How Community Branding Supports Talent Attraction

With unemployment at a 50-year low, every community is facing a talent shortage. Community leaders are feeling pressure from their top employers to attract workers – and now! The good news is that the knowledge worker, today’s predominant employee (outnumbering manual workers by 2X in number and rate of growth), is mobile. That means your community has a shot at attracting them.

First, how do you get their attention and achieve the first “at bat?” Three key factors can drive initial interest:

• Recruitment postings and search efforts of your major employers
• Visiting friends and family
• Visiting as a tourist or passer-through

In each of these cases, you have an opportunity to present your community’s unique story and place in the world to your potential new resident. So is your community story clear and compelling? In these scenarios, the potential resident will check you out online and, if they are visiting, they’ll certainly assess what kind of experience you are delivering. That’s where your community brand can be your invitation for them to consider a move. You’ll present that story, but you also want to be able to supply your employers with the persuasive narrative and tools they need to sell the community. To be ready, be sure you can answer these questions:

• Is my community’s point of difference and consumer benefit clear? What is my community’s unique place in the world?
• Does my visual identity (especially online) capture the essence of my community’s unique experience and character?
• Most importantly, is my unique character evident through the experiences my community offers? From the way retailers and restaurants treat patrons, to the opportunities for recreation and the arts, to the ways industry sectors and businesses intersect the community culture.

As you consider these drivers of a quality place that will attract residents and workers, the opportunity is to balance the development of your community experience and your community brand. A thorough, widely inclusive community branding process will help you hone in on your unique difference and your brand identity. Best of all, it gives you clarity on the ways you can plan, cultivate and invest in a brand experience that delivers your promise. It’s not simple work, but it is vital to being competitive today.

You know what your community is so special. Now it’s time to help new residents and workers feel the same way.