Partnering With Local Employers to Support Talent Attraction

Communities are competing for talent now more than ever, especially as individuals migrate from larger markets to small-to-medium-sized cities or regions. These places need a strategic positioning and marketing approach to capture the right people and sustain and advance their economies.

The most effective community marketing programs leverage the resources, knowledge and insight of local stakeholders. For talent attraction, local employers are your heartbeat. They offer insight and opportunities, as well as resources, that can expand your campaign and make it more relevant and real for target audiences.

How to Engage Local Employers to Attract Talent

Establish a partnership; ask for input and specific needs early.

As with other stakeholders, early involvement is important. As you build a talent attraction strategy, host input sessions with key employers of varying sizes and industries. Learn what types of talent they need, how and where they are currently recruiting and what challenges they are facing. Work together for a unified effort.

Also, as you build the implementation strategy, present some of the key tactics to get employers’ feedback and ensure your approach will make a meaningful difference in supporting their efforts. By doing so, you are fostering buy-in and increasing the likelihood these employers will actively participate in the campaign.

Integrate campaign material into employers’ hiring pipeline.

For employers that recruit non-local candidates, questions about the community arise at some point in their hiring processes. This represents an opportunity for communities to provide messaging and marketing materials about local strengths and differentiators.

Ensure you provide employers with collateral about the community, as well as any incentives or concierge services you offer, so they can present it to prospective employees proactively.

Expand campaign visibility through employer marketing.

Many employers are marketing outside of your community through a variety of activations – e.g., job boards, paid media, sponsorships, speaking engagements and more – to attract talent. These efforts, where appropriate, should include messaging surrounding your community and talent attraction campaign.

Individuals are seeking a balance between quality of place and career advancement. By partnering with your local employers and integrating your value proposition into their marketing programs, you demonstrate to prospective residents and employees that your community is ideal for their careers and personal lives.

Create engaging content with employers.

Ensure employers are one of the centerpieces when building content for your talent attraction campaign. For example, many communities tell stories through testimonial videos that feature employers and employees. Employers have important perspectives on the career opportunities available, and employees can share insight that helps prospects relate to what it would be like to work in your community at a local company.

Whether it’s video or other marketing tactics, identify ongoing ways that enable employers to help sell your community as a preferred relocation destination.

Leverage employer hiring metrics to measure campaign success.

A key benefit to engaging employers is the real-world data you can monitor when tracking a campaign’s success. Awareness metrics such as website visits and media impressions are important, but reporting that participating employers increased the number of qualified leads (e.g., position applications), interviews and new hires over a certain period of time validates your efforts more than anything else.

Demonstrating this type of success helps attract more employers to participate in your campaign and secure public and private funding for future efforts. Building a successful talent attraction campaign requires an integrated, multi-year strategy and partnership with employers. We can help you compete. Let’s get started.