Maine's unemployment rate dipped to 3.0% percent last week, the lowest in 40 years. This low rate has stifled the ability for many Maine small business owners to find qualified candidates to fill job vacancies. Many employers are turning to Portland radio for help.
John Ryan, President of Wright-Ryan construction company, told the Portland Press Herald that the company is having a hard time finding workers, both skilled and unskilled. "The low unemployment figure is a wonderful thing on the one hand,” he said. “But our company is experiencing difficulty hiring people at all levels.”
Another company having trouble recruiting workers, according to the Bangor Daily News, is Casco Bay Steel in South Portland, President Byron Tait says he has been competing for workers with companies in other states.
“You do what you got to do to get good help,” says Mr. Tait. “It’s a tight market right now but we are looking for, we could probably hire 10 more people today if we could find qualified people.”
Companies with jobs to fill are finding that traditional recruitment methods are failing. These companies are eschewing online job boards and newspaper classifieds. Instead, many are turning to Portland radio to find the best candidates.
Portland Radio Reaches Passive Job Candidates
It seems radio has a unique ability to reach "passive" job candidates. These are qualified people who are already working but may not realize there are better opportunities available for them in their field. These passive candidates are far more likely to be listening to radio everyday than to be perusing Indeed.com or the classified section of the newspaper.
Research from International Demographics reveals that employers are 31% more likely to reach the highly-qualified passive job seekers on the radio than in newspaper classifieds. And radio is 40% more likely to reach passive job seekers than internet job sites.
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 response."
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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