From the Executive Director: Evolving Workforce Resources
Jul 27, 2021
Companies are trying anything these days to attract more workers. Many businesses are managing to find workers and grow, but it is a challenge almost everywhere. There’s no single answer and no easy answer to what is far and away the No. 1 impediment to growth. There are, though, numerous tips, services, programs and initiatives that might be helpful.
The Economic Alliance has updated and expanded our Workforce Solutions Guide to capture many of those resources in one easy-to-access place. You can find a digital version here: https://bit.ly/3jDMOl5. We also have printed versions available at the office. Or reach out to any Economic Alliance Team member and we’ll be sure to get this to you.
I don’t want to leave the impression this guide will solve all your workforce attraction issues. But for many companies, there might be a tidbit or two that you didn’t know about or something new to try. If nothing else, the links and contacts will make for convenient access to your most-used resources.
Talent attraction varies by industry, of course, and there are such a wide array of outreach strategies that have been successful. It’s all hard work, though. Nationally, companies and regions that have tried some creative gimmicks have gotten attention. But there’s not much evidence those gimmicks provide any sustainable edge in workforce attraction. A smaller pool of job seekers still ultimately want competitive pay, comprehensive benefits and healthy, diverse workplaces in healthy, diverse communities.
Nothing magical about that, right?
Our competitive edge comes from being authentically Iowa and authentically the Iowa City – Cedar Rapids (ICR) region. We have a lot of things people are looking for. We’ve also received positive feedback from people who have moved here for jobs that our Talent Hub is a unique resource. The Talent Hub (www.icriowa.org/recruit-me) is an online portal of job candidates, not unlike some other job search sites. But the unique feature is that once a resume is uploaded to the Talent Hub, the candidates receive special outreach from a community ambassador to promote all that is awesome about living here, to answer questions and to help the candidate get connected to potential employers and to the community. Few other regions, apparently, provide such personalized outreach to people looking for jobs in the region. Working with our partners at the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD), we are looking to strengthen and refine that effort, and you will be hearing a lot more about that in the near future.