Rogers has launched Discover Talent – a proactive online recruiting tool that also offers a space for radio and podcasting talent to receive feedback.
“Our belief is that as programmers, the role is not just talent coaching, but talent scouting, and finding new talent is fast becoming job number one on our list,” Paul Kaye, Rogers VP of Product & Talent Development, told Broadcast Dialogue.
“We believe talent is the only true difference maker and is going to keep the business healthy as we move into different distribution platforms and methods,” said Kaye. “As a company, talent is at the centre of our radio and audience strategy, so we were looking for new ways to cast a net and find interesting people.”
With 56 radio stations and the recent launch of its Frequency Podcast Network in June, Kaye says the company is primarily looking for contributors in the audio space, but also for “interesting people with something to say” from YouTube content creators to those interested in news and sports.
Kaye says Discover Talent is intended to be an easy access point to Rogers. Since the portal’s launch at the end of August, he says response has already been “fantastic” both from those already in radio looking for advice on advancing their career to people outside the industry with pitch ideas for podcasts.
“We’ve been surprised at the response. It changes the way we are identifying and reviewing talent. In the past, we’d receive audio demos and judge them purely on what we heard. This gives people the chance to answer some questions,” said Kaye. “We’re looking for stories rather than a resume…what inspires them, who their favourite hosts are, what kind of opportunities might excite them, what makes them stand out from the pack and what’s the next step they want to take.”
Kaye says the site is also intended to help would-be broadcasters get better at their craft with video content like “Tips For Getting Into Radio” and “How To Do Show Prep” featuring Rogers on-air personalities like Mocha and Jax Irwin from KiSS 92.5 (CKIS-FM) Toronto, Garner Andrews from SONiC 102.9 (CHDI-FM) Edmonton, Lori Gibbs from CHFM-FM Calgary and Jennifer Campbell from Country 106.7 (CIKZ-FM) Kitchener.
Liann Cameron, program director at KiSS 91.7 (CHBN-FM) Edmonton, is heading up Discover Talent as its project manager, supported by an existing internal talent mentoring team comprised of PDs from across the country, that will review submissions and offer feedback.
Kaye says lack of experience isn’t considered a barrier to using Discover Talent.
“If you’re a talented individual with great ideas and want to share them, it can be hard to figure out that journey – whether you’re looking for your next opportunity or whether your friends tell you you’re interesting and should be on the radio.”
Asked how the recruitment portal has gone over internally in an industry known for its lack of job security, Kaye said it’s incentive for talent to continue to be at their best, always learning and developing.
“There has always been, in any performance medium, a sense of competition. Great talent rises to the top and whether you’re in radio, or tv, or an athlete, there’s always opportunity for others to come out perform you,” said Kaye.
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