How this NSW small business is recruiting holidaymakers with the help of a billboard that offers a “job in paradise”

Bored of typical recruitment methods? So is one New South Wales small business – so it decided to get a board instead.

Get Smart Promotional Products is based two-and-a half hours north of Sydney in Port Stephens and is currently looking for “dynamic” candidates to join the company in a customer experience manager role.

Instead of only going down traditional recruitment pathways of using online job boards and newspaper ads, the business also decided to purchase a 6.6 by 3.3-metre billboard for $2500.

The billboard is positioned on the outbound side of the road out of Port Stephens, as the business hopes to attract workers leaving the area. On the billboard is a link to a website, “Job in Paradise”, that offers more details about the position.

“You will be based in beautiful Port Stephens, 2 1/2 hours north of Sydney and on the door step of Australia’s 7th largest city, Newcastle. Port Stephens offers pristine beaches, gourmet restaurants, boutique shopping, NO Traffic, and a fabulous airport hub only 25 mins away,” the company says in its ad.

“The bonus is the position is based in paradise, so you will have not only the best job of your life, you have the best lifestyle you have ever experienced.”

Get Smart general manager Michelle Ford told SmartCompany the business wants to capture holidaymaking workers who may be tempted to remain in Port Stephens.

“The area really swells on the weekends with people coming in from Sydney each weekend and for holidays,” Ford says.

“We’re hoping to tap into the people leaving who aren’t ready to go back to city work. They want to stay, and we’re providing the solution.”

Get Smart has been in operation since 2000 and turns over in excess of $5 million a year. Ford has been the general manager since the business began, and recently decided the business needed to add another another member to its 15-strong team.

Struggling to hire the right people is a common problem amongst the nation’s SMEs, but Ford says her business has found it even harder due to its location.

“We’re a regional business in a regional location so we’ve got a pretty small pool to tap into. We didn’t want to limit ourselves because we’re looking for a high level of candidate,” Ford says.

“We really recruit on values, and sometimes it’s hard to find the right people who align with our values.”

Despite these challenges, Ford says the company has managed to recruited high quality employees.

“We have an amazing and diverse group of people here, all with amazing backgrounds,” she says.

“I don’t think we would have gotten a team like this in a capital city.”

Acknowledging it takes more than billboard to find the perfect job candidate, Ford has posted the job ad on online job board SEEK, and is planning to run a social media campaign too.

Ford hopes the campaign’s reach could be national, but says she would be happy with just grabbing the attention of workers on the east coast.

“Whenever we meet our clients in city locations, they ask us how we manage to do business in Port Stephens,” she says.

“People don’t realise there are great opportunities regionally.”

For businesses looking to recruit successfully, Ford advises to “think outside the square”.

“We’ve always valued pushing boundaries as a business, and this is an example of that,” she says.

As the billboard only went up on Wednesday, Ford hasn’t had any responses yet.

“As for how successful the campaign will be, better ask me again in three months,” she says.


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