As companies consider site location, the ability to attract and retain talent remains a primary driver in their decision of where to locate. Flanked by three tier-1 research universities, Wake County is the smartest and most education city in the country. Complimented by high tech jobs, good education, and economic stability, Wake County is a great place to live, work and play. . . and we’ve got the official rankings to prove it. In 2010, Wake County received #1 Smartest City by TheDailyBeast.com and #1 Quality of Life by Portfolio.com/bizjournals and ranked within the top 10 in 21 other accolades since January of 2010. Wake County is currently the second most populated county in North Carolina, with a population of more than 860,000 residents, and is projected to hit over 1 million people by 2012.
By engaging private sector companies in partnership with Wake County government and the City of Raleigh, Wake County has developed a strategic marketing plan to generate momentum to keep our area at the top in the U.S. for job growth and quality of life. One of our main goals over the next five years is to implement a talent recruitment strategy that’s focused on maintaining and expanding the number of highly skilled employees in our targeted industry sectors.
So how do we go about attracting talent? We turned to the experts. We organized a Talent Recruitment Task Force made up of Human Resource Executives, Executive Search and Staff Firms and company representatives who are engaged with our targeted cluster companies. They have shared with us the top reasons individuals relocate to Wake County; what current tools are currently being used and how could we improve them; obstacles we face for attracting talent and future areas we should begin to target. We are working with them to develop a comprehensive plan on what is our message, how do we package that message, and how to we reach our target audience.
Other locations, are noticing that Wake County is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to talent. In a recent Wall Street Journal article focused around tech hiring in Silicon Valley, Calif. Raleigh was mentioned as a major competitor, referring to Raleigh based Red Hat as a primary example.
With this talent initiative, we hope to maintain and expand the number of highly skilled employees in targeted industry sectors, and convince these workers that Wake County is not only a great place to be, but it’s the only place to be.