When candidates are on the hunt for a new position, more often than not, they will prefer choosing a role which is located in a big city. For those looking for a major life change, the thought of moving to New York, San Francisco or Dallas sounds exciting. Other than the career opportunities it offers, it also holds the prospects of being exposed to new culinary experiences, cultural events, meeting new and interesting people — who can resist all of that? So what can a recruiter do, when the position they’re offering just happens to be located in a quaint little town?
Sure, you can always rely on local candidates inside the town or those surrounding it. However, in most cases, when relying on such a small talent pool, it will be hard to locate the right person for the role. This will be significantly harder when talking about a specialty role, like healthcare, tech, biology, law and so on. Those who study in the Ivy League tend to move to big cities, where there are more jobs and the compensation is higher to match. This does not mean you should settle for the first applicant that comes through your door. There are some methods that can help you attract big-city talent, if you think creatively and listen to the candidate’s needs.
Don’t Forget: It’s About the Work Opportunity
First and foremost, your ideal candidate should be excited about the role. Everything else is just the icing on the cake. For them to want this job, they need to understand what makes it different from any other opportunity being offered to them, and why the fact that it’s located in a small town plays an integral part in it being the best role for them.
For instance, if they work in the tourism industry, some small towns make all of their money in that field, and this may be a great place for that professional to shine and gain recognition. Another example could be in healthcare. A physician that wants to go back to family medicine will find no better place than a small town where they are the sole practitioner.
How Can The Benefits Be Better?
While you may not be able to compete with big-city salary, try to make the offer as competitive as possible, and remember to emphasize the fact that rent and living costs are much lower in a small town. In addition, think about anything you can add on top of salary, to make the offer sweeter. A relocation package is almost a must, as the candidate will be uprooting their entire life, but you can also think about unlimited time off, healthcare for them and family, gym membership, whatever you can afford that will tip the scales toward the small town. Of course, this can be a conversation with the candidate, where you will tailor the benefits to their personal needs and wants.
Getting Away From the Urban Noise
If the candidate is still not convinced, this is the time to talk about all of the benefits of a small town, the major one being no traffic. This may not sound like much but just think of the amount of time people spend every day commuting to work — time that can be allocated to playing with their children, working on side-projects, developing a hobby, or just sleeping more. Not only that, think of the amount of money people spend on gas or public transportation, when in a small town the workplace may be a short bike ride or even a walk away. In addition, you can talk about the benefits of living next to nature, the fresh air, farmer’s markets, anything that big cities lack.
Talk About the Sense of Community
Living in a small town is much different than the big-city experience, but it should be one that excites your candidate. Talk to them about the local school system, about events that take place in the community on a regular basis, try to introduce them to high-profile people who live in the town to make them familiar with the everyday life and what they should expect.
When trying to attract top talent away from the big city, you have to really listen to their goals, not just in their career, but in life. If they are looking to settle down and start a family, explain how the small-town life will help them achieve that. If they want this role as a stepping stone for bigger things, think of how you can help them reach that as well.