Eye-catching Missouri billboards are not-so subtle ‘Help Wanted’ ads

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 4:09 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/Gray News) - A few billboards spotted in Missouri are causing a stir with their more forceful, controversial approach to the “Now Hiring” ad.

The billboards read: “Get off your butt! Get.To.Work. Apply Anywhere.”

They are sparking a wide variety of reactions from laughter to outrage.

One of the people responsible for them said it’s an attempt to get people back in the workforce, KY3 reported.

“People are frustrated and there’s nothing that we can do,” said Brad Parke, the general manager of Greek Corner Screen Printing and Embroidery. “So this is just a shot at doing something, anything, to get jobs filled.”

Like many businesses around town, Parke is looking for employees. So he and a handful of other business owners, who remain anonymous, decided to pay for the unusual messaging.

“We don’t know where people are,” Parke said. “Obviously they’re not at work. Apparently they’re at home. So that’s where we came up with ‘Get Off Your Butt’. And then the ‘Apply Anywhere’ is about everyone’s looking for employees.

“You can’t drive a block through a commercial district without someone having a sign saying, ‘Now Hiring’. There are billboards for minimum wage jobs to executive jobs and no one can find anybody to work.”

The workforce shortage is a major problem in all sectors and its affecting the supply chain for all kinds of goods and services, despite the Greene County Commission reporting a record-low unemployment rate at 2.8%.

Chances are no matter what you buy or where you go, you’ve experienced problems because of the workforce shortage.

“Customers are frustrated because when you go to a restaurant you don’t want to wait an hour for your food,” Parke said.

There are many theories as to why the workforce has not returned after the pandemic sent people home. Many observers thought the end of COVID-19 unemployment benefits would send people back to work, but that hasn’t been the case. Others think the time at home caused some Americans to rethink their priorities and decide that spending time with family is more important than their jobs.

Parke believes it’s because of a fundamental change in our standards and principles.

“It’s our society. We’re just not teaching our kids to work and it’s our fault as parents,” he said.

He said the billboard company that put up the ad has already been getting feedback.

“He said they typically don’t get people calling in about billboards,” Parke said. “But someone called and said, ‘I don’t know who paid for that billboard but that’s awesome!’”

However, the billboards can be considered upsetting to others who think they implicate that laziness is the reason for the shortage.

Parke said it was simply an attempt at sarcastic humor to get people motivated to return to the workforce.

“So many people have their feelings on their sleeve,” he said. “Get over it! It’s time to grow up.”

Copyright 2021 KY3 via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.