Economic Development Trends and Take-Aways Nov. 2016

How a Digital Strategy Can Bolster Your Area’s Workforce Initiatives

Trend: Talent Attraction
One of the key discussion points at the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) 2016 Annual Conference was on attracting talent, especially millennial talent.  Talent attraction continues to be a critical consideration in the site selection process.

Takeaway:
A well planned digital strategy can help an EDO attract and retain important talent. Site selectors and companies depend on availability of local talent in making their site selection.

A digital marketing component driven by data analytics can laser-focus the targeting of your messages to the most ideal job applicant.

A social marketing component in your digital plan can be implemented by millennials on staff through postings on social media that speak to the needs and ideals of other millennials and the jobs in your community.

Trend: Workforce Availability
Another trend at IEDC’s Annual conference was about promoting and highlighting your area’s workforce availability.  Simply attracting talent is not enough, you need to be showing that your area has the right talent for the project.

Takeaway:
You want content on your web site and in your social marketing that highlights all components of your workforce development efforts including the training programs you are developing that make your area stand out.

Local employers and universities could contribute insightful commentary about the skills and qualifications of their employees and the upcoming graduates.  Their third party content and endorsements, marketed through your social media channels, enhance your brand (and theirs’) and your attractiveness to prospective employees and site selectors.

Trend: A Diverse and Inclusive Workforce
Today’s companies operate in a more socially and politically aware climate where fostering inclusion is important to job applicants, the workforce, and stakeholders alike.  Any appearance or attempt at limiting inclusion within the workplace can jeopardize your organization’s opportunity to land projects.

Takeaway:
While this is a policy issue for many, for today’s EDOs, an inclusive workplace message is important to promoting your market to potential prospects and employees.

With a digital strategy, your organization can shape the narrative of the diversity and inclusiveness of your area’s workforce.  And, perhaps, promote the similar messaging of some of your important stakeholders, as examples.

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