Finding Talent Each Month | The Q Corner, Where Quality Meets Quantity By Mike Walter

So it’s a new year, a shiny new one too: “2010.” Has quite a ring to it. Or “Oh-ten” as I’ve heard it referred to.
Maybe you’ve made some business resolutions for the New Year and hopefully, if you have, finding some fresh talent is on that list. If you’ve been a regular reader of mine you know I believe talent is the lifeblood of any Multi-Op. Discovering new DJs should be a regular job for you. Searching for and approaching “hot prospects” should be an ongoing department in your business, just like sales and marketing are. You’ve probably heard my theory: that we are all in contact with at least one great prospect a month. Maybe they are your waiter when you dine out, maybe your kid’s English teacher, maybe the guy who sold you your car. People with the talents and personalities that we are looking for are rare, but they are out there. So do you have your radar on? And when you spot someone, do you take action?
Stephen Covey, in his classic book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” writes: “Begin with the end in mind.” What a simple yet powerful philosophy. Have you done that with recruitment? Do you know exactly what you are looking for in your next DJ?
If not, take some time now and jot down some notes (when I say “jot down” I am obviously dating myself to the generation that actually used notebooks and pens. If these accouterments are foreign to you then by all means, you young Millennial you, pop open your laptop and take some notes.) What type of personality traits are you looking for? What kind of life experience is important to you? Are physical features essential? (It’s okay to admit it, it doesn’t make you superficial.) If so list them (height, weight etc.) This is akin to the dating process. You have your “dream partner.” And then when you begin dating you compare everyone you meet to that paradigm.
Now you’ve got your image in your mind. Keep these notes handy and refer to them regularly. Remind yourself that you may cross paths with this person at any time. At an event or at the movies. Inline at the coffee shop. Where ever and whenever. They are out there, completely unaware that there is a great part-time job waiting for them. All it’s going to take to connect the dots is you taking action.
So do you do it? Do you take action?
When you spot the bartender who is good-looking and witty and who confidently looks everyone in the eye, do you ask him if he’s ever considered DJing? Do you have a professional business card on you that directs them to a page on your website where they can fill out an online application and view a video welcoming them to the “Exciting World of DJing?” If not, set those things up today so that when you do meet “Mr. or Ms. Perfect DJ Candidate” you’ll blow them away with how professional your organization is.
Work on your “introduction” so you don’t come across as creepy (especially when approaching the opposite sex.) Have answers to all their questions and have a call to action (“let’s set up an interview soon because we’ve got a busy month coming up with lots of work.”)
As I survey my own roster of talent at Elite, I can pinpoint the DJs that I approached, out of the blue and offered this job to. Did it always work out? Of course not. That’s like asking if you close every sales appointment. But it’s worked out often enough to know it’s an important part of any recruitment push. Want numbers? Last year alone, DJs on my staff that I found (as opposed to those who answered ads for work or who approached me) performed at almost 300 events for my company for a gross of over $400,000.
If you wanted to, and if you had the workload to keep them busy, I know in my heart that every Multi-Op in this country could add five new and awesome DJs to their roster this year. Don’t need five? Great, your job just got easier.
But whether you want one new DJ or a handful, take action. Understand and believe that the perfect candidates are right there in front of you.
One last thing: two DJs that I know had very significant changes towards the end of 2009. One had to close his company down after over ten years of operation. Another actually lost his job, fired from a company that he had started and owned up until last year.
I’ve spoken to both of these guys and they are excited about the future. Terms like, “reinvent myself” and “starting over” kept coming up in both conversations. So I put myself, and ask you to put yourself, in the shoes of these two DJs. Ask yourself, if you found out tomorrow that you had to start over, what would you do? How would you go about reinventing yourself? What are the things you are currently doing that you would continue doing? And what are the business practices that you would leave behind?
They are intriguing questions to be sure.
So if you want an interesting exercise to kick off 2010, play this game: Say it was time to “start over.” Imagine you had to pick up and move and restart your company a thousand miles from where you are now. Take a look at your business and decide what stays and what goes. Go through everything from your sales tools to your lead generation and your staff to your pay structure. Some things might be impossible to change (or just too painful) but some others you might discover and realize it’s a simple tweak to your current SOP. Sometimes we do things for the simple reason that we’ve just always done it that way. And if it’s something you’d change when starting over, than ask yourself, why not change it now?
Enjoy the exercise and Happy New Year!
Mike Walter is the owner of Elite Entertainment of New Jersey and a nationally recognized expert in the area of multisystem company development and staff training. You can contact Mike at [email protected]

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