Our Media Industry Landscape Is Rapidly Changing: How To Utilize Carver Talent

You are a media industry hiring manager. C-suite. Corporate. General Manager. Director of Sales. News Director. Director of Engineering. Creative Services Director. Director of Digital. Research. Traffic. Master Control. Etc. You are doing more today with far fewer people than ever before. You are somehow tasked with staying on-air and on every streaming device known to mankind, managing your team, processes, budgets and keeping your boss generally happy and hopefully off your back and certain other anatomical areas. You enjoy earning a paycheck and not being fired. Now, you have a job opening. Gulp. You have limited (or no) corporate recruiting assistance. Or your corporate recruiting department, if you ever had the absolute pleasure of having one, was summarily executed/downsized. Or the Corporate Recruiter you do have may know little to nothing about media or the intricacies of your station and current opening. Or they have twenty-thirty plus other job openings they are actively recruiting for. Is yours their priority? Right? So, you are now tasked with being a recruiter as well as performing your other million day-to-day tasks. Wait, what?

You call your Business Manager and/or Human Resources. They diligently provide you the latest and greatest perfectly worded job posting. You know, that job posting which will automatically and immediately lure the most amazing and talented individuals in your industry silo right to your doorstep. Right? You “post and pray” will muttering to yourself incessantly “dear Lord Baby Jesus please please please let this work.” The job goes live. You eagerly dive into your email or applicant tracking system (ATS) the next morning. Confident you will have twenty plus perfect candidates just sitting there eagerly and anxiously awaiting your contact. You will have the pick of the litter. You look at your candidate pool. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Or, you have a thousand non-qualified candidates. You wonder “what were they thinking?” when they applied to your position. Or you receive industry retread who have been terminated over and over (and over) and who apply to every single job opening you have or will ever have for now and forever. Yes, you know those names. And then this scene replays itself like Groundhog Day the movie over and over for the next several weeks…or months. You have nothing. Your position is now open thirty, sixty, ninety plus days. Your team is taking on the extra work from the empty seat. Or most likely, you are, as you have less of a team today than you have ever had during your entire career. Your boss is giving you that look. Yeah, you know that look.

Sound familiar? Perhaps. I know, it is as if I am reading your mind, right? Recruiting is hard! I do it all day every day whilst not golfing or boating in sunny Tampa Florida. And guess what? It is more difficult to recruit top talent today than perhaps ever before. Yes, I said it. The global pandemic IS changing and HAS changed everything. In real-time playing itself out daily as we collectively navigate our way through this. Light at the end of the tunnel? Vaccines? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Our industry has been historically nomadic over the span of most of our careers. We know the media industry “I want to be promoted” game. Many of you have played it in the best Game of Thrones mentality. You go up in title and go down in market size. Or you keep the same title and go to a larger market. You know, growing your career. You learned to travel lightly while boxing your stuff countless times. Until you find yourself sitting in the glorified glass corporate tower or you are the General Manager of a NYC/LA station/entity.

So, news flash…And, it is not great news nor is it fake news: Candidates today are perhaps the most skittish as I have ever experienced during my thirty-year recruiting career. The housing bubble/recession era takes second place. But a distant second. Media industry candidates today are either flocking to other careers in mass zombie-like hordes or they are simply staying-put in their current demographic area. Travel? Relocate? You want me to go to that small market in nowheresville USA to maybe make close to the same amount of money so I have a shot at getting to the next level one day? While my group is likely to be acquired by God knows who soon? During a global pandemic? Away from our family/friends/schools/restaurants/craft beer spot/sports/daycare/support system/dive bars/spouses job/normalcy/comfort-safe zone/etc. city? “LOL”…Umm…nope. Millennials and Generation Z are simply not playing this game folks. At least not to the level of previous generations. They will wait it out at their own station/company before taking on an undesirable location. Not everyone. But more today than I have ever seen. Again, I do this all day every day. And I am having to make a tremendous amount of additional inquiries to my media industry passive candidate database to get someone to even nibble, much less bite, at a new opportunity. Again, not everyone, but in general.

And, if candidates are not fleeing our industry, they are retiring. Our industry is experiencing a great “brain drain” as knowledgeable industry experts are leaving, either on their own, or by being pushed out. Have you tried recruiting for a Broadcast Engineering professional recently? Wow. Downsizings, acquisitions, and the constant pressure of reporting bad news/pandemics/politics/etc. is taking a toll on the overall condition of the media industry. Some of your folks are being screamed at, spit at, or downright hunted.

Now the million-dollar question: What do you do? You have an opening you must fill. Do you let the seat stay open? Do you settle for a mediocre hire just to get a warm body with a pulse into the open chair? Only to terminate them one day soon and start this nightmare over? Have you been sued yet for wrongful termination? If not, you are lucky. It can be costly and/or detrimental to your career as a manager. What is the empty seat truly costing you today? Productivity? Morale of your team taking on the extra work? Or you not being able to properly manage your team as you take on those duties? Burnout?


If you are starting a search from scratch with no candidates in your pipeline from industry relationships you are failing. Period. Unless you live in a beautiful tropical market. Especially if you are a media industry hiring manager in a less than desirable location/market. Your search will take exponentially more time. So you must recruit at all times. Connect with folks on social media. Keep tabs on folks. Keep candidates you liked from previous searches into your own database and keep in touch with them. Have a real-time “on-deck” circle readily available. Network like crazy. It is a must. Or, always be developing. Succession plan. Either formally or informally. Manage and build your team. Think of it as if you are farming. You plant the seed. Water. Hopefully not too much fertilizer. Etc. Your crop grows. And then when you have an empty chair, you harvest your crop. And then backfill the more entry-level position perhaps. And then you continue to do this. It is more than likely much easier to backfill the more entry-level spot. Right? In today’s recruiting environment, a combination of ABR and ABD is essential to your success.

Now back to the opening caption of this article: How to utilize Carver Talent if you are a media industry hiring manager. I have good news for you now. Contact Carver Talent to assist with your job search. We have a passive candidate database at our fingertips of 10,000+. For real. This database has been built from scratch over ten plus years. I personally have over 23,000 LinkedIn connections. Mostly in the media industry. We hunt. We know the game. We know where to go to pluck the perfect candidate from your market (if there are no non-competes) or another market and drop them right into your opportunity. We have a “plug-and-play” model. As the former Director of Recruiting for Raycom Media, I have an amazing network and established relationships. I have a passion for helping people get to the next level of their career. And get this? If you choose to utilize Carver Talent, you can continue to do what you are currently doing with your own recruiting efforts. We only get paid if you hire our submitted candidate. This gives you a unique opportunity to compare our best candidate against what you may (or may not) be seeing on your own. We specialize in the placement of media industry corporate executive and station management professionals. Think of us a a talent agency, but representing management candidates instead of on-air folks. Again, what is that empty seat truly costing you? On average, we have an offer in place for our clients in thirty to forty-five days. Our fee, should you hire our candidate, is more than likely a cost savings to you. Contact ty@carvertalent.com for a no harm/no foul phone conversation to learn more about our business model. Think strategically. Top talent wins.

About the Author: Ty Carver has over 30+ years of recruiting, HR management, sales, and leadership experience…including the last 10 specific to the broadcast media industry. He is the Founder/CEO of Carver Talent, a local broadcast media management recruiting firm. As the former Director of Recruiting for Raycom Media, he has deep industry relationships. Have a media corporate executive or television station management recruiting need? Contact ty@carvertalent.com for more information.