Each week we speak with hiring managers and HR professionals working at companies in growth mode and ask them what challenges they’re facing when bringing top talent on board. One of the complaints we hear over and over again is how difficult it can be to attract talent to unpopular locations. Whether it’s simply too far out in the sticks or the weather is a nightmare, some of the our best companies are situated in places that lack the cache of cities like New York or San Francisco.
If your company is stuck in a less-than-desirable location, how can you maximize your chance of attracting the talent you need?
Start with a strong employer brand
As we discussed last week, your employer brand is the key to developing an effective strategy to attract talent and it’s even more important if your region offers challenges to incoming talent. A strong and compelling employer brand will help candidates understand the significant advantages to working with you. Be sure and showcase the engaging aspects of your culture, and the positive experience of your current employees.
Offer relocation services
It might seem like it goes without saying, but if your talent must relocate, you must make it easy for them to do so. If you’re trying to entice out-of-town talent to move to your area, let them know as early as possible what relocation support is available and consider building an engagement strategy that considers your candidates family ways to make the transition less painful.
Promote your culture
Candidates aren’t searching just for careers; they’re searching for a place where they and their families can grow. This means they need to trust that a company’s culture is the right fit for their personality and work style. Above all when hiring, be straightforward about your company culture through all stages of the hiring process. Use current employees’ video testimonials to share what they love about the company, its leaders, their co-workers and their positions. In addition, share on social media photos of team-bonding activities or projects that hold special meaning. This will help out-of-town talent gain a closer glimpse inside the company’s culture and how they might fit in.
Don’t neglect old-fashioned recruiting
Connecting with out-of-town talent often requires a lot of digital resources. But some of the best candidates are still found through good old-fashioned networking. Attend networking events in as many locations as possible. Find passionate people who are in the same space and could meet the company’s future needs. Even if people aren’t actively looking for work, leaders have the opportunity to make meaningful connections that could eventually pay off.
Nurture local talent
Sometimes the best potential is already in your backyard. Some of our most successful clients rely on long-term strategies to nurture upcoming talent and “upskill” their current employees. Consider partnering with local colleges and universities to create an internship program where you can participate in candidates’ education while identifying future talent. If you’re struggling to find experienced leaders from outside the organization, consider promoting a current employee instead and back-filling their role with a less experienced, but motivated newcomer from the local area.
There’s someone for everyone
Don’t let preconceived notions turn you sour on recruiting talent outside of your area. For every individual dying to live in a big, vibrant city, there’s someone (like me) that prefers to live in a quieter area with a small-town feel. By focusing your job marketing strategy on the benefits of your company and your region, you’ll be better able to attract and engage the kind of individuals who will be happy and fulfilled as a part of your team.
Want more tips and ideas for making unpopular locations appealing to top talent? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to chat anytime!
Share your own location heartaches and strategies to overcome them in our comment section below.