According to multiple surveys, more young professionals than ever before are gravitating towards large cities. But while cities such as New York and Los Angeles used to rank at the top of many young professionals’ lists, today smaller metro areas such as Round Rock, TX, San Jose, CA, and Bellevue, WA have seen a surge in interest and growth. For companies that have locations in areas that don’t seem very popular today, this is a sign that it is possible to attract candidates to a new area.
While a job’s location can be an important deciding factor for many candidates, a company can do things to make their location more appealing to top talent. Here is some actionable advice to start reeling in the top talent, without having to move to a new place:
Compare Living Expenses and Creative Comp
While salary is a big consideration for many job candidates, the quality of life that their salary can buy is becoming increasingly more important. As both recent graduates and established professionals become more aware of the differences in cost of living between certain metro areas, more of them are actively looking for jobs in places with low housing, education, and transportation costs.
To take advantage of this trend, showcase the lower living expenses of your location. In a big metropolitan area, pay can be eaten up quickly by living expenses. Make sure your candidates know that they will be taking more money home at the end of the day versus working in a major city. You need to be transparent about this. Most candidates won't do the math for themselves.
Feel free to highlight creative comp packages available to your employees if your salary is less than market value. Certain employees will appreciate the supplemental offerings and overlook the lower salary. Creative comp can come in many different forms, such as paid lunches, an in-house masseuse, or a daycare in the office. Those extra things can go a long way if they add value to the candidates day. Some industries are more used to getting creative comp offers, so do your research and figure out what your fellow companies are offering.
Enhance Employee Benefits Program
Everybody has employee benefits, but what can you add to sweeten the offer? Much like creative comp, this will add to the factors they have to weigh in to make a decision. If you add out-of-the-box health benefits or stress-relieving practices, even your employees may be able to work harder for you.
Team up with local businesses to enhance your employee benefits program. Look for opportunities to offer discounts to your team. Think about what your employees like to do. Maybe offer something like discounts to the gym, an indoor rock climbing facility, or a yoga studio. Keep building those relationships with local businesses, and you may also find some business yourself down the road, depending on what your business has to offer.
Extend Corporate Culture
Of course, even the most affordable cities will have problems attracting job seekers if there is nothing for them to do when the workday is over. Employees like to blow off some steam at the end of the day, and if there is nothing available for that, it may build a terrible situation for office morale. Not to mention, the weekends would seem pretty dull without a community to explore. Your culture doesn't have to stop at the door on the way out.
It shouldn't be hard to start up a relationship with your local watering hole for happy hours or celebratory lunches/dinners. Do some team building by taking your team to the local karaoke bar or laser tag arcade. Your employees will appreciate the effort you've built into creating a community for them. If they feel they have that in place, the number of activities won't be such a big deal.
Offer Career Growth and Career Mapping
After looking at their overall quality of life, many job candidates are considering their career. If your company is located in a place where it is hard to attract top talent, point out the advantages that your position can offer. Unique training opportunities, work environment, and even advantages such as frequent travel or quick advancement can encourage a job seeker to see past the negative aspects of a particular location. Outside of that, talk about the position in terms of career growth and career mapping. Let them know that your company is a place where they can advance and continue to grow in their field.
If you’re having trouble finding the right candidates for your organization, call the professionals at ICS. They have years of experience helping businesses find candidates from all over the country. All of our resources will be available to our clients, including our expansive talent pool of qualified candidates.