In this golden age of social media, asking the question around the need for regional recruitment seems like a moot point. Apparently, all talent can be found online, unless of course when it can’t.
Increasingly, regional recruitment has been led more by the industry hubs that have taken root in a specific geographic location. This is almost a harking back to a past era when regions like the North West were defined by the textile industry; Macclesfield was where the silk weavers were located, Manchester produced cotton and wool was woven in Wardle.
London is now the centre of the universe for the financial sector, but on a more granular level, with a range of industry-focused neighbourhoods having sprung up around the Square Mile. Indeed, even landmarks epitomise certain niche sectors, just take the Old Street roundabout, aka Silicon Roundabout in East London. A veritable who’s who of web and technology companies share this post code, from Dooplr to TweetDeck and Facebook to Last.fm this small patch of real estate also houses the Google Campus that opened in 2012.
But this technical wizardry is not all southern-centric. Dundee in Scotland is word-famous for one of the most prolific video games of all time; Grand Theft Auto which was developed by David Jones. This University of Abertay undergraduate has led the charge on information technology and video game development that include companies such as 4J and Cohort studios, Dynamo Games and Denki. The model used to digitally kick-start Dundee’s economy is the blue-print that is being used throughout the UK where older, more traditional industries have died out.
What this means for recruitment is that organisations now need to have deep knowledge and local expertise of the area for which they are sourcing talent. But more importantly, they need to remember that regardless of how high-tech the region is, the candidates applying for the jobs tend to be from the local community. This means that recruiters need to extend their range of approaches to secure indigenous talent, and as much as this will certainly include social media recruitment, it will require a combination of other traditional techniques.
Local advertising, such as using banners on bridges or buildings to announce the arrival of a new business can be very effective; especially if there is an invitation on it for people to become fans of a dedicated Facebook or LinkedIn Showcase page that provides additional information about the organisation.
The candidate experience can be further supported through the utilisation of a local recruitment micro-site that is geared to respond instantly to applications. Used in tandem with the relevant Facebook or LinkedIn Showcase page, regular updates around the process can keep candidates informed. Equally, interview hints and tips and other support can facilitate good relationships even with those not successful in securing the job.
These channels can also be linked to include guest posts from other important candidate sources in the area, including universities and schools, as well as the local Job Centre. This will ensure that the employer brand continues to be well-developed and the organisation can stay in touch with the local community that it will no doubt need to employ from in the future.
Trying to manage numerous local HR resources can be time consuming for organisations that have a national presence and is why RPO is the popular solution for many. Having developed regional talent pools and deep local expertise means that RPO providers have a unique ability to find the best workers quickly, often in high-growth industries and regions.