Need New Talent? Take a Cue from Silicon Valley

Posted on October 21, 2011


One of the reasons radio struggles so hard to find new talent is all the bright, shiny options for young creative people.

We are in competition for talent with every new media platform out there, many of which are higher on young people’s radar screens than radio.

Our situation is very similar to the challenge IGN Entertainment, which specializes in video gaming and game-related technology, found itself.

The company needed to expand its programming team.

But, according to an article in Fast Company, due to a shortage of “qualified people,” salaries for top-level coders in the Silicon Valley area have been going up rapidly while IGN’s budgets haven’t.

So the company’s president, Roy Bahat, decided to try an experiment he nicknamed “Code Foo.”

It started with this want ad, “Flipping burgers to scrape together enough cash to buy Portal 2? Blow our minds while you’re here and we’ll hire you.”

Purposely downplaying education and experience in exchange for passion, the ad brought people with solid programming skills but less polished resumes to the company.

Out of 104 applicants 28 were selected to take part in a six-week training program so Bahat could, “see if we could get them up to a level where we actually might want to hire them.”

The program was successful; the company hired eight people from the group.

This is a perfect solution for radio.

The programming on your HD-2 channels isn’t that compelling.

But it sure would be a great place to let a bunch of creative types try to become the next generation of radio superstars.

Cmon! Someone order the up Radio Foo. I’ll bet it’s good.