Recruiting After a Snowstorm: Recruiting Opportunities for Warmer Climates

Let’s face facts: most recruiting strategies are painfully traditional and often even dull. But if you have facilities and jobs in a warm weather area ó and you’re feeling bold ó you might try this “bad weather recruiting” approach. Recruiting After a Snowstorm (Bad Weather Recruiting) If you have ever lived in a cold or bad weather climate, there have invariably been times during particularly nasty weather when you have dreamt of how great it would be if you could immediately move to a warmer climate. Family times had ordered the words, “I never want to spend another winter in this place again.” This premise is the basis for bad weather recruiting. Bad weather recruiting is really quite simple. Whenever a city or geographic region that contains a significant population of the type of talent you’re seeking has a period of particularly bad weather, you take advantage of it. When the situation is at its worst, you place TV, radio, or newsprint ads in those cities. The ads should highlight the superior weather conditions at your warm weather facilities. Yes, it’s true that this is taking advantage of the misfortune of “bad weather cities,” but great recruiting almost invariably involves taking advantage of an opportunity. It’s not a new concept to flout great weather (chambers of commerce and travel agencies do it all the time). The only difference here is that your firm “times” its recruiting campaign to run just as an extended period of bad weather is frustrating or inconveniencing people in the bad weather areas. Other Thoughts Related to “Bad Weather Recruiting”

  • TV ads are by far the most effective tool for highlighting your great weather. There’s nothing like a TV ad showing palm trees swaying in the breeze and athletic people on roller blades to get a candidate’s attention.
  • Don’t try to be subtle. Begin your advertising by highlighting the significant weather differential and actively encourage people to “act on that dream to move” that they have had for years.
  • Be prepared to accept phone calls. The best way to get these people “hooked” is to get them to take immediate action. If you have a call center, allowing candidates to talk to someone live can’t be beat. An alternative is to encourage them to apply immediately on your website.
  • Promote your other assets as well. In your ads featuring your great weather, be sure and also highlight other features of your geographic area, including low crime, short commutes, low cost of living, or low housing prices. If you’re really bold, put a side-by-side comparison on your website showing the superiority of your warm weather facility to other “cold weather” cities.
  • Target the family. You can also work on the emotions of family members in your advertising by encouraging them to pressure decision makers into considering a warm weather move.
  • Set up a web cam. A live web cam can show off the “live” weather at your facilities, or you can provide links to other web cams in your region that show your current weather.
  • Don’t just focus on snowstorms. Long-term power outages, rainstorms, tornadoes, and earthquakes all frustrate people and provide you with an opportunity to highlight your geographic area.
  • Don’t assume only warm weather climates have an advantage.Recruiting along the Gulf Coast after a hurricane or in San Francisco after an earthquake can be equally as effective.
  • Crime rates are also a differentiator… If you’re area has a relatively low crime rate, you might consider a related strategy which targets cities where the high crime rate has received a lot of recent publicity.
  • …as are tax rates and economic conditions. You can also target any city or state that has recently had a significant tax increase or a significant economic downturn that frustrate the populace.
  • Provide additional background information on your region. Since bad weather recruiting requires a significant physical relocation, it is also important to provide applicants with information on housing costs and schools. You need to anticipate each of their “move” concerns and answer all of their questions on your website.

Conclusion The concept of taking advantage of someone (or in this case, some place) when they are “down” might initially be a problem for some. But the more you think about it, the more comfortable you get. Sending a warm weather message during bad weather just gets candidates’ attention. Candidates still have free choice. And don’t worry, if you don’t have great career opportunities, they won’t bite. Look out North Carolina or Detroit…the recruiters are coming!

About Dr John Sullivan

Dr John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high business impact; strategic Talent Management solutions to large corporations.

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