Last week on The Business News Hour we had a story about jobs. The Labor Department says there are now 1.5 million more open jobs then there are unemployed people. To put that in context let's say there are 6 million unemployed people in the U.S. yet there are 7.5 million open jobs.
Our business is based in the Des Moines, Iowa Metro where the current unemployment rate is hovering around 2.3%. I am told, by the folks at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, there are 17,000 open jobs in the Metro. Again, just not enough people...
Everywhere you look you see "Help Wanted" signs. HyVee, a chain of over 237 grocery stores in the Midwest, went out and bought flags to plant in their parking lot to announce the obvious. Over the past two years I've watched as B'Bops, a locally owned hamburger chain, has changed their help wanted sign to promote higher wages. Two years ago the sign said $8.00 an hour. Today the sign reads $10 an hour.
Last month there was a high-powered forum where experts weighed in on the employment troubles and offered up some suggestions regarding not only recruitment but also retention.
One of the things that is missing from the discussion is something called "passive recruitment". That's where you use media to target not only your "help wanted" message but also, at the same time, polish your brand. You can use a host of mediums radio, podcasting sponsorships, podcasting, video and social media to do the same thing.
What is cool about passive recruiting is that word spreads. You may not hit the person who is actively looking for a job but your message may be heard or seen by a family member who then says, "Hey, did you see/hear that Weasels is looking for workers. Sounds/Looks like a great place to work."
Here's a sample, click to listen.
It's really that easy but, does it work? I have a friend who works in this field and he has been successful for years. The key is to let people know how really great your business is and then pitch the idea of working there.
Building your brand while building your bench is simply a good stratigity.