According to the US Census Bureau, there are 19,142 businesses in the Wilmington, Delaware area. Some of these companies are small. Some are large. Some sell machine parts. Some sell software. Some provide legal services. Some provide eyecare.
Regardless of the size of the business or what it sells, all of these local companies have one thing in common: they are struggling to fill open jobs with qualified candidates. This is true in Wilmington as well as Edgemoor, New Castle, Elsmere, Pennsville, and every point in between.
Right now, across the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 10.9 million open jobs. This is an all-time record.
To put this mammoth number of open jobs in perspective, the Federal Reserve says there are now five job openings per every four unemployed people.
Attempting to recruit Wilmington workers from the ranks of the unemployed has proven fruitless for local companies. This is because many people who lost their jobs during the pandemic have no intention of returning to the workforce anytime soon.
There are several reasons so many Wilmington workers are not coming back.
First, older workers have opted to retire earlier than expected. Second, childcare issues are making it necessary for some parents to stay home. Third, other workers cite health safety issues for the reason why they chose not to work. Finally, some of the unemployed are choosing to live off the savings they amassed during the pandemic.
So rather than focusing recruitment efforts among former employees and the ranks of the unemployed, local business owners need to target the 324,119 passive job seekers in Wilmington.
According to the Society of Human Resources Managers (SHRM), "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."
"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," says SHRM.
Pre-pandemic, Wilmington business owners mostly used well-worn recruitment tactics like online job board postings, employment fairs, and help-wanted signs. These options, however, are not effective for reaching the coveted passive job seekers.
According to Nielsen, the best way to reach passive job seekers locally is by advertising on Wilmington radio.
Every week, 209,970 passive job seekers tune in to a Wilmington radio station. This is significantly more than are reached by social media, local TV and cable, newspapers, streaming media sites, and online job boards like ZipRecruiter or Indeed.
Furthermore, according to Nielsen, advertising on Wilmington radio has the greatest reach among both Blue-Collar and White-Collar passive job seekers.
Filling open jobs in Wilmington is expected to be a struggle among local employers for quite some time.
“The labor shortages will start to abate in September and this fall, but it’s not going to be an immediate fix,” economist Dante DeAntonio of Moody’s Analytics recently told USA Today. “This could well play out over two, three years.”
Therefore, it is imperative for Wilmington area business owners who are desperate to fill critical positions to begin targetting passive job seekers. Based on current metrics, advertising on Wilmington radio needs to be part of that recruitment solution.
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