Friday, August 22, 2008

It's Not Just Radio

As our business has been confronted with declining revenues, a slowed economy, greater competition, and a younger generation that is far less passionate about radio we have witnessed some very significant belt tightening around the industry. Jobs have been eliminated, combined, or reconfigured to save money.

It's not just been on the creative side of the hall either. Traffic, sales, support, and programming alike have all been affected. It's not a good thing. Seems like radio has been in a constant state of downsizing since 2000. While it's fair to argue the cuts and rightsizing were, have been, and are necessary it's also fair to argue that while things continue to function and stations stay on the air the product in many cases has been harmed. Some of the harm temporary, but some long lasting and permanent

Recently the Wall Street Journal's Career Journal featured this story: Help Wanted: Senior-Level Job, Junior Title, Pay. The title speaks for itself.

I'm not sure if this will make you feel better or worse but here are some highlights:

"They're looking for people to wear multiple hats but only pay one salary," says John Robeda, a 30-year-old product manager for an agribusiness company in Colorado Springs, Colo., who has noticed the trend since he began searching for management and marketing positions in January.

The trend has also affected financial-services firms, which are increasingly combining information-technology jobs to cut costs, says Katy Winter, a permanent placement coordinator at Sapphire Technologies Inc., a global staffing firm. Many of Sapphire's clients are seeking IT developers skilled in fixed income as well as derivatives and equity-trading platforms, whereas in the past they sought candidates experienced in each of these areas for three different jobs, she says.

He applied for a position labeled "systems administrator 1," a title that's equivalent to his current position. But once he viewed the tasks of the job, it was clear that it required someone with the skills of a mid- to senior-level administrator.

"On the listings there's a page and a half of qualifications and responsibilities for a job, and then you get to the pay and it's $28,000 to $32,000, and you're like, 'Are you kidding me?'" says Mr. Beaver. He says the job should have commanded a salary $10,000 higher.

...he has also seen a trend in the past few months of executives being hired for a high-level job with a big title but then being told they can't hire a team to work for them, leaving the new executive to also handle lower-level tasks once performed by assistants and junior managers.

When jobs are poorly combined, the strategy can also be bad for the firm, warns Amy Armitage, a partner at Capital H Group, a human-resources consulting firm based in Chicago. "You've got to look very closely at what jobs are being cut and ensure you don't cut into the bone, into the things that are really adding value to your customers and to what's really creating the growth engine of your company," she says.

At least we are not alone. Most industries seem to be experiencing the pain of downsizing with some exceptions such as one particular tech company whose name and logo sound and look like a piece of fruit. Hmmmm, what company is that?

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