When I’m coaching DJ business owners on recruiting and training new DJs for their team, one of the first questions I ask them is what they’re looking for in their new hires. Most immediately tell me they want DJs with experience. When I ask them to dig deeper, they usually seem mystified.
Much like when a prospective client asks us about pricing because they don’t know what else to ask, experience is an easy go-to when considering your hiring criteria. However, it’s probably the least important thing a candidate can bring to the table.
Hear me out.
The fact of the matter is, deejaying is a skill that can 100% be trained. Sure, some people are truly gifted at it, with a natural talent that couldn’t be replicated with any amount of instruction. For most DJ businesses, however, the kind of performances that are needed can be taught, and therefore there are other, more important, criteria for hiring.
What matters most is character.
Character is what will determine your DJs’ attitude, both in dealing with you, your clients, and the million stressors on the job. Character is what will determine your DJs’ loyalty, and how dedicated they’ll be in representing your business in the field. Character is what will keep your DJs working hard, practicing their craft, cultivating great professional relationships and bringing in new customers.
I’m not going to tell you specifically what kind of character traits you should be looking for, because those are going to vary depending on your business model, your goals for your company, your expectations of your team and your own personality and values. However, I will tell you that you, as the business owner, need to be very clear on what character traits and qualities matter most, well before you hire any new DJs.
Ask yourself: what inherent personal attributes will make someone most successful when it comes to working for your company, serving your clientele, meshing with your team and reporting to you, the boss?
Here are a few examples to get your wheels turning:
If you’ve built a brand based on outstanding customer service, you may seek out prospective DJs who exude kindness, compassion and warmth. You want to know they inherently understand the value of treating people well, and that you won’t need to worry about them being negative, rude or inflexible when they’re working with your clients.
If your DJs bear a lot of responsibilities, or if your equipment and performances are particularly complex, you’ll probably want to look for people who are resourceful, calm under pressure, and able to creatively solve problems. You want the kind of person who is able to maintain his composure as he figures out the source of a sound problem and who can keep up with a demanding schedule.
If your DJs will be privy to any confidential and/or proprietary information, you’ll most likely look for people who are honest and trustworthy above all. Sure, every employer wants to hire honest people – but the fact is, in some jobs this trait matters less than others. For your business, if you don’t want your business secrets getting around, or if your DJs will have access to your clients’ payment information, you’ll want to put honesty near the top of your list.
When you know the specific traits that are most important to you in your team members, you can intentionally seek out candidates who possess them. That way, as you’re guiding them through the technical training to become a DJ, you’ll be confident you’re sharing your skills with good people who will be an asset to your business for a long time to come.
While character is what matters most when hiring new DJs, there’s something else that’s a close second – which still isn’t experience – and I’ll be sharing that in an upcoming post! In the meantime, I’d love to know what character traits are most essential to you in your team members. Feel free to share in the comments!
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