Tips for Expansion in the Southeast
Although 2020 has been a challenging year, the growth of remote hiring has fostered new opportunities across the country. Companies have learned they can hire exceptional talent at reasonable salaries while reducing overhead. Employees, no longer faced with paying exorbitant rents to live near headquarters, now have options to relocate anywhere.
So what’s the problem?
While great people resides everywhere, much of the southeast get less attention due to preconceptions and bias. In fact, some regions here likely offer the most promising opportunities for responsible growth.
Interested in talent expansion in the southeast? Here are 3 tips to ensure the best likelihood for success.
1. Check Your Assumptions (and Unconscious Bias) at the Door
Ensure you put consistent process in place to guard against bias. Sounds simple enough right?
What happens when you don’t recognize a candidate’s university? How do you react when you hear a ‘tang’ in the way someone pronounces certain words? Are you projecting assumptions onto the candidate from across the Zoom?
After working for multiple tech startups in Nashville, I’ve heard it all about the local talent pool. People here are “too polite,” slow to act, dripping in southern drawl, lacking “relevant experience.” These assumptions harm both employer and employee alike.
Also, take a look at how regional bias impacts your diversity and inclusion goals. The southeast is home to some of the most well renowned and prestigious HBCU’s in America. Here we have metros like Memphis (where I grew up) with diverse and established Black American populations. Neglecting these locations may mean you are constraining your remote search to areas of the country with less of the diversity needed to strengthen your company.
2. Consider Opportunities for Incentives
The southeast boasts attractive grant opportunities and a relatively modest cost of living. Ensure you understand the landscape for employer and employee alike. Even if you only plan to make a modest number of hires in a certain remote region or state, you could be missing out on potential benefits available.
Before investing in hiring and recruitment, learn thoroughly about the partnerships and resources available to help. State, county, and chamber resources can provide guidance on grants and incentives available. Many regional universities have different programs available as well to help promote your company’s presence to undergraduates and graduate students.
3. Plan With Purpose
For all of the talk about the value of remote work in giving people opportunities to live anywhere, it’s difficult to attract exceptional people in remote regions without a clear plan. Employee prospects want to understand your vision and objectives for hiring in their region, and the dependencies. Are you simply searching for people anywhere because your office is currently closed? Are you considering opening up a satellite office or temporary presence in another region? Do you plan to change you policies down the line to require people to live near headquarters? Be transparent and open in your communication at all times. This does not mean you need to have your hiring plan set in stone, or all of the specific details figured out. But it does mean you should at least have a roadmap.
Also, when planning, consider the wider range of benefits to concentrating your efforts on one or specific regions in the country. What does success look like? Aside from being able to access state grants that reduce your operating expenses, taking a geographical focus to your expansion can help you meet other business goals, including improving sales execution with personnel closer to your sales prospects, improving customer relationships with increased hours of operations, and achieving resiliency in the event that you decide to shut down your current headquarters.
Consider your vision for potential relocation opportunities for employees looking to move out from headquarters. You may want to get temporary or permanent office space, ensure you have a strong broker partner to guide your search efforts and give you a deep sense of the options available in the region.
Talent Expansion – Close
If you’ve decided you want to focus on the southeast, that’s great! Now what? For tips on how to best deploy your resources, request a 30 minute free consultation with us to evaluate your options and provide tailored next steps.