23 Nov Onin on the Go!
By Marsha Brofka-Berends
Onin Staffing has a sweet new ride—and it’s heading out into the community! Onin’s mobile recruiting truck, “OMO” (short for “Onin Mobile”), hit the road in late July as part of an innovative program to reach new talent and to serve our customers better.
Finding the right people for the right job is a constant challenge for all staffing firms. Online recruiting has helped companies expand their outreach, but it doesn’t work for all people or situations. Sometimes the high noise-to-signal ratio of the Internet makes it difficult for job seekers and companies to find each other and make strong connections, for example. And even when communication succeeds, it often isn’t as deep or as meaningful as in-person contact.
“We live in a society in which everyone wants to do everything online, including applying for jobs,” says Kristi Kivett, regional manager for Onin. “But Onin’s philosophy emphasizes a personal touch. We want to see people face to face. We want to get to know people and meet them in person. For a variety of reasons, though, not all job seekers are able to get to an Onin office easily (and this is especially true in rural areas). So that’s why we’ve decided to take the office to them.”
Kivett had the idea for OMO while shopping in a local mobile clothing boutique a few months ago. “Wow,” she thought as she stepped into a vehicle about the size and shape of UPS delivery truck to browse racks of skirts and blouses,“bringing this service to the people is a really great idea! I bet we could do something like this for recruiting at Onin.” She pitched the idea to Onin’s COO, Jim Weaver, and when he responded enthusiastically, she quickly located and purchased a used multistop truck (also known as a step van) for the cause. Previously a mobile dentist office, the vehicle was already nicely kitted out inside and needed just an exterior makeover and few minor adjustments and repairs to the interior. (“Fortunately, I’m married to someone who’s mechanically inclined!” laughs Kivett.)
Onin Mobile plans to set up shop in parking lots at churches, nonprofit groups, and other organizations that are interested in helping us match people with jobs. We anticipate taking OMO to regional festivals, too, to connect with people who might not be actively job hunting but may decide on the spot to visit us—and then discover that our employment opportunities are a great fit for them. Some of our clients already expressed interest in having OMO at their sites for their own company-specific job fairs.
But OMO isn’t only a mobile recruiting station. In addition to serving as a place where job hunters can learn about open positions and fill out applications, it’s also a site where we can conduct interviews and pre-employment drug testing. And OMO’s functionality doesn’t end once a job offer is made and accepted: this vehicle works well for onboarding processes, too. For example, we can put OMO in a client’s parking lot and conduct onsite group orientation sessions for new hires we’ve just placed at the organization.
To start, OMO will range up to about 200 miles from its home base, the Onin Staffing office in Statesville, North Carolina. Even before the official launch of this program, though, the positive buzz was building through vehicle sightings by local bystanders (“What is that? It looks really cool!”) and conversations within the Onin organization. Even before the OMO made its official debut in North Carolina, Onin’s North Texas Area Manager Diana Wolfe caught wind of the plan and is rolling out her own OMO in the lone star state in September. Clearly, this is an idea whose time has come!
Onin’s IT team has big plans to spread the word about OMO, particularly through social media. Keep an eye out on Onin’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for “Where’s Waldo?”-style games and contests (with prizes) awarded to OMO spotters. If this OMO pilot program is as successful as we think it will be, you can expect to see even more Onin Mobile units out and about in the near future!
Marsha Brofka-Berends is a freelance writer and editor who contributes to a number of business and HR-oriented publications, including The Onin Group’s Hired Magazine.