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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 1 year ago

Homebuilder uses billboards to attract job candidates

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In October, Neal Communities put up two large-scale hiring advertisements, one on either side of a billboard.

Demand has been strong lately for Lakewood Ranch-based homebuilder Neal Communities. Because of that, the company needs to hire lots more employees — and it’s taking an interesting approach to recruitment.

For the first time, Neal Communities, with $412.5 million in revenue in 2019, is using billboards to promote its job openings. In October, it put up two large-scale hiring advertisements, one on either side of a billboard. They include photos of employees, the NealCareers.com website address and the call to action, “Build the career of your dreams.”

Courtesy. For the first time, Neal Communities, with $412.5 million in gross revenue in 2019, is using billboards to promote its job openings.

The spot on State Road 70 in Manatee County was previously used to advertise two of the homebuilder’s communities, Poinciana and Indigo. Over the past 50 years, the company has built over 15,000 new homes in more than 90 communities from Tampa to Naples. “At Neal Communities, we’re consistently building, and we’re always looking to have more people join our team,” Neal Communities Vice President of Operations Chris Clark tells Coffee Talk. “Talent is hard to find.”

Neal is currently hiring for 27 positions, including construction managers and several other roles, from entry-level roles to positions requiring more experience.

With less direct interaction with people, the pandemic has made hiring a trickier proposition. “We gained a lot of employees through word of mouth — employees saying good things about company,” he says. “Now, with social distancing, it’s a little harder to get that out there.”

Clark has high hopes the billboards will bring in strong candidates for the growing company. As job applicants come in, he’s asking them how they heard about the firm, aiming to track how many are a result of the billboards. “The more you have your name out there for opportunities, the more people are going to think about you,” he says.

The billboards promoting hiring efforts are expected to stick around for the foreseeable future. If the billboards are successful, the company might even add more. Clark says, “We plan on having those up as long as we see a return on them.”

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