Dick Taylor

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By:  Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
Dick Taylor Blog

I manage the “Radio/TV/Digital Sales Help Wanted” bulletin board at my university. I’ve been doing it for the past 7 years. I’m sometimes sad to post the help wanted ads sent to me because of how they characterize the position they seek to fill.


Most of the ads use the same old tired clichés. They want someone “dynamic & energetic” for an “amazing opportunity” with a broadcasting company.

Must be able to sell radio ads for top dollar, create dynamic marketing plans that utilize our company’s broadcast, digital and NTR properties.

If the ad is for a management position, then I often see that in addition to the above, the person must also be good at managing collections, hiring, training, motivating good people and carry a list while managing operations to meet or exceed the goals set by the company. In addition, we want our people to be integrally involved in every aspect of our wonderful community. (I’m sorry, but I think Superman/woman is busy with more important stuff.)

If the ad mentions anything at all about pay and benefits, it might simply say we offer an excellent compensation program.

It’s NOT About YOU

What these ads all miss are they say nothing to the person reading the ad about what they might be interested in. Radio station ads only talk about what the station wants.

You are marketing your radio station to a potential employee. Where is the “wining & dining” of a potential candidate?

I hear from radio stations all the time that they have trouble finding good sales people. No wonder when you make the job sound as attractive as digging a ditch. We’re in show business.

Attracting Better Employees

The unfortunate part of today’s job ads is they tend to be used more as a filter to keep people out rather than a net to designed to scoop up the best candidates.

Not every job requires having a bachelor’s degree but unfortunately businesses use this requirement as a filter to keep people from applying.

Now I teach at a university and we award bachelor degrees, so you might think I would sing the academy line about getting one. But I don’t. I know some of the people in my classes who will be the best sales people are not necessarily the best students. The best sales people are high in EQ not IQ.

Colleges award students who have high IQ’s with distinction.

For radio stations hiring sales talent, what you really want are people who have high EQ or Emotion Intelligence.

Stanford University did a study to find out what their best students had in common. Best in Stanford’s eyes was a student that became a company CEO and earned a high income.

When the results came back, they were shocked that it all boiled down to two qualities: their most successful students were in the bottom half of their class and were all popular (High EQ).

What’s In It for the Candidate?

Instead of writing an ad to screen people out, why not write an ad to open the door to let people in. Write what’s in it for person reading the ad.

The person reading your ad should envision themselves working in your radio station and being successful.

Why are You Hiring?

Before you even write the ad, you really need to understand why you are hiring in the first place. What do you want the new person to accomplish in this position and how will you measure success? What is your WHY?

In today’s world of help wanted advertising on the internet, length is not the problem it was back in the newspaper days. So sell your company’s story and the job in your ad to the best candidates out there and as Valerie Geller says in her programming seminars “don’t be boring.” Budget for the sales person you WANT to have on your team, not for the least amount of money you want to pay. If you want a top performer, then offer a comp package for one.

Sample Ad

Marketing Opportunity of a Lifetime

We’re expanding our radio marketing department.

The person we hire will be using our radio, social media,

internet streaming and events

to create successful marketing campaigns

for our community’s outstanding local businesses.

We offer mentoring, training and will invest in your success.

You will be paid (salary amount here) per month salary plus

(percentage here) percent commission on sales from dollar one sold.

Benefits plan includes medical, dental, vision, vacation time and holidays.

We can’t wait to hear your story of past successes

and learning how you believe working at WXXX

will propel your career to new heights.

EEO/m-f employer

Note: This ad will attract a different type of candidate than most of the ads that are sent to me to post on our jobs board at the university. Come on folks, we’re in sales. Sell yourself.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is currently a professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.