How to Find, Train and Recruit New Young On-Air Talent
The Radio business faces tremendous challenges as we turn the calendar toward 2021.
Among the biggest priorities to tackle is the finding, training and nurturing of new young on-air talent.
In the past, radio stations would utilize non-prime dayparts to develop the next stars.
The 7 to Midnight Show or the overnight show was the breeding ground for the future.
There was no risk and only reward for those dayparts to be for development and incubation.
That ship has generally sailed due to the budget constraints of the industry.
We have short circuited our future and we need to revisit this decision wherever possible.
Another place that we would find talent in the past if you were in a major market would be smaller, adjacent feeder markets to the big cities.
If you were a Boston Programmer. you could look to Worcester or New Hampshire for the next big talent.
That has frequently disappeared as well because of those same budget constraints.
So how does the business confront this conundrum?
For an outsider perspective I asked Ryan Hawk/Author: Welcome to Management and host of the great Podcast: The Learning Leader Show how the industry could attack the challenge.
“Listen to Podcasts. You’ll find a number of compelling communicators.”
Ryan is spot on and if you are in the content business you need to commit the time and energy to this development process.
For another semi-outsider perspective, I asked my friend Phil Dowse for his views.
Phil is a brilliant international media consultant based in Australia with a track record of innovation and excellence and he clearly knows the importance of talent.
According to Phil “Right now there is a lot of bad, lazy radio, and much of it can be heard between 6 and 9 AM. Bad and lazy because many morning shows believe in being “organic” or “winging it.”
Phil monitors up to 50-60 shows a week world-wide (UK, Europe, Australia, US, Africa)
Phil says “In many countries the time is NOW to look at diversification. Like it or not plenty of management meetings include discussions asking the question “can we increase our audience by broadening the base of the presenter team?”
By diversifying the voices and taking our business as usual blinders off we add talent options and ultimately can add creative spark to a station lineup.
Phil identifies other specific ways to find and recruit new talent such as:
You Tube: “I trawl You Tube for ideas for talent and especially for content from potential new talent.”
Podcasts: “Listen for new talent, people who have unique skills, great storytellers and of course new ideas.”
Influencers: “Identify them (especially the local ones, train them and hire them.”
Phil also noted he is not afraid to try some “old school” methods to find and recruit talent like looking within the comedy world, sports personalities or musicians.
The key to the equation is having your extreme sensors up all the time identifying talent.
Heck, you never know if that waiter or waitress you interact with could be the next big talent as well.
Talent recruitment and development should be an on-going R and D project for brand managers, with the ultimate goal of creating a strong talent line-up for years to come.