Gather ‘round yet again my dear readers, DJ school is once again in session. And, wow, isn’t it the time of year for it? September is almost behind us, the air is crisp, the leaves fragile, and that iconic, fragrant spice is floating out of every Starbucks’ front door.
But…I digress. First thing’s first – congratulations! Seriously. Cheers to you if you’re ready to expand your DJ team and hire a DJ or two. It might feel overwhelming, but this is actually a good ‘problem’ to have. It means you’ll have more time to spend on growing your business – and you’ll have a few more weekends free.
But, starting the hiring process also means hunkering down and doing the work so that you attract the right person for your brand.
Let’s settle in for a good little chat, just me and you. I’ll outline some key steps I take to find that unicorn team member.
Step one: Create an actual application.
As easy as it’d be to just send out good vibes and hope that the perfect DJ team member answers the call – it’s not so black and white.
You’ll need to craft out an application form that can live on major job sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, all the “Ins” – and you’ll want to toe the line between extremely time consuming and thorough.
I like to create an application form with a few paragraph questions to answer. Not essay questions, but questions that will encourage the right applicant to fill out a sentence or two.
How they respond will give you a sense of their critical thinking skills as well as how well they can spell – seriously. This person should clearly answer questions with proper punctuation, verbs, nouns, etc.
This exercise helps you determine whether this person will be able to write a proper thank you note and communicate with clients in a clear and professional manner. It also shows that they’ll make the effort to craft out a good response. We don’t want to take up their entire day, but spending 20 minutes crafting out some good answers is not asking too much.
Here are some long-answer application questions to get you started:
- Tell me about a time when you had an emergency and couldn’t fulfill a client event – how did you handle it?
- Tell me about a time when you had two conflicting events. How did you handle it, and how do you ensure effective time management?
- If you had a last-minute request for a song you’ve never heard of – how would you approach the request – and how would you interact with this person?
- Put together a small playlist (15 songs) for your fantasy client; you’re allowed to put whatever your heart desires on it. Tell me why you chose it!
The last two questions are great for sussing out their music taste, flexibility, and overall knowledge. Everyone is different, and that’s a gorgeous thing, but if their knowledge of music only extends as far back as whatever is trending on TikTok, that might be a problem.
Step two: Dust off those people skills!
Now it’s time to discuss the onus on you. If an applicant takes the time to answer your questions thoughtfully, presents themselves well, and has a great resume – it’s time for an interview! Yay!
Remember, though, that this person will be evaluating you as much as you’ll be evaluating them – but for different reasons of course. They want to ensure they’ll get along with you, that you’re well organized, that you have your business together, and that you’re serious about bringing a new team member on.
Present yourself well. Prepare your interview questions beforehand, look presentable, and have water on hand for the both of you if you’re in person – you’re both about to do a ton of talking!
Step three: Communicate your expectations.
It’s always awesome to find folks with experience and have done this before, but those people are going to come with habits, instincts, methods that are very ingrained and that may be hard to reconcile if they’re not on brand with your business.
That’s okay! Sometimes people aren’t a good fit. However, it’s important to communicate expectations early on with prospective team members about how you operate. This can look like the following:
- Give them a sense of your typical clientele; their general music taste, age range, and how they like their weddings to flow.
- Get clear on how you interact with clients and whether you expect team members to interact with them. This is crucial, as you’ll want to be extra sure you can trust them to act professionally and use their problem solving skills when you’re not available.
- Be clear on the actual DJing portion of things! Do you prefer Vinyl? Playlists? Do you prefer team members to create their own playlist or will you provide them?
DJ school tip: This all goes double if you take a team member on as an independent contractor – you can’t set terms beyond conditions of work and you aren’t really able to train them. Be sure to explore the differences between independent contractors and employees and really be certain on which path is right for your business.
As I say – hiring people is a good problem to have. It means you’re taking yourself and your business seriously. This means that you’re starting to see the fruits of your labors – and that is the best feeling. That takes work!
Most of us aren’t hiring experts, so it’s important to really prepare when taking on team members so nobody’s time is wasted.
Want to learn more about hiring? Running your business? Luckily for you, there’s a DJ school for that. My course, The Lab.
The Lab’s training videos are hilarious, engaging, and super high quality – seriously, where’s my EGOT? They’re also yours forever once you’ve purchased them. Bonus – our videos include a full transcript, so it’s easy to come back and quickly reference what you’ve learned.
Ready to build that DJ empire? Here’s our sign-up form here.
Not ready to take the plunge? That’s cool. I gotchu. I also offer coaching. Book a one-on-one with me here, we’ll have a little chat over coffee about how I can help.