How geography affects HR recruitment

Limestone College Business

A few of our recent posts have shared some of the common HR industry issues when it comes to talent recruitment, retention and development. However, as HR professionals continue to evolve to meet the needs of a demanding market, it’s important to remember that geographic location also plays a role in HR’s ability to fulfill a company’s talent needs.

An article on — a publication designed to deliver information to corporate recruiting professionals — suggests that geography is the number one factor that limits applications when it comes to recruiting. According to the article, 95 percent of qualified candidates are not in the company’s backyard. And while some candidates are willing to relocate, many don’t have that option due to relocation costs, living preferences, mortgages, family or immigration/visa issues.

Traditional ways of dealing with this challenge include attractive relocation packages or remote work options. However, companies like Google who are seeking top tech talent have adopted more drastic measures. A Pacific Standard article, “Tech Talent Recruiting Geography” discusses how top companies competing for the same pool of highly scarce candidates are opening new locations around “talent production markets.”

According to the article, “Google owns six out of ten talent production markets, including, Pittsburgh and Boston.” The Pacific Standard article also provides the reason why Google has picked the regions for its locations, “The Google Boston site — sometimes referred to as Google Cambridge, with its address in Boston’s brainy neighbor — relies on a proximity to MIT. The school is a powerhouse supplier of Google candidates…”

However, recruitment challenges associated with geography are not just prevalent in technology and new media hiring, but also in a number of manufacturing industries. In North Carolina for example, manufacturing industries most cited with hiring difficulties include plastics & rubber products manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, and machinery manufacturing, among others. According to the 2014 Employer Needs Survey, the need for skilled labor force has prompted “nearly half of [employers] to use workforce development/education systems to help meet their employment/training needs.”

Limestone students pursuing a bachelors in human resource management who are interested in recruiting will need to consider how their geographic location may affect their efforts and adjust strategies accordingly. Classes such as HR 311 Staffing and Labor Relations and HR 303 Compensation and Benefits prepare students to not only design effective recruiting methods but also utilize various benefits to attract talent despite geographic limitations.

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