Hiring is generally about finding the best talent. Ideally, you review resumes and interviews, compare them in talent, and hire the person with the most talent between them. But there are some factors that go beyond talent and ability. For example, loyalty, how they fit in with company culture, whether they have outside variables that affect their employment, and more, all need to be considered in the hiring process.
The same may be true for another factor that is worthy of your consideration – whether or not the applicant is local, and how close they live near where the business operates. There are many benefits to hiring local people, especially if talent levels are close.
Benefits of Local Retail Recruitment
- Locals Have Local Friends – More and more people like to shop locally in places that are comfortable to them. If you bring in someone that knows others in the neighbourhood, you’re also going to bring in their friends and family, as well as those that have been acquainted with them in the past. It may not be a small boost to revenue, but it does help you get your name out there even further.
- Reducing Turnover – If you hire locally, you’re also going to have someone that is used to the area: someone that wants an easy job that they can get to quickly from their home that they often/presumably plan to stay with. Often they know your store already, and maybe even have wanted to work there in the past. These are all great factors for improving employee loyalty.
- Creating a Sense of Community – When people see that you’re hiring locals and they know who you’ve hired, they’ll remember that your company has supported its local area. Your customers will then, both consciously and subconsciously, be appreciative of you bringing in local people to work for your company.
- Easier Interviews, Vetting, and Scheduling – It is challenging and time-consuming to interview and question people that live far away. Even if they are working in just a nearby suburb, they may find it difficult to find time to drive all the way to your store for a job interview, or address issues with scheduling conflicts. When they live locally, interview scheduling becomes much easier, as does contacting them if they have any questions. You are also more likely to have other local workers that know them and are familiar with them in order to get feedback.
- Locals Attract Other Locals – In addition to attracting customers, locals are also going to be more in the loop about other local talent. They’re going to have connections and a network of their own that they have created, and they may know people that are a great talent and are looking for someone to work for nearby. These are great connections to have, with the potential to continue to add to employee loyalty.
- They Are Your Culture – Company cultures can be cultivated by great leadership. But there is always a component of company culture that is simply natural to the area. For example, if you live in an area with a lot of young graduates, chances are it has a more relaxed vibe and personality than an area that attracts a lot of blue collar families. These cultures tend to influence each other, which means that your company culture is or may be influenced by those around you, and vice versa. Hiring someone that lives in your area means that they are more likely to be already keyed into that type of culture.
- They Live Nearby – Of course, some of the simplest benefits are still valuable. Local people live close by and can easily get to work. They have a less stressful commute which increases happiness. They may have an easier time creating workplace friendships and may be able to fill in at a moment’s notice if someone is out. Living close by, locals are also more easily able to attend workshops and socials hosted outside of work hours. All of these are simple and common benefits to having local workers.
The concern over hiring locals is that there simply may not be enough talent in your local area to warrant their hire. But while that is a concern, that should not stop you from looking for and possibly prioritising those that are already very close to where your office is located. Chances are there are some tremendous assets near you, with additional benefits to hiring locals that you won’t get if you are not looking for them.