If you’ve ever found yourself stressed out because you suddenly have to hire 20 people for your company, you’re not alone.
Hiring qualified employees is a must, but the pressure to fill the spots can make that feel like an impossible task. Fortunately, you can take control of the recruitment process with a little help.
According to Nielsen, radio reaches 92% of Americans 18 and older each week, which makes it one of the best ways to reach a local audience. If you leverage your campaign with frequency and targeted advertising, it can help you successfully find the right employees for your business.
“I think with radio, people have this misconception that it’s a dying industry, and that couldn’t be further from the truth,” says Kassie Taksey, general sales manager for WFWI, WBYR, and WKJG at Federated Media. “People are listening to terrestrial radio in their car, they’re streaming it on their phone, they're streaming it in their office or at a worksite. People are listening.”
Radio is effective for recruitment campaigns, especially when it’s used as part of a larger recruitment strategy. Below are a few ways that radio can help your business hire the right people for your company.
THE POWER OF RADIO
Working with media partners at radio stations offers a lot of benefits when running your recruitment campaign. Aside from the reach of radio, you get a partner in marketing who understands the media environment.
“Most of the people tasked with recruiting for a company are HR folks, and they don’t necessarily have a lot of experience in marketing,” says Rocky Curl, an account executive at Federated Media. “They’re all given this responsibility of marketing for their company. They really rely on professionals in the media to offer a solution to their challenge of hiring quality employees.”
One of the benefits of radio is that your recruitment ad can get on the air quickly so you can start the recruitment process immediately if you find yourself in dire straits.
“If someone is looking for an immediate solution to their hiring needs, radio has the best chance of helping them,” Curl says. “We can put together a strategy — a message — in as little as a day. And we’re able to target the right people that a business is looking for.”
Despite the broad reach of radio to a wide audience, stations can target more specific demographics which may align more closely with a business.
Curl points to country station B100 (WBYT), which reaches a wide demographic. Ads on that station don’t just reach job seekers, they reach their friends and family, too, who can pass on the message.
“Stations like B100 reach people from age 12 to 80 and are family-friendly,” he says. “It hits family members of people who are looking for jobs. When grandma hears an ad for a job that’s available, she’s going to tell her grandkids.”
Finding the right station for your recruitment campaign requires knowing the type of employee you want to hire.
“It’s about finding the right people for your company, not just a body to fill a role,” says Kathy Uebler, general sales manager for WBYT and WRBR at Federated Media. “We want to know exactly the type of person a company wants to hire. We have to drill down and identify the people a company needs.”
For some insight, Curl suggests going into your employee work areas and finding out the radio stations they’re listening to.
“I always tell people to jump into the company truck and see where the radio is set, or to pay attention as you’re walking through the office,” he says. “You might be surprised by what you find out!”
FREQUENCY, FREQUENCY, FREQUENCY
While getting a recruitment ad turned around in a day may work in the short-term, Curl, Taksey, and Uebler all agree that a long-term mindset is needed for effective recruitment.
“A big part of radio is frequency, and what makes it unique is that it happens in the theater of the mind,” Uebler says. “It’s not about what you need immediately, it’s more about remembering the things you’ve heard when you’re ready to act.”
A person may be a passive jobseeker and not even realize that they’re ready for a change in work. But a bad commute or a bad day at the office may trigger them to become an active jobseeker, and that’s when the power of frequency on the radio takes over.
“Someone may have a situation at work that makes them frustrated or upset or they suddenly go into work and lose their job and feel lost,” she says. “That’s when the theater of the mind triggers their memory, and it’s your ad you want them to remember.”
Frequency and repetition are the keys to turning your campaign into a successful long-term strategy.
“Repetition is key,” Taksey says. “Doing a smaller campaign isn’t always the best way to go. You really need to have long-term repetition with radio spots and a content campaign, like text messaging.”
STRATEGIZE YOUR CAMPAIGN
Hiring doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Every company will have turnover at some point, it’s as inevitable as the sun rising each day. Having a long-term recruitment strategy to build a talent pool is an absolute need.
“We’re really encouraging people to do more than just a two-week campaign. We want them to think more long-term,” Taksey says. “What we’re finding is that people are listening to that ad for two weeks and are then just starting to think about giving that business a call. If that campaign ends at that point, you’ve lost that prospective employee because they think that job has been filled. A lot of times, that’s not the case.”
Taksey explains that a strategic approach to hiring is critical. You may have a need to fill a lot of positions right now, but there's no better time to think about the bigger picture. Filling your talent pool early will save you from getting under pressure to hire anyone just to fill a spot again in the future.
“After starting a recruitment campaign, a business should take a month off to sort through the recruits they’ve gotten and then re-start the campaign in order to keep their talent pool filled,” she says. “Keeping the pipeline full of people is just as important as filling those immediate jobs. You’re going to have some turnover, and if you keep on top of it, then you’ll have more candidates in your funnel for future use.”
Hiring is difficult for everyone right now. But that creates an opportunity to look at the way your company has been hiring in the past and how to improve the process moving forward.
“If you’re consistent, you can run something for two weeks, take a break for four weeks, and then run something again for two weeks. Let us put together a strategy for you that you’ll constantly have a funnel of people come in so your need doesn’t become so urgent,” Uebler says. “You’ll always have people to talk to. Spend time frequently and consistently having a conversation about bringing people into your organization.”
Consistency and frequency are vital to making sure your ad is being heard by the right people in the right place. Get your message out in the world and keep reminding passive jobseekers what you have to offer.
“Once you’re on the air telling your story, you can’t go dark. You have to continue to do branding for your business,” Uebler says. “Radio is all about frequency — we’re in the frequency business — and we can help you get that message out there. But you’ve got to keep building on the recruitment foundation you start and build a talent pool.”