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How to Attract Out of Town Talent

Written by Emily Peirce

When trying to attract job applicants, casting a wider net increases your chances of finding the right person for the job.  Luckily, advances in technology have made it easier than ever for your job posts to reach a truly widespread audience beyond your local area.  However, there are a few considerations you should make if you want to start attracting out of town talent. 

For one thing, it’s a candidate driven job market.  That means job seekers can afford to be a little choosier when it comes to picking their employer.  Since relocating for a job is a lot to ask, you need to make your open positions that much more appealing in order to entice nonlocal talent to come to you.  It may help to start thinking about the job as something you’re selling to potential employees.   And like any good salesperson, the trick is to understand what’s attractive and valuable to your audience, and then showing them that value in what you have to offer.

For instance, it’s obvious that a competitive salary and benefits package can go a long way when attracting candidates.  However, one appealing aspect of a job that’s often overlooked is a well-defined company culture.  Whether a candidate lives next door to the office or on the other side of the country, job seekers are going to factor in your office’s atmosphere before applying.  Company culture is made up of things like office layout and dress code as well as the overarching values and beliefs of the company.

A good way to make those aspects of your office clear to potential applicants is through your company website and social media accounts.  When you post pictures and updates about your business, it shows that you have an engaging workplace and provides insight into what it’s like to work there. Company review sites like Glassdoor are also invaluable in providing applicants a window into your culture. These sites allow current employees to write about their experiences working for your business and offer you another chance to showcase your company’s perks and workplace culture.

One of the most important aspects of company culture to new hires is an atmosphere of inclusiveness.  Individuals who move for work often don’t know many people in their new city.  When you present your company as a place where new employees are welcomed and will have the opportunity to socialize, you can help potential transplants feel more comfortable in a new environment.

That being said, if you want to entice out-of-towners to make the move for a job, you also need to sell them on your city.  Every town has its perks, and you should use them to your advantage when talking with candidates.  Does your area offer a lower cost of living than more populous areas?   Perhaps you’re able to boast easy access to quality education and a sense of community.  Or maybe your area is a cultural center where there’s always something to do.  Regardless of what makes your company’s location special, don’t be afraid to use it to sell your candidates on your city or even mention it directly in job postings.

So you’ve shown the value of your company and your city, but that doesn’t mean candidates will have the means to get there.  If you’re asking a candidate to move for you, you might also consider providing them with some sort of relocation package.  These kinds of packages may include covering some of the cost of temporary housing, travel expenses, or other general costs associated with moving.  Offering additional financial aid in these situations is a small price to pay for a great employee, especially when you consider their contributions over the entire tenure of their career with you.  It’s also one more way to let your new hires know you value them.

Attracting out of town talent isn’t too different from attracting any other kinds of applicants.  The key is seeing the job opportunity from the candidate’s perspective and doing what you can to make the transition easy for them.

Emily Peirce

Written by Emily Peirce

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