Students As Employees – A Great Solution

January 10, 2008 by Mike Walter

Last week I told you how ideal I think students are (High School Seniors to College aged) as new additions to your staff. This week I give you the good news: There’s no easier demographic to find and recruit!Let’s talk about finding them first. There are easy avenues to take to get your message out to a student body that you are a DJ company looking for new recruits. First, most schools have newspapers. These are typically inexpensive publications to advertise in. Also, many schools (colleges specifically) have bulletin boards where you can post “Help Wanted” flyers for free. Add to that the fact that if you are DJing a High School Dance, you’ve already got them in front of you and there’s nothing wrong with approaching some of the more outgoing students and telling them they’d make a great DJ. So if it’s a coupla good young recruits you are seeking, hitting up some local schools should be at the top of your “To Do” list.

Once you find them, what’s going to make them want to DJ?

Here’s the catch: what we do is cool. Or at least it looks that way from the outside looking in. For a High School or College kid who needs to get a part-time job anyway, what could be better than playing music and going to parties every weekend? If you’ve been doing this for long enough you’ve probably lost that feeling (after all it’s your career and it forces you to miss a lot of stuff on the weekends right?) I know I have, but try to remember the first coupla gigs you did and how awesome you felt being the DJ. That’s the same emotion this young person is going to feel. It’s the same excitement they are going to have, even in the training part. I’ve had trainees who, after a ninety-minute session asked me if they can stick around and mix some more music on the gear. You think if they were training at Pizza Hut they’d ask the manager if they could stick around a little longer and empty more trash cans ‘cause it’s that much fun? No, me either.

Now, I don’t want to mislead you and make you think that Students are the perfect recruits. One of the things I’ve found with teenagers is they are very fickle. They can have an overwhelming passion for something one day, and then be bored with it the next. So you may notice a little more turnover in your staff when dealing with people in their late teens or early twenties. But that’s okay to me because my training program is long enough that it weeds out the ones that will eventually grow bored. But when it works out, it works out well. You’ve got someone young enough that they may just give you the next five or even ten years of their lives working part-time for you. That kind of longevity rarely happens if you are recruiting a thirty-year old (who the heck wants a 40-year DJ on their staff anyway.)

Till next week

Mike Walter’s emceeing career began in his hometown of Queens, New York in 1984. With an eye towards radio, Mike attended Connecticut School of Broadcasting in 1988 where he was chosen from his class of 25 as “Most Likely to Succeed.” After school, Mike helped to develop a staff of DJs from 12 to over 50 by training new recruits and handling an increasingly complex schedule. In early 1993, Mike felt an increasing desire to venture out on his own and by March of that year he became a partner in a much smaller Mobile DJ company, Elite Entertainment. He quickly had an impact on the Elite staff, imposing his high standards of emceeing and DJing. Mike bought out his partner in 1998 and Elite Entertainment has continued its growth (21 emcees in 2006) and sets the standard for excellence in New Jersey. Mike has always believed in training talent from within and his message has helped show hundreds of DJs from across the country that it is possible to grow their companies without sacrificing quality.

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Mike Walter Mike Walter (19 Posts)

Mike Walter is the proud owner of Elite Entertainment, a Multi-Op DJ Company in New Jersey that has been selected by The Knot, Wedding Wire and Modern Bride as a top Entertainment company in the country. What Mike is most proud of is that his own company exemplifies the message he has been preaching to the DJ Industry for years: There IS a way to combine Quality and Quantity. Mike has always believed in training talent from within and he spreads his message by speaking at DJ Expos and writing for many DJ publications.


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