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Recruiting Through the Airwaves

By April 12, 20122 Comments

Short week, Friday already, I think that calls for a sing-a-long.  Come on everyone, sing it with me:

“All we hear is *clap clap*

Radio Ga-Ga *clap clap*

Radio Goo-Goo

Radio what’s neeeeew?

Radio… re-cruit-ment loves you”

Is that how it goes?  Something like that right?  Certainly seems like it at the moment.  Amid the clamour for innovation in recruitment, the hunger to plough new furrows of clever digital marketing campaigns and flinging ourselves prostrate at the feet of the social recruiting Gods, it seems quite a few kiwi recruitment firms have gone beyond old skool and turned back to the faithful old wireless to generate candidates.

In recent weeks I have heard jingly radio ads or slot sponsorships from the likes of Coverstaff, Tradestaff, Kelly Executive, Randstad, O’Neil’s Personnel, Rob Law Max and Kinetic.  And those are just the ones I can recall off the top of my head (must have had the catchiest jingles I suppose, either that or the catchy tones of business owners like Kevin Eder of Tradestaff or Pat Quin of Rob Law Max).

So do these guys know something the rest of us don’t?  I’d love to know how successful this advertising medium has been for them and encourage anyone working there to share their feedback here.  Of course it’s easy to see the strategy working well for some of the more labour hire orientated firms seeking to position their brand into the pliant consciousness of their particular target market.  Coverstaff sponsoring the sports news slot on The Sound.  Kevin Eder gruffly extolling the virtues of working in the rapidly expanding Christchurch labour hire market, followed by a jingle rounded off with a collective grunt like you might hear as a scrum comes together.

But hearing Kelly Executive on Radio Live, advertising for IT and Technical professionals is something different.  Or Randstad seeking white collar candidates with adverts on The Rock signed off with a nifty guitar riff and long, drawn out (and slightly smug) “Yeeeeeah…”  Then yesterday hearing actual consultants at Kinetic Recruitment talking about 6-figure salary roles they’re working on.

Is radio really the most effective forum for this?  We in recruitment must be by far the most widely represented professional services sector advertising on the radio, with our exhortations for CVs of suitable jobseekers wedged in between a woman talking about pest control and a clearly mad (and slightly speech impeded – odd trait for radio voiceovers) couple selling whiteware.

I’m always pushing for the advancement of recruitment marketing into the social recruiting sphere, the power of digital and viral campaigns, the embracing of innovation in achieving growth in this brave new post-GFC world of business.  But others clearly feel that the other direction is best.

Which approach would work best for your firm?

Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.


  • Stewart Farr says:

    Radio is a “hands and eyes free” media making it perfect for targeting people who are busy.

  • Seth says:

    The great thing about singing up for radio advertising is a plump dude sporting a energy drink t-shirt and a goatie shows up in a sign written ute at your work premises and puts on a sausage sizzle for the staff. What recruitment business owner would turn that down?