.
  • What they see as their strengths as well as their own weaknesses.
  • Name of individuals you can contact that are NOT on their resume.
  • What would five of their closest friends say about them?
  • Where do they hope/plan to be in five years?  Ten years?  Next year?
  • What are their philosophies - whether they have ever programmed a radio station before and even though they are not applying for a PD position - on music, info, personality and promotion.
  • Contest some of their assertions just to see how diplomatically they can defend their position and also how sell they handle criticism of their opinions.
Grade on a scale of 1-10:  their appearance, bedside manner, knowledge, on air work, willingness to do more than requested of them, team spirit, availability.

Don’t permit yourself to take shortcuts in this process if your goal is to hire and hold onto the very best people.

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