The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

January 7, 2013

ERDA, Monster join forces to find workers

ENID, Okla. — Monster.com, the largest career-builder website in the United States, is working well as a service of Enid Regional Development Alliance, ERDA’s director said.

“It’s been successful,” Brent Kisling said. “It’s an idea (Enid News & Eagle Publisher) Jeff Funk and I bounced around.”

Kisling said ERDA and Monster entered into a modified agreement last year, one of the first communities in America to do so. Companies in Enid can post jobs on Monster.com and have a template and information promoting Enid, pointing out things that would entice people to the city.

The project was started because of Enid’s low unemployment rate of about 3 percent. Kisling said there are about 1,500 jobs available in Enid that companies cannot find people to fill.

“We had to find a way to get word outside the city limits,” he said. “Monster.com is the largest career-building website, and the Enid News & Eagle has a successful relationship with them, and that has worked out.”

Because there are few unemployed people in the Enid area, companies have to look beyond city limits for employees. By working through ERDA, employers who are members can receive help subsidizing their advertisements. Any company in the region can work with the News & Eagle and have job listings posted on Monster.com; Kisling said he wanted that service for ERDA members.

The ERDA program is operated by Lisa Powell.

Among the companies pleased with the effort is Groendyke Transport. Holly McCormick, director of recruiting and retention for Groendyke, said it was a convenient thing from a recruiting standpoint.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” she said. “You shoot an email to the ERDA, and for a nominal fee, get 30 days posting on Monster.com and four days in the Enid News classified section. It’s been successful; We get a lot of response from it.”

McCormick said the response has been huge, especially for a recent ad for a billing clerk: Groendyke has received nearly 50 resumes so the position.

“There has been some interest from out of town in the surrounding areas — we’ve seen Fairview, Covington, Garber. One ad had people applying from Ohio and way out of town,” she said.

“It’s interesting to see they were looking at our posting. The bigger the applicant pool, the better chance we will find a worthy candidate.”

Mickey Stowers, president of Aircraft Structures International, said he is satisfied with the response from job listings on Monster, and is preparing to use the service again.

“I like it. We received quite a few applications, but didn’t get enough results,” Stowers said.

His advertising is aimed at Wichita, Kan., where there are a large number of aircraft workers who have been laid off. He said he received responses to his ads, but people cannot leave their homes.

“They have mortgages, and they are stuck out on a limb. We’re trying to offer some things like free rent for a while for people we hire,” Stowers said. “We want career people who are going to stay here. I’d like to hire another 40, but I can’t get the people in here.”

He received replies not only from the Wichita area, but from other countries like South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. In the past, Stowers hired people who drove back and forth from Wichita, but as soon as a job opened in Wichita, they left.

“If they aren’t moving here, we don’t want them,” he said.

Stowers is considering purchasing rental property in Enid to have a place for his employees to stay.

Connie Maass, of Pioneer Telephone, said the Monster.com ads have been working well. The company has received many applications for jobs.

“When I got here this morning, there were 10 emails for jobs. We had several jobs open at once,” she said.

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