If you tuned-in to a Portland radio station last week, then odds are you heard a ton of commercials from Maine small business owners looking to fill hundreds, if not thousands, of open jobs.
It is clear from these on-air recruitment ads that Maine companies are hungry for truck drivers, machinists, nurses, accountants, telemarketers, HVAC technicians, and defense workers.
These desperate employers have turned to radio recruitment advertising because hanging help-wanted signs in windows or posting classified-ads in the newspaper or online job-boards is no longer a potent strategy. Unlike these more traditional hiring strategies, advertising on Portland radio is delivering qualified blue-collar and white-collar job candidates to desperate Maine business owners.
The nation's unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in September, the lowest percentage of unemployed Americans since December of 1969. This is continued bleak news for those companies who need to hire new employees in order to expand or, at minimum sustain their businesses.
Right now in America, there are more than 650,000 job openings with just not enough qualified candidates to fill them.
The Longest Labor Crunch In Maine History
For Maine small business owners, the worker shortage is even worse. According to the Department of Labor, the state's unemployment rate stands at 3.2%. This is the 33rd consecutive month where Maine's unemployment rate has been below 4%. The longest labor crunch in the state's history. (Note: 4% unemployment is considered "full-employment.)
Yellow Breen of the Maine Development Foundation recently told WGME-TV, "I've been in this job three years, and everywhere I go in Maine, every region, every business sector, the number one issue is workforce, workforce, workforce."
So, why has Portland radio proven to be remarkably effective as a recruitment tool for Maine small business owners? It comes down to a single word: Reach.
Nielsen's Total Audience Report compares consumer consumption of all viable advertising media. The findings: 97% of consumers are reached by radio each month. This is a bigger reach than all other media.
Radio Reaches Qualified Candidates At Work
But more importantly, Portland radio does a superior job reaching the audience Maine small business owners covet: people who are employed. Plus, radio reaches those people while they are working.
Nielsen found that most radio listening occurs away from home and that most of that radio listening happens during working hours.
Seventy-six percent of all radio listeners between the ages of 18 and 64, Nielsen reports, are employed. Furthermore, those who are employed full-time listen to radio 2.5 hours more per week than people who are unemployed. This makes the Portland radio audience a great pond for Maine employers to fish for qualified job candidates.
Portland Radio Recruits Passive Job Candidates
Candidates who are currently employed, but not actively in the market for a new are referred to as "passive" job candidates According to Nielsen, there are approximately 321,000 passive job candidates working in Southern Maine.
Portland radio is the perfect way to recruit passive job candidates. The medium reaches almost every passive job candidate across York, Cumberland, Oxford, Androscoggin, and Sagadahoc counties. This is more than all other media including TV and internet job sites.
Regardless of the type of job that is open, according to Nielsen, Portland radio reaches practically every type of passive job candidate. Blue collar. White collar. Healthcare workers. Food service workers. Construction workers. Management. Laborers.
Radio Recruitment Advertising Is A Smart Move
Local businesses who have advertised on Portland radio to recruit qualified candidates have found great success. "It was actually one of the smartest moves we made," says Ron LaFlamme, former Transportation Manager at Hannaford Transportation.
Doug Martin, President of W.H. Demmons agrees, "Newspaper ads didn't really do a lot for us. Online ads have been working a little bit. When we started on the radio we got a fairly quick responses.:
The ability of radio to reach qualified job candidates in Maine embraces every type of industry and small business including manufacturing, retail, sales, construction, and accounting.
Jeffery Verrill, Executive Vice President of Salt Associates, turned on the radio to recruit disability claim associates with at least two years of experience. After the first week of the campaign, Jeffery said the results were, "Dynamite! We got 12 responses. Three or four were qualified and we are expecting more."
Terry Skillin, owner of Skillins Greenhouses, said he experienced similar success using radio. "It was a three day campaign with amazing results."
Doug Martin finds one other advantage of using radio as a recruitment tool. He says, "We call them recruitment ads, but they do accomplish more than recruiting. They get our name out in the community and that's very beneficial for us."
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