Bright young college graduates may have their sights set on the glamour of New York or the laid-back feel of the West Coast when sending out resumes. As the economy picks up steam and the labor market tightens, cities will be competing for the best of the best. Pennsylvania is home to several top universities, but Philadelphia businesses may have to find new ways to reach out to these potential employees. Sally Stetson, co-founder and principal of the Philadelphia-based executive search firm Salveson Stetson Group, offers strategies businesses may use to attract talent to their Philadelphia firms.
(Photo courtesy of Sally Stetson)
As the unemployment rate continues to decline following the Great Recession, have Philadelphia businesses experienced difficulty recruiting and retaining talent?
Employees are increasingly leaving roles for other promotional opportunities, which was not happening during the recession. These job openings have created a domino effect, and it is not unusual anymore to be recruiting an employee who has received multiple offers on the table. As a result, businesses have refocused their efforts in engaging their employees to prevent them from leaving.
What strategies do you suggest Philadelphia businesses utilize to recruit college graduates who may be focused on New York or other metro centers?
To start, Philadelphia-based businesses would benefit from recruiting students earlier in their college careers. Many of the driven, ambitious students look to gain experience from internships and summer positions during their sophomore and junior years. If they have positive experiences with these companies then, they are more likely to consider a full-time position with them when they graduate. In addition, it’s important that their roles and responsibilities are engaging, challenging and provide them with a diverse set of projects. College graduates respond well to positions that push them to learn the most about their career paths and allow them to receive positive feedback and coaching.
Cost of living can also be a huge factor for where a new professional starts his or her career, and Philadelphia offers a big-city lifestyle without the cost associated with a place like New York. I think depicting Philadelphia as a manageable and affordable alternative to N.Y.C., where you can live in a vibrant metropolitan area and afford to enjoy what it offers, is a big selling point.
What do Philadelphia and its revitalized downtown have to offer new graduates and young professionals of the millennial generation?
One of the benefits Philadelphia has to offer is its accessibility. The city has many robust and engaging neighborhoods that young professionals can easily get to by its transportation system, bike paths or simply walking. They can go through three or four different areas within 30 minutes that have completely unique vibes and attractions.
Philly also offers many different career options due to the diversity of industry sectors, including some outstanding colleges and universities. The city truly possesses all the amenities that a young professional could want: great open spaces, pop-up beer gardens and night markets in the summer, a thriving and eclectic restaurant and arts scene and a large group of their peers streaming in to start their careers.
This article was written by Gillian Burdett for Small Business Pulse