Localization Matters: Where You Recruit is as Important as Who You Recruit


Consider What Localization Means to Your Talent Acquisition Efforts

When developing your talent acquisition strategy, it’s always critical to consider your own company culture.  But it’s equally critical to consider the macro and micro-cultures of your location or the locations where you are reaching out to talent.

A successful hire isn’t just about finding someone with the right skills and experience to do the job. Finding someone who meshes well with your company’s culture leads to better retention and higher job satisfaction.  A part of that culture is also location based. Hiring locally also has many benefits, such as easy access to a local network of talent, as well as eliminating the inherent risks of relocation.  But when you need to go far and wide to find the talent you need, don’t forget to consider what those differences may look like to a prospective employee.

There’s no place like home

The day-to-day pace of life, socioeconomics, accepted behaviors, shared experiences, weather, traffic, housing and other preferences can vary dramatically not just from coast to coast, but from city to city within the same geographic region (for example Raleigh vs. Charlotte, San Francisco vs. San Jose, Seattle vs. Portland). Highlighting what makes your area different and special can help you attract more candidates who are not only a great fit for your company, but also for your greater community.  If you want to boost your chances of finding that perfect match, you should promote the unique culture and values of your local area as part of your overall employer branding strategy.

But while selling a candidate on why your company and locale is a great option, keep in mind that how you interact with them may be different than the ways they interact with local employers.  

I’m just like you.  Or am I?

While I think there is no place more beautiful than Seattle most days (ask me again in February!), and I love that I can stumble from one coffee shop to the next in under a block, that my dog-loving-and-vaguely-hippie-lifestyle is accepted or at least tolerated and that I can jump on a train to catch a movie or dinner downtown, some or all of these things may be repulsive if that is not what appeals to someone.  If they are looking for a slower pace of life and would prefer property over proximity, these are things you need to suss out in your recruiting efforts. It’s best to know what your city’s strengths and weaknesses are and be sure to discuss them in depth with anyone relocating or even working remotely, as this will influence them should they become part of your team.

I know it is easy to rattle off the list of reasons YOU love your job, your company and your locale, but keep in mind that you are likely talking to someone who may ALSO love their current job (assuming passive recruiting or networking efforts here!), their company and their location.  Remember that not everyone moves at the pace of the Valley, nor should they be expected to. Acknowledge and celebrate the differences.

Top 10 Reasons why your city is the BEST!

 Here are a few questions and community attributes that can help you hone your employment branding so you can reach the right talent.

  1. Is your business located in an urban, suburban, or rural community? What is attractive about that setting?

  2. Is the community’s daily life generally fast-paced or laid-back? How does this impact behavior and quality of life?

  3. Do your employees have to commute and if so, are there reliable mass transit options available?

  4. What is the cost of living and is there a variety of affordable housing options in the area?

  5. How much culture and diversity is reflected in the area’s art, food, churches, sports, and shopping?

  6. Do the local politics lean toward the conservative or liberal end of the spectrum? How does this inform investment and education?

  7. What are the schools and universities like in the immediate area, and how do they contribute to the local culture? 

  8. Are you blessed with great weather and/or an abundance of nearby recreational opportunities that would support an active lifestyle?

  9. Are there other local experiences or community features that might attract someone back who may have moved away?  

  10. Assuming you are a tech startup, what is the startup ecosystem in your area? What are other job options available to your candidates?


Share with us how successful your localization efforts have been, or not, in the comments below.