Think of all the reasons you love where your company is located. There’s your local cafe, where the barista has memorized your order. You have a picturesque park to take your kids to play. Every Friday, you and your co-workers gather at your favorite happy hour hangout. Your company’s town might not be perfect, but it’s home.
So it stings when, as a talent acquisition professional, candidates are less-than-impressed with your location. It’s even worse when they don’t apply because the company isn’t in a bustling city. The reality is, location matters to job seekers.
According to a March report from CareerBuilder, location is more important than salary for 56 percent of job seekers. Short of moving the organization to a more desirable city or town, what can you do to ensure open roles appeal to job seekers?
As with most aspects of hiring, it’s about giving talent the information they need to make an educated decision. You have to overcome their preconceived notions of what your town is like so they begin to see themselves working and living there.
Here are five ways you can sell job seekers on your company’s location:
Use one-way video interviews
Whenever you’re trying to attract out-of-town talent, one-way video interviews are a great tool to get the hiring process started. But this is especially true when you need to buy some time to get job seekers on board with your location. Since there’s no travel and the interview takes little time, candidates complete one-way video interviews with companies they’re interested in, without worrying that their investment won’t pay off.
When reaching out about a one-way video interview, work to build a strong connection with candidates. Send them information about the company culture. This will show them just how at home at your organization they will feel regardless of the location.
Highlight what only you can offer
Every company has an ace in the hole when it comes to talent acquisition. Maybe you have a killer benefits package or unparalleled career development opportunities. It’s your job to pinpoint what only your company can offer and position it front and center for candidates.
One of the best approaches is to compare what you have to offer to your competitors. Candidates are educated on salary ranges for their positions, but they don’t always fully understand what’s above average for other benefits and perks.
For instance, many candidates are concerned about the cost of health insurance. In the previously mentioned CareerBuilder report, it was the second most important factor to respondents (55 percent). If your employee health coverage plans are amazing, post the average yearly costs compared to most other companies on your career sites.
The same goes for the cost of living and similar expenses in the area. If the salary your company offers goes a great deal further based on your location, be sure candidates see the big picture.
Give them a tour of local hotspots
Sometimes you have to see a community to realize its charm. Think of the places in your town or city locals love most. These are places that won’t come up in a Google search but truly make your location special.
Record a virtual tour of these places and explain their appeal. Seeing where they’d go out to eat or attend community events will help candidates imagine themselves there. They’ll begin to see how they’d fit in and be happy.
Cater to their interests
Especially if your company is located in a smaller town, candidates might worry they won’t be able to keep up with all their hobbies and interests. What people do outside of work keeps them balanced, so candidates want to know there are outlets available to unwind or channel their creativity.
As you get to know candidates, take note of their interests. Research where they can carry on with their hobbies in or near your community. Then, in one of your communications, add a P.S. explaining you recalled their interest and include a few local business links so the candidate can dig into their options.
Have a transplant reach out
Employee testimonials hold tremendous weight with candidates. They want to know employees are happy with your organization before deciding to take a job. Similarly, hearing from someone who moved to work for your company shows candidates how people ‘just like them’ grow to love the community.
Keep a running list of which team members relocated to work at the company and ask if they’d be willing to act as a ‘town’ brand ambassador during the talent acquisition process. Then, match each out-of-town candidate with one of these employees.
Try to pair employees and candidates who are from similar geographical areas and demographics so the employee can speak to similarities between the locations. Encourage your town ambassadors to share what they love on social media. Showcase everything your location has to offer through brief videos and town highlights.