When recruiting large numbers of new employees with many candidates from out of town, it is important to understand that the person you are targeting may not be the only employee moving to your city. If their partner is working – and they probably are working in their careers – they will have a say in their Partner’s offer decision. These decisions outside of your earshot question whether the trailing spouse will successfully find a new career that replicates or improves their career and compensation.
200+ IT Professionals In Cedar Rapids, Iowa In 20 months
In 1993, my recruiting contract was with MCI Telecommunications. They decided to consolidate their Commercial Billing Development organizations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The New Commercial Billing Development group that I supported was located in Pentagon City, VA, and was transitioning to Cedar Rapids. They had 200 employees.
Consider the Washington, DC area. There are Federal jobs in the Metropolitan Washington area that are not duplicatable anywhere in the United States – Congress, Supreme Court, White House, and many Federal Agencies. I was told that we needed a minimum of 120 IT Professionals in Cedar Rapids in the first 12 months with a minimum of 80 additional employees in the following 8 months. At the time, Cedar Rapids was a town of only 102,000 people.
I polled the current employees early on in my contract to determine how many employees we would need to recruit in the first 12 months. My research was disappointing. I discovered only 10 employees planned to move to Cedar Rapids.
When I created my recruiting strategy, I factored in the professionals who were married or in relationships where they would require new career positions. This enabled me to begin to plan how we would assist these additional professionals in their transition to Cedar Rapids. Their support was key to our success. Keep in mind that when the transition announcement was made, I did not know what state Cedar Rapids was located in. This was before Google. I looked up Cedar Rapids in my trusty Webster’s Dictionary, and learned it is in Iowa.
My first task was to determine how we would source, interview, offer, gain acceptances, and relocate a minimum of 120 IT professionals to Cedar Rapids in 12 months – and we were beginning on January first.
Now, Iowa is a really nice state with Really Nice People – but the weather is not necessarily nice in January and February.
The only people I knew in Cedar Rapids were the MCI Leadership and their assistants. Therefore, my effort was truly starting from scratch.
What Was Your Strategy?
My initial strategy was focused on sourcing and attracting IT Talent. Once that strategy was developed and approved (including its anticipated cost), I began to implement the strategy to test its viability. The spouses and partner strategies would need to wait until I determined my recruiting strategy would work.
Everyone understood that this effort would be challenging and hard work. The managers and I created a team bond to succeed. My strategy was to spend 2 weeks in Pentagon City to determine which cities had the talent we needed, source that talent, and set interviews in those cities. I was able to hire a junior recruiter for support. Andrea was Amazing! She knew what I needed before I did. She was my anchor in Pentagon City and tailored her hours to mine, depending upon our interview time zones.
The managers and I visited 2 to 3 cities per week during this nationwide search, interviewed 18 to 24 candidates per day, and made hiring decisions every evening. During January and February, we extended 10 offers and received 5 acceptances. These were not promising results but we were tweaking our methods.
March was a breakthrough month for offer acceptances. In our first travel week, we extended 23 offers and received 23 acceptances. The following week, we extended 10 offers and received 10 acceptances.
Now that the strategy was working, my focus was split to improve our performance by offering to assist the spouses and partners of our new employees in the career search. This practice, that we advertised, made the transition to Cedar Rapids more attractive for couples.
Would You Like to Improve Your Offer Acceptance Percentage?
While in Cedar Rapids on the weekend between travel weeks, I met with several larger employers and offered to introduce the spouses and partners of our new employees. We were fortunate with a few of the spouses and partners because they had the skills and experience that other divisions of MCI in Cedar Rapids required.
Ultimately, we created a network with other employers so we could introduce these professionals who were our employees’ spouses and partners to the other companies, including colleges and universities, hospitals, and retail stores, depending upon their background. I coached 30 or so spouses personally to show them how to meet people in a new area, and introduce them to our network.
What was our result? On December 31, 1993, MCI counted new IT employees in their seats – we beat our goal! We had 143 IT professionals in their seats with more on the way – approximately 100 individuals and families were relocated to Cedar Rapids. At the end of 20 months, we had over 220 new employees. Many could better afford the relocations because we assisted in their search for a new career.
Since we created a concerted effort to assist in the placement of these incoming professionals, we were successful in our efforts. We built goodwill by assisting our local companies to meet and hire the spouses and partners of our new employees.
Recruiting is Not Magic. It is Focused, Hard Work.
Talent Attraction is Better than Talent Acquisition!
If you would like a conversation on how to ATTRACT talent instead of using an Applicant Tracking System or HRIS to screen them out, we should chat. Call me directly at 435-714-4425 (mountain).
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Learn how I coach my Career Transition Clients in my most recent book – Employee 5.0: Secrets Of A Successful Job Search In The New World Order http://amzn.to/2D9w39f My book includes an appendix with action verbs and sample interview questions.
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