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Market Research for Talent, Part 2: Prioritizing Your Efforts for Recruiting Strategies

December 13, 2018 by Rob Sentz

This article is part two in a series where we discuss simple ways to use labor market data to build your talent strategy. Today, we’ll talk about recruiting strategies.

Scenario: Now that you know the Charlotte MSA is not the best place to hire graphic designers for your company, what do you do next? How do you decide where to look?

Answer: Let’s use data to discover a region with more favorable conditions and larger talent pools. Philadelphia looks like a better place to advertise. Here, the demand for graphic designers has only increased by about 3% since 2013. That’s about 9% less than the national average of 12.4%. This means there are probably designers who are unemployed or perhaps working in different fields by necessity, and would like to return to their forte. These designers have the skills you need and ad campaigns would likely reach a larger audience of qualified candidates in Philadelphia than in Charlotte. And since Charlotte isn’t that far from Philadelphia, the idea of relocating isn’t far-fetched.

(Note: This brings up the issue of relocation packages. If your company doesn’t have a relocation package, you might need to convince the hiring manager to offer one. In this case, be prepared to answer the question: What would it cost the company if the position goes unfilled?)

Real-World Example

An IT services company used external labor market data to find a location for a new facility to house Java developers. Due to the relative difficulty in recruiting this occupation nationwide, the company wanted to understand which markets had the most favorable supply-to-demand ratio.

By prioritizing the regions with relatively high supply and low demand for Java developers, the company was able to identify cities in which it would have the best chance of staffing its new office. This strategy also allowed the company to maximize its recruiting investment and minimize the need for expensive relocation packages for out-of-area employees.

Case study for further reading: Emsi for Economic Developers, Part 1: Using Analyst for Site Selection Requests.

Alternative Scenario: Local competition for talent in Charlotte is getting too strong. It’d be helpful to know the metro areas where competition for talent isn’t so steep. This could be areas where similar businesses have been shedding workers.

Answer: Labor market data shows the growth rates for custom computer programming services on and around the East Coast. We see that the industry is highly variable: up in some areas, down in others. In particular, we see that employment in Virginia Beach (not that far from Charlotte) is down 14%. And in Raleigh, it’s only gone up by 1% since 2013 (20% less than the national average). It’s only increased in Columbus by about 3.5% and in Philadelphia by 1.6%. These metros could be good areas to relocate to, or, if you’d rather stay in Charlotte, they could be good targets for your recruiting efforts.

Please let us know if you have questions. We are ready to help!

Rob Sentz is the chief innovation officer at Emsi. Contact him at rob@economicmodeling.com.

Rob Sentz

Chief Innovation Officer

Reach out at rob@economicmodeling.com

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