Tommy Kramer Tip #178 – The Different Meanings of “Experience”

Wish I could tell you how many times a PD has said he wanted to keep someone aboard, or hire someone, because he or she “has 20 years of experience.”

On the surface, that would seem like a real plus.  But there are different types of experience.  For example, I’ve had people name off the morning shows they were part of, only to find out (after some further fact-checking) that he or she was only a Producer that appeared on the air once in a while, not a full-fledged partner.  That’s a completely different level of experience.

Look, some people have 20 years of continuous learning, while others THINK they have 20 years of “experience”, but it’s really only been 4 years of experience repeated five times.  They didn’t LEARN anything after the first few years, either because no one at their past job(s) could really teach them, or because they got to a certain level, had some success, and came to believe that they knew all they needed to know.  (Good luck with that.  That’s the dinosaur that I call Jockosauras Rex.)

When you’re looking to hire someone, don’t go by “experience”.  Go by what you hear, and what you feel in the interviewing process.  Ask specific questions about what they’ve done.  Call the people they used to work with, if you can.  Listen to the station they last worked for (or are still at).  Some people are true stars at a very young age.  Others are just repeating what they’ve always done, and are stuck there.

The first thing I do with a talent is try to get a feel for whether or not that person is still willing to LEARN, regardless of how much so-called “experience” he or she might have.

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2016 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

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