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Why I can Recruit and You can’t

Aug 26

TaxFoundation.org recently released a map that shows how much $100 is worth for each state.  The concept being where you live has a huge impact to what you can afford to buy with that same $100 bill. Here’s the map:

It begs the question, why would anyone live in D.C.? Or New York? Or California? Or New Jersey?

I’m not a coast guy.  I live in 4 bedroom, 3 bath house in Michigan that costs under $350K.  It’s new. It’s in a great neighborhood. I don’t have a highway running through my backyard. I’m close to a university, shopping, good restaurants, etc.  I’m getting the most out of my $100!

Don’t get me wrong. I love to visit big cities. Chicago and Detroit are both close, so those are easy. New York  and D.C. are great. California and Texas are lovely. I’m always thankful to come home.  No traffic. Little crime. Kids still seem to be kids.  Basically, I’m Ward Cleaver.

Michigan, and the Auto Industry, is going through a big growth bubble right now.  It’s a combination of the Auto industry coming back. No one bought cars during the recession, so pent up demand.  Aging auto workforce that stayed on through the recession and now wants out.  There are thousands of jobs in Detroit for technical workers.

Recently, I had a company contact us about helping them find automotive engineering talent to go to California for a start up.  They want to build an entire car start up in Silicon Valley.  My first question was, why?  They don’t really have a good answer to the why.  Besides the fact, well, this is where we are now.  Okay. I can recruit auto engineers for you, from Detroit to Silicon Valley. But understand, Detroit talent is going to have sticker shock!  Major sticker shock!

They are use to getting more that $100, for their $100, and now I’m going to tell them I’ll give you $85 for your $100.  This is really like a decrease of 25% to go and do the same job.  Well, they said, we’ll pay more.  25% more?  Even so, my $350K house is $1.3M in Silicon Valley for less house.  But you’re close to the beach!  For $1.3 I better be on the beach! Is the mindset of an engineer from Michigan!

Recruiting is a mindset.  You can see why I can recruit folks to the Midwest!  I know the hot buttons to push.  Everyone has a certain value they want for their $100.  For some the ocean and the beach and sunny weather is price they will pay for.  For others, they want less traffic, quiet, clean air.  It’s your job as a recruiter to be able to find that value, and not let your own perceptions of that value get in the way.

1 Comment to “Why I can Recruit and You can’t”

  1. I moved from Boston to Cincinnati 8 years ago and I couldn’t agree with you more about the value of $100. I have all the same amenities here in Cincinnati as I had in Boston BUT with no traffic AND I can afford to buy a house 10 minutes from downtown. I could never do that in Boston!

    Nicole Merrill
    Aug 26, 2014

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