AROOSTOOK COUNTY - The Opportunities Aroostook job posting website that grew out of the Aroostook Partnership for Progress "Education to Industry" initiative is now nine months old and continues to grow. Currently there are more than 150 jobs posted and employers are reporting finding success in utilizing the site.
OpportuntiesAroostook.com is a free job/resume posting website with a unique social media component to encourage people to explore career opportunities in Aroostook County. It also allows a business to market themselves through a number of online tools.
Chelsea Henderson, Vice President of Human Resources at F.A. Peabody Inc., said she has posted on the site and has had good luck in finding employees.
"I learned early on in the process, that by updating the posts on occasion they would be cycled back to the home page, and when I learned that, the responses increased dramatically," she said. "It is like any social media posting, the newer the better."
Henderson said one of the latest positions to be hired thanks to Opportunities Aroostook is a sales producer position in Central Aroostook.
Opportunities Aroostook is a collaborative effort between APP, LEADers Encouraging Aroostook Development, businesses and educators to grow the 18- to 44-year-old workforce in Aroostook County.
"I was delighted to hear first-hand from Chelsea how pleased she was and the success they've had in their recent hiring experience via Opportunities Aroostook" Bob Dorsey, APP President said. "It's a great example of using this medium which is tied to Facebook to get the word out about all the jobs we see in Aroostook."
The job/resume posting website, www.opportunitiesaroostook.com, was developed by Fred Grant at Northern Maine Media in Houlton. When it came time for Grant to find a summer intern for his radio station, WHOU-FM, he posted a notice on Opportunities Aroostook and was successful in finding the right person.
"Although there is no tracking method built into the website architecture to determine where an applicant finds out about an employment opportunity, there is enough anecdotal evidence to conclude the site is working," said Dorsey. "To really make this a better attraction and retention tool, I encourage all Aroostook County employers to utilize the website when looking for employees."
The job/resume posting site is only one component of the effort. There is also a linked social media component consisting of Facebook and Twitter to attract the passive job seeker, someone who may not be actively looking, but would consider a move to or back to Aroostook County.
"We have heard many stories from local companies that it can take months and can be quite expensive to find the right qualified job applicants and in many cases, companies hire or promote the 'best available locally' as opposed to a 'fully qualified' candidate," said Dorsey. "The thought of connecting Opportunities Aroostook via social media to reach out to former County folks (with experience, resumes etc.) to attract them back could potentially help companies get more qualified workers as well as help maintain our population base."
For more information about Opportunities Aroostook, contact Jon Gulliver, Director of Investor and Community Relations at Northern Maine Development Commission, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 498-8736.