BIG OPPORTUNITY: Kalka Shades will host the Oceania Cup later this year.
BIG OPPORTUNITY: Kalka Shades will host the Oceania Cup later this year. Allan Reinikka ROK260218ahockey1

ASPIRE CQ: Don't let the Oceania Cup opportunity pass

WITH all the local infrastructure projects on the starting grid just waiting for the green light and the ones already on the go, hearing the comment that it is not good for local business is something you possibly don't expect to hear.

But it is being said by some. Several of these projects require a level of expertise, resources and capital that local businesses can't provide, and some of these will be negatively affected as they lose staff to the successful out of town tenderer and have to pay more to retain and attract labour. They can complain about it, just accept it or do something about it. Two of the region's larger employers in the construction and mining industries are doing something about it. JRT and SMW have both identified a skill shortage to fill as they gain extra work. Underwhelmed by the results achieved from standard recruitment practices, they are doing something more innovative.

Realising that an event of the importance of the Oceania Cup will put a national and international spotlight on the host city Rockhampton, instead of being a typical sponsor and having their logo displayed around the grounds they are going to advertise an internet address that is their combined job vacancy site.

Clever. Being different it will stand out and no doubt receive on-the-spot digital searching, not just by the spectators at the six Olympic Games qualifying matches, but by viewers of the 12 hours of livestreaming wherever they are watching from, like the towns where the visiting 200-plus players and officials are coming from in Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands. Will they all have the skills and qualifications needed? Maybe not, but will they tell someone they know who does? Good chance of that. All this in an environment that is selling Rockhampton as a progressive region, with world class facilities able to host Olympic Games qualification tournaments. A very clever, cost-effective job recruitment and public relations strategy for the two businesses.

It is the second ingredient of the strategy though that makes the whole (results) greater than the sum of its parts. The parts being vacant jobs and their location. The jobs offered won't be necessarily unique - similar ones will be offered nationally and internationally. The location they are in is, however, unique, and could be the deciding factor in attracting the desired candidates. Housing affordability, schools, medical facilities, fishing, sporting facilities, lifestyle are all part of the employment package, but very few of the 602 jobs advertised on SEEK make a point of them.

The international hockey matches are a great environment to promote the opportunities that Rockhampton offers because they back up what lots of other regional cities say but do not necessarily provide. We do have world class sporting facilities otherwise we wouldn't have the world's best team playing here. We do produce world class athletes and will tell of the four Olympians that Rockhampton Hockey has produced. We do have some of the best barramundi fishing in the world. The close proximity of the grounds to the Fitzroy River will no doubt find its way into the commentary.

What can other businesses add to further enhance Rockhampton's unique story? Be it advertising jobs, median housing prices, education facilities, fishing charters, the Oceania Cup is a rare environment to do this. Don't let the opportunity pass.

-- Aspire CQ, Warren Acutt

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