Today, I couldn’t help but notice that Tulsa Remote may be up to something interesting as the recruitment organization is taking a new spin at attracting tech talent to the Oklahoma city’s local area. Instead of trying to woo companies to Tulsa the organization is working on wooing companies’ remote workers. Tulsa Remote’s pitch? “Relocate to Tulsa. Receive $10,000. Join a vibrant, supportive, and collaborative community. You’re going to love it here.” The initiative has already attracted close to 1,000 workers from firms including AirBnB, Apple, Amazon, and Netflix the fair city of Tulsa, bringing in remote workers who have high wages in the technology industry. Now that’s a bright new way to look at talent!
It appears that Tulsa Remote is not alone, with 71 town and cities now joining the bandwagon to attract Silicon Valley remote workers to their towns, up from only 24 towns in October of 2021. This is becoming a trend that any of us in technology should be aware of. We should be thinking about how we leverage it for our technology talent needs.
This craze, at the face of it, appears super logical; after all, Silicon Valley used to be in person and now it’s remote, and it’s expensive to live there. So, why not consider a move, particularly if you are early in your career and/or want a change of pace? These towns will offer you real tangible benefits to move there and provide an initial support network to help you integrate into the area.
In fact, there are even firms out there specializing in this new trend such as Make My Move, which is working with towns and companies to target talent by local geo area. They offer packages to entice people to move to these towns including cash, special event tickets, free meals, etc…. This feels an awful lot like the future — one that has legs. Further, if you are tasked with having the best tech talent in your firm, you likely need to start thinking about how you approach this new type of partnership.
There are a few options, as I see it:
1. Partner with communities.
Partner with communities that would benefit you in regards to talent. Don’t just move your own remote talent to new areas to ensure employee satisfaction; this is also a way to attract new talent to move closer to one of your offices. Then, you can target that talent for an employer change.
Doing this would require partnering with a local town near one of your office locations and consider helping to offset incentives for new highly compensated tech talent to move into the area. You can do this as a grassroots campaign in a local community, whereby all the local businesses chip in to attract talent — this is good for the whole community to have highly compensated remote workers who spend and pay taxes in your local area — or with the municipality directly.
2. Partner with an aggregator.
Partner with an aggregator, like a Make My Move, and select cities on their list to partner with to attract top talent. This could also allow you to provide these offerings to your remote employees as a way for them to move to the area of their dreams. This would also enable you to add cities to a Make My Move’s target lists if you did a corporate partnership with it to drive activity to its platform. It would be great for your talent brand in the industry as well.
3. Do something internally.
Finally, you could also do something internally. You can map out top locations and survey remote employees about where they want to move. Then, you can offer a one-time incentive to move them to that area. This would serve as an offered benefit to employees with a one-time payment for a move to their location of choice.
This one-time payment paid by your firm would likely work best if you targeted moving remote employees to less costly areas where their salary would stretch further. It could offer you a long-term savings, as that one-time move bonus of, say, $10,000 is far better than an annual large salary adjustment just to keep on track with the local high-cost areas’ salary rates. That adds to your bottom line every year.
You could use a firm like Make My Move or others to process the offers and payments as your partner in this. It would enable you to retain your remote employees by proactively helping them move to the area of their dreams.
The bottom line is these are challenging talent times, particularly for tech talent. We need new, fresh approaches to partnerships that can help us to not only attract, but also retain, talent without breaking the bank. Perhaps a future of live where-you-want-when-you-want will be the game changer for firms like yours. Today is a good time to start figuring that out with a brand-new kind of partnership. Happy partnering!
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