A recent opening in our Corporate Sponsorship Department created a challenge as well as an opportunity for us: how to recruit and hire someone given (a) the competitive employment environment (b) our salary limitations as a state agency and (c)the fact that we do not pay commissions?
We focused on seeking candidates who possessed an aptitude for learning new things, an adaptive personality and desire to further our mission. We were not as concerned with sales and marketing experience, per se, as we were with interpersonal skills and an interest in the mission of public media. We also placed high value on our built-in career path with merit increases, State of Idaho benefits, comp time and organizational culture.
Working with our Human Resources Specialist, we created an internal career path for Corporate Sponsorship with specific benchmarks and opportunities for training, growth, career advancement and incremental compensation increases. This was a lengthy process to get through our State DHR, and we received about a dozen qualified applicants. It was well worth the time, thought and effort: at our annual Corporate Sponsorship Preview event on September 26th, we announced Rachelle Anderson as our new Corporate Sponsorship Representative for Idaho Public Television. She told me that a key part of her decision to accept the position was the defined training plan for CSPI I and II that would help her to be successful and meet her goals the first year. It gave her confidence, and she likes a target to aim for (and I like hearing that!).
In a nutshell, here is our pathway:
- The entry level position (L1) title is Corporate Sponsorship Representative. Key Responsibilities during the mandatory 6-month probationary period include typical onboarding such as meeting with programming, production and traffic departments; studying the PBS underwriting handbooks and learning station guidelines, and FCC and PBS rules; along with corporate sponsorship colleagues and direct supervisor, meeting with all clients in assigned portfolios to establish connections as their rep; securing renewal contracts that are 30-60-90 days out; updating Salesforce and tracking pipeline daily; meeting regularly with supervisor. After completing a 6-month probationary period and review with a minimum of APS (Achieves Performance Standards rating), the supervisor recommends the employee for the next available CSPI I and II training offered by PBS Development Services. If, after successful completion and demonstrated use of CSPI 1 & 2 in the first 3 months after completing the trainings, the Corporate Sponsorship Representative is eligible for promotion to next level and receives 3.0% merit increase in pay.
- The Management level (L2) title is Corporate Sponsorship Manager. Key responsibilities include meeting or exceeding quarterly and annual goals for new, renewal and incremental business. The manager is also responsible for training and mentoring the new Corporate Sponsorship Representative, helping that person pass their probationary period, qualify for CSPI 1 and 2, and helping them apply their learning afterwards. There can be more than one Manager. At this point, the employee has a choice. If Level 3 (Director) position is open, employee may have an opportunity to be promoted to Level 3. If employee is not interested in promotion to Director Level 3 or if there is not an opening for Level 3, employee will remain at Level 2 and other developmental goals or opportunities will be established for the individual to build depth in this sponsorship function. Teri Tate McColly successfully employs her CSPI training – along with her own style and personality – to consistently knock her goals out of the park every quarter.
- If a Corporate Sponsorship Manager is interested and there is a position opening, the next step (L3) title is Corporate Sponsorship Director. Key responsibilities include successful completion and demonstrated use of CSPI 3 for Managers in first 3 months and after CSPI 3 class; completion of State of Idaho Supervisory Academy or equivalent coursework position; reporting to the Director of Development as the corporate sponsorship team leader; setting and exceeding personal revenue goals (quarterly and annually for new, renew, and incremental categories); providing observations for performance reviews (probationary, annual, and individual Performance Improvement Plans) for Corporate Sponsorship Associate; assisting Director of Development in setting Sponsorship budgets; and managing coordination of annual sponsorship events. If the Sponsorship Director position is open and all key responsibilities are met or exceeded met by the Manager, the employee is eligible for promotion and 3% merit increase.
Recruiting and keeping high performing corporate sponsorship staff takes a commitment on the part of the organization to help develop their potential. The training provided by CSPI creates the building blocks for individual growth, our department’s long-term success and IdahoPTV’s ability to meet its mission.
Jenifer Johnson | Director of Development | IdahoPTV