More DJ Training Tips

May 15, 2017 by Joe Bunn

When I hire DJs, I usually like to try and get several at a time (especially since I have four offices all within about 4 hours of Raleigh, NC). Even if I can’t use them here, there is a good chance that my owners in the other offices could use them. Back in the day, I would put ads in the local zines and local newspapers. I would even go by record stores (remember those?) and ask what DJs shopped there. These days, it’s usually a Craig’s List ad. Now remember, I only hire experience DJs so the ad clearly says things like “Must have own car, own gear, and have DJd previously”. From this ad, I’ll usually get several emails. I can weed through several of them just by the way people spell or their lack of shift key usage. Buh bye.

Once I get through the initial inquiries to work for us, I’ll send them out a really basic questionnaire. Honestly, it’s more of a test to see 1-Are they going to return it? and 2-How is their grammar and spelling? I can’t have DJs out there dealing with $100K brides that can’t use the English language properly. Not happening! After I get the questionnaire back, the list gets even smaller. Eventually, I’ll get that list of folks in for face to face 30 minute meetings with me. At this interview, I ask them about their DJ experience and honestly just try to get to know them. I don’t do all that corporate BS like “What is your biggest weakness?” and “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I’ll be honest, I’ve hired some DJs I thought were going to be rock stars that didn’t work out, and I’ve also gambled on some guys that I thought wouldn’t last six weeks that have been here 10+ years. There is no perfect science to hiring.

Once I have my small group of DJs from this hiring run (usually 4-8 folks), I will set up training. This is of course after they have gone out and shadowed myself or other veteran DJs. If you want to see more about my shadowing process, have a look at last week’s blog post. I’ve done training many different ways. Sometimes we will do a few full days, like 2 or 3 all day sessions on a Sunday when everyone is off work. Other times, we have done a few hours every Wednesday night for several weeks. If you have not created a DJ Training Manual for your company, get on it! This is a key piece of training DJs well. You can take it all the way back to music history and which cable is what, or start more advanced depending on what type of DJ trainees you’re getting. In any case, work on that right away! Good luck with your trainings, if you ever need me, reach out!

Joe Bunn Joe Bunn (53 Posts)

Joe Bunn started his DJ career at the age of 14 in his hometown of Wilson, NC. He did shows all throughout high school, college at UNC-Chapel Hill, and eventually moved to Raleigh, NC in the late 90s where he started Bunn DJ Company. The company grew from a couple of DJs to 15 of the area’s best mobile DJs. Over the past few years, Bunn DJ Company has expanded to Charleston, SC, Charlotte, NC and Richmond, VA. The company performs at over 800 weddings a year and another 400 private, corporate and charity events. Joe has been on the board of both ILEA (International Live Events Assocation) and NACE (National Association of Catering & Events). In addition, he is a writer for many national DJ publications such as Disc Jockey News, Mobile Beat Magazine and DJ Times. Joe still DJs almost every weekend, but in recent years has been helping other DJs across the country grow their businesses. He has given seminars at Mobile Beat Las Vegas, Wedding MBA, DJ Times Expo, local/regional organizations, NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill. He has also been hired by DJs all over the world to help their businesses in every aspect from branding to sales.

Filed Under: Mobile DJ Business