Jen Jeffries never thought a Facebook group she made to tell friends and family about local job postings would grow beyond her inner circle.
Much to Ms. Jeffries’ surprise, “Hiring In Toledo” grew larger than 1,000 members shortly after it was created in June, 2012. That steady growth prompted the 28-year-old Perrysburg resident to turn her side project into a business venture. Launched May 1, hiringintoledo.com has become an alternative outlet for Toledo-area employers and job seekers.
“Once it got going and we had 1,000 members, we knew we wanted it to be more than a Facebook group,” she said. “It’s been going really well. We have had a lot of luck with advertisers, and the people that are using the Web site really like it.”
The site lists dozens of jobs in the area and features advertising from career-placement services. Some of the jobs advertised recently include a veterinary technician, a housekeeper, and plumbing helpers.
The site also allows users to search the listings for something suited to their skill set.
It has become a second business for Ms. Jeffries, who also provides child care and works at the Andrew Z in the Morning Web site.
“I almost thought this would be a group message between people I know on Facebook,” Ms. Jeffries said. “I never expected it to get this big. It’s good and bad at the same time.”
One of the site’s biggest advertisers is Cardinal Staffing Services, which pays $400 a month to put a banner ad on the page, Ms. Jeffries said. The site helps to direct people to Cardinal Staffing, which connects employers and job seekers.
It’s a bit unconventional but it works, said Aaron Laird, operations manager for Cardinal Staffing.
“It’s something to try that is a little bit different. It’s a bit more cost effective than some of the other advertising we do,” he said. “Word of mouth is the best form of advertizing, really.”
Ms. Jeffries hopes the Web site will continue to fill a Toledo-specific niche.
“In the Facebook group, I have 4,000 members and that doesn’t count the people on my Web site,” she said. “There is a huge need for another resource in Toledo.”
Kris Turner can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6103.