Many of Europe’s largest companies have manufacturing or supply & logistics facilities in less popular locations, and finding the right talent in a competitive job market can be difficult. Here’s Grapefrute’s guide to getting the right people into less popular places. 

What Makes a Job Site Attractive to Candidates?

According to a study in the UK, work location is the most attractive feature of a new job to candidates. Some of the factors candidates consider are:

  • Weather and climate. When a job location is in a climate known for being cold, rainy, or even too hot in the summer, many people don’t want to live and work there.  
  • Travel and commute. Candidates often consider their daily commute, including factors like public transport, the necessity of having a car, availability of parking, etc. They also have to consider related transport situations, as their ability to take their kids to school, visit family members, host out-of-town guests, run daily errands, and engage in social and recreational activities. 
  • Local activities. Locations that offer rich and diverse activities, like outdoor recreation, live music, and cultural events like theatre, museums, and art are naturally more attractive to candidates. 
  • Average age, culture, and other population factors. A candidate who is young and single may prefer to live in a city with other young single people, while more mature candidates may not want to live in a city known for college or tourist nightlife.  
  • Other career opportunities. Candidates who live in urban areas have a better chance to switch jobs and advance their careers without having to relocate. People who choose to move to a smaller location with only one major employer may feel that it restricts their options.

In other words, when considering a job location, a candidate isn’t just thinking about the work and the company. They are also considering their daily life, and how they will fit into a new community. Employers with vacancies in less attractive locations have more work to do. 

How to Attract Candidates to Less Desirable Locations

The fact is, many manufacturing companies are looking for plant managers, quality assurance specialists, and supply chain and logistics professionals to staff facilities that are in less desirable locations. These are very competitive roles, and experienced professionals have a lot of career options. So how can employers make their locations more appealing to these candidates?

  • Write a great job listing. Writing a great job listing is always important to attract the right talent and make a good match, but it is especially important when recruiting for less desirable locations. Make sure that your job listing reflects your company mission and values, to help candidates find meaning in the work. Show the job site, with pictures and video. Focus on the positives that the job, the company, and the location has to offer; e.g. a rural area will offer plenty of exercise & outdoor sports opportunities and natural landmarks.
  • Master the basics. Jobs in less attractive locations need to take care of the basics. Salary and benefit packages should be highly competitive, to compensate for the quality of life questions. Employees always want good work/life balance, so offer scheduling flexibility and work-at-home options when possible. When transport to and from work is difficult or time-consuming, offer a transit pass or allowance, create a shuttle or carpool service, or schedules that avoid rush-hour traffic.   
  • Offer onsite amenities and perks. Job sites in less-accessible locations should offer onsite services and amenities that benefit the employees. High-quality onsite food and food choices, child care, parking, a gym or fitness facility, and comfortable spaces for on-site breaks are all important. Some employers go above and beyond, with employee discount and reward programs, dry cleaning, and even onsite prescription drug access.  
  • Create career growth opportunities. Help candidates envision how this job fits into their overall career growth strategy. Have a robust system for promoting internal talent, and identify how this job matches with your candidate’s career ambitions.  
  • Cultivate local talent. The best long-term strategy for filling local positions is cultivating local talent. Develop entry-level or internship positions to identify and work with local talent. Build career services or mentorship programs that incorporate local candidates into the workplace. Boost your visibility by participating in local education or cultural programs, boosting employee volunteer or contribution efforts, and engaging in activities that are meaningful to the community. 
A rural area will offer plenty of exercise & outdoor sports opportunities and natural landmarks.
A rural area will offer plenty of exercise & outdoor sports opportunities and natural landmarks.

A long-term talent strategy for less popular locations is a three-part process that includes:

  1. Making the job & location appealing for external candidates
  2. Cultivating local talent
  3. Participating in community efforts to improve the local quality of life

Following these steps helps to integrate the company into the community, and make both the job site and the surrounding community more vital, more attractive, and more sustainable.  Are you hiring for such locations and would you like to discuss this further? Contact grapefrute today.