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Our #1 Biz Recruiter: A Nutritionist?

November 1, 2012 - Ernest Hohmeyer
We may need to say “Job well done” but ask our current volunteers who are trying to help bring businesses to the community to please leave.

I too may be the wrong person to write these articles.

In our on-going discussion about the new world of recruiting businesses and the new king – information – we may need to rethink not only our approach – but who is involved.

It used to be fairly straightforward what you presented as a community to attract new jobs or businesses.

Not anymore.

Gone are the days when it is all about the business. A community jobs package that centers itself on building sites, the type of labor force and incentives may be missing the boat on how today’s entrepreneurs are thinking.

Because of the importance of these historical criteria, local development groups are often made up of bankers, real estate agents, lawyers and municipal officials.

We may need a team that is led by a nutritionist or wellness advocate.

Ah, what?

The Gallup Poll

Everyone hears in this season of political football about the Gallup polls. A lesser-known fact is that as a polling group, Gallup also performs other “polls.” One that has received a great deal of recognition is their poll on how states rank in terms of attracting businesses. As part of this effort there is interesting ranking on how well each state is positioned for “future livability.”

When you think about one critical function of what marketing is: it is to create from the customer a response.

How we are doing that in today’s information-based social media world is becoming increasingly personalized. Marketing campaigns are increasingly trying to figure out what are your personal “likes.” As technology advances they are getting quite good at it.

It is no different in the business recruiting world. While yes, ultimately a decision by a company to move their business to our community must make economic sense, the playing field in terms of sites and incentives is becoming quite level.

We also need to remember that small businesses seeking to expand are often built on the personality of the entrepreneur. So there is an increasing emphasis on non-traditional criteria and whether it is improving or declining.

In an on-line article by Dan Witters on MSN “Utah Poised to Be the Best U.S. State to Live In” he references the states “future livability” as part of a “Gallup Daily tracking and the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.”

They used 13 “forward-looking metrics that may determine which states will be the best place to live in the future.”

While some of the matrix use are not surprising such as:

• Availability of “good jobs” • A region’s economic confidence • Jobs being created

There are also other interesting criteria:

• “Supervisor Relationship” or a culture of “being partnered with rather than bossed around…” • “City optimism” as a place that is getting better as a place to live • “Daily Learning” or “Learning something new and interesting daily is a critical psychological need and one of the most prevalent commonalities of well-being communities.” • “Easy Access to a Safe Place to Exercise” • “Obesity” – “Where there are more obese people, there are higher mortality rates, more chronic conditions, and higher healthcare costs.” • “Smoking” – again higher rates are not looked upon favorably.

Witters makes an interesting comment: “By focusing on the metrics that have the most impact on forthcoming economic, health, and social well-being outcomes, leaders will be able to realize the greatest return on their investment.”

And who is in a position to take advantage of health and wellness “livability” criteria?

Who has a history of wellness?

A Different Approach?

We may be in a great position. To do this however we may need to reach out to a whole set of resources in our community that traditionally we may have ignored in this competitive match of attracting new jobs.

Perhaps our economic efforts should also include a “Wellness Council” of practitioners and medical organizations. Perhaps we should develop a set of criteria that talks about our “wellness metrics.”

State Rankings

In this Gallup poll of what states are best positioned for “”future livability,” Utah ranked first followed by Minnesota and Colorado. Interestingly many of the top 10 states are rural in nature including Minnesota, Nebraska and North and South Dakota.

West Virginia, Mississippi and Kentucky are the bottom three.

Where is New York State? Under “State Rankings, Overall Average Rank and Economic Indicators”: • Overall average rank: 29.4 • Economic confidence index: 17 • Job creation index: 47 • “Is it getting better” minus “is getting worse”: 31

Under State Rankings, Overall Average Rank and Community/Workplace Indicators, New York: • City/Area “getting better” minus “getting worse”: 44 • Learned something new yesterday: 32 • Manager treats you like a partner, not a boss: 41 • Easy to find a safe place to exercise: 42

It may be worthwhile to consider is how we are different once again from the rest of the state. It would be interesting to see how the Adirondacks would rank.

If nothing else we have a rich history in wellness that is becoming important in the business development world.

We might want to take advantage of it.

We may need to think differently about how we approach our business recruitment efforts to include some of those factors that are right in front of us and in fact could be our strength.

All that we may need to do is ask them to participate.


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