The location of your firm is a major driver in what type of talent you can attract. When recruiting Millennial talent for your firm, the firms located in major metro areas (tier 1 market) tend to have an advantage over those in less populated urban centers (tier 2 market)… a reality of current Millennial lifestyle preferences.
The most sought-after job location destinations cited by the prospective job candidates we have worked with year to date are:
- Nashville, TN
- Austin, TX
- Minneapolis, MN
- Washington, DC
- Portland, OR
- Charlotte, NC
- Denver/Boulder, CO
- Dallas, TX
- Chicago, IL
- Atlanta, GA
It is worth noting, though, that some usually prominent east- and west-coast cities, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, as well as New York City, did not make the top 10, due to ‘prohibitive’ cost of living. Millennial advisors are very directly trying to balance the depth of opportunities in the metropolitan area, with the cost of living to start a career (and potentially a family) there.
If your firm is in or near one of these areas, you should be positioned well to attract local talent and job seekers who are relocating. If you find yourself struggling to attract quality candidates, review your strategy and execution.
However, if you are a firm owner in a smaller metro or rural area such as Chattanooga, TN, Birmingham, AL, Asheville, NC, Fresno, CA, Colorado Springs, CO, Tulsa, OK, Richmond, VA, or Albany, NY, you do start at somewhat of a disadvantage with the typical millennial1 job seeker. We realize this can be frustrating for firm owners who may be in a tier 2 location and are truly offering a compelling opportunity, but gaining little candidate traction.
Here are some ways that firms in tier 2 locations can compete with their tier 1 counterparts:
- Include a detailed summary of all the state and local benefits with the position description, to emphasize the benefits of living and working in a tier 2 market. See below for some samples. If you do enough research, you should be able to find a few items that you can promote.
- Ensure you have a well-above-average training program to develop your newer/younger talent. “Good training program” is one of the most commonly cited benefits we hear from candidates looking at entering the profession and/or switching firms. The challenge we have found is that a lot of firms think they have a robust training program, which consists of someone showing the new hire how to do something one time their first day and not much training after that. Some firms are beginning more formal multi week/month training programs that are very appealing to a younger workforce.
- Even though you may be offering a solid opportunity, you may have to up the ante by offering perks such as student loan repayment, signing bonus ($1k-5k is what we typically see), relocation allowance($1k-5k is what we typically see), temporary furnished housing, airline tickets (fly back to see family, etc.), or a car allowance.
- As you try to build up your pipeline, consider targeting candidates from rural areas, attended college in a small town, have a military background, and/or have small children, as these groups tend to be more accustomed to rural areas.
- One way to locate people willing to come to a tier 2 market is to target people who want to return to their home town, or where they went to college (assuming there is one near you), finding them via social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or college alumni groups.
- Once you have a few finalists to consider, be sure to involve the spouse as much as possible. Fly both spouses, set them up with a local recruiter to help find employment, a realtor, and provide as much information as you can about schools, activities for families, singles, and help them develop a plan to get involved in the community. Firms that can help their new hires assimilate into the community have a much higher probability of retaining the new hire once roots are established.
- Have them commit a few years at the office location then, if earned, have them open a new office location or work virtually. Most resilient people can stick with something for a year even if the geographic area is not ideal. Some of the firms we represent have intentionally targeted other firms located in more desirable areas for their M&A activity to have an additional office location that might be more attractive to the current talent pool.
- If these fall short , consider hiring a remote team member who doesn’t have to relocate at all.
Recruiting in the current job market is a challenge, but even tougher for firms in smaller “tier 2” markets, so we hope these will help you level the playing field when it comes to your recruiting strategy.
One other thing to keep in mind as well is that when hiring in a tier2market, adjust your expectations on how long the process can take. A normal time to fill for a tier 1 market is roughly 2-4 months, but could be longer depending on candidate profile sought. For a tier 2 market, it could easily take more than 6 months and sometimes pushing out to the 1-year mark to get a good fit. So make sure you are planning out your hires appropriately.
Sample Local Area Promotion
[Insert city] has a great educational, environmental, recreational and cultural atmosphere [link to local of chamber of commerce] making it one of the best kept secrets in the Midwest.
It was rated the #1 top town for younger families by [insert source] and one of the top 3 cities to build wealth as a Millennial [insert source]. With lots of outdoor activities and events for kids all within 2 hours drive, [insert city] is the perfect location for those who love the outdoors in a moderate climate.
Here are some other advantages:
- Average age of resident ________
- New home prices __________ less than national average and ________ month supply of inventory
- #____ school system in the area
- NO or Low Personal Income Tax
- Low cost of living, [insert statistic] of the national average
- _____ lowest state per capita taxes in the nation
- ______ overall crime rate in the nation
- An average commute time of ____ minutes
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