Forty-percent of contractors nationwide report that they have turned down jobs this year because they don't have enough skilled blue-collar workers. In Florida, over one-third of contractors say they would add 25 more employees this year if they could recruit qualified candidates.
The labor crunch isn't confined to construction. Overall, half of all Southwest Florida employers say they are having difficulty hiring enough blue-collar employees to fulfill the increasing demand from customers. This includes truck drivers, plumbers, HVAC technicians, electrical workers, machinists, metal workers, landscapers, janitors, and mechanics.
SWFL business owners can benefit from a study by The North Carolina Works Commission. The NCWC found that the recruitment efforts of many employers in that state are failing because they depend on hiring strategies from a time when qualified candidates were plentiful.
These failing strategies include posting on job boards like Monster and Indeed; publishing employment ads in local newspapers; and pleading on social media pages. Some small business owners still depend on hanging help-wanted signs.
What many local business owners on the west coast of Florida have discovered is that the best way to recruit blue-collar workers is by advertising on Fort Myers radio stations.
Last week, for instance, 90% of all local blue-collar workers tuned-in to a Fort Myers radio station. This is significantly more than watched local TV, read a local newspaper, and logged-on to Spotify or Pandora.
Of particular interest to employers is that recruitment advertising on Fort Myers radio stations reaches significantly more blue collar workers each week than those who visit an online job board over the course of an entire month.
The type of people that job boards don't reach, however, are what recruiters call "passive job seekers."
According to the Society For Human Resource Management passive job seekers are "individuals who are currently employed and not actively looking for a new job, but who may be open to a good career opportunity if one came along."
The SHRM website goes on to explain that "many employers target passive job seekers because they are looking for candidates who have positive employment records and who are satisfied with and successful in their work. Employers often target passive job seekers because of the lack of qualified job candidates to fill critical roles. Locating, wooing, and successfully luring passive job seekers are critical for organizations to remain competitive in a tight labor market.
Part of the reason Southwest Florida small business owners are so successful finding qualified blue collar candidates with radio advertising is that 93% of passive job seekers listen to local stations every week. They are not surfing the internet for job postings.
Statistics and percentages aside, perhaps the most convincing testament to the power of recruiting on local radio is that the largest online job site was also the sixth largest radio advertiser last week. The website Indeed ran as many commercials as McDonald's, Progressive, Walmart, and Geico.
Clearly, Indeed knows where to advertise to reach blue-collar workers.