So, now that we know how young talent is approaching relocation and what makes a community cool, let's talk about strategy. About what you can do to get a piece of this new talent pie.
So, without further ado, 3 Secrets to Workforce Attraction:
1. Every community has something to offer.
The first step is identifying what you already have: what already makes you attractive to the workforce. If you don't know, ask your existing workforce.
Here are a couple examples:
If you are Danville, Kentucky: you're only 45 minutes away from the capital, you've got a rockin balloon festival and an equally rockin bluegrass festival every summer. And your main street programs are making downtown more and more clean, classic and charming every month.
If you're Aurora, Colorado: you're so close to the international airport. You're home to Fitzsimons' world-class medical, dental and research facilities. And then there's Cherry Creek State Park, the Cherry Creek Bike Path, all sorts of transportation options and a proximity to Denver and its city amenities.
So, whether you're big or small, high-cost or low-cost, you have something that the workforce wants. That's your first strength: your first go-to. Before you change anything. Before you ask what you're doing wrong. Ask first what you're doing right.
2. Someone needs to know what you have to offer.
Of course, it's not enough to just have the most amazing, walkable park system. Or a thriving musical community. Or 10 colleges in a 15-minute radius. People have to know that you have it.
That's where the online comes in. Young talent was raised on technology. We love computers. We love the internet. And, Google? Let's just say that we're intimately involved. So, if you want to reach us, reach Google. Reach the online community. Let us know, through the good ol' www, that you're out here and that you're cool.
For some of you, this means an extension on your existing website. It means making your workforce attraction or "living here" section more information-rich, community-connected, easily-accessible.
For others, it means building a microsite that is totally devoted to workforce--taking your efforts outside of the confines of your existing website and making it even simpler for your workforce to navigate, since it's all for them.
For still others, this means the newest of the new media. It means connecting your local Young Professionals organization with your website. It means starting a blog about your community. It means having a facebook group, maintaining a twitter account or using LinkedIn to generate community and relationships.
3. Every community has opportunities to offer more.
This third secret is just what it says it is. Once you have identified what you do have, think about what else you could have.
A great example of this is Nashville, whose mayor was on a mission for more parks and green space. The mayor decided that it was important that everyone be within a 10-minute walk of a park.
And, in keeping with the second secret, get the word out. Send out your facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blog messages: hey, we're building more parks! Hey, we've got a new art museum. And, bonus, Sundays are free days.