3 tips on following the talent you want

The location debate gets a lot of attention at the national level. Is a first- or second-tier market right for us? Would we fit in near San Francisco or Portland? Even once you decide on a corner of the U.S., you enter the same debate at a local level: Which submarket is best?

In Phoenix for example, Tempe and Scottsdale are known as traditional tech hubs thanks to their live-work-play environments, but Downtown Phoenix continues to grow as a viable alternative for technology companies. More housing and retail options have improved the vibrancy of the area, attracting more people to downtown.

Almost every market presents a similar situation. In Chicago you have the traditional tech epicenter of River North, with the industrial Fulton Market area picking up steam. In Los Angeles, tech companies are deciding between the expense and prestige of Santa Monica and Venice or the rising popularity (and lower costs) of Playa Vista and El Segundo.

So how do you know which submarket is right for you? A simple strategy to decide where to settle is to look at labor statistics.

Just as each submarket has pros and cons and particular personalities, so do the people who work there. Knowing the ideal demographic you want to hire and having a deep understanding of where those people live and where they’re willing to commute can help you decide between moving to the heart of downtown or the burgeoning creative district.

Here are three ways you can use labor data to locate yourself near the talent you want most.

Define your ideal employee

Every company is different when it comes to its ideal employee. Much of it has to do with which stage of growth you’re in. Will you benefit most from recent computer science or multimedia arts college graduates, or do you need experienced software developers? Are you looking to hire senior leaders or fill entry-level positions?

Some submarkets vary widely by demographics, so it’s important to determine the answers to these questions to help guide your location search.

Know where to find talent

Once you know the type of person you’re seeking, you can find out where they are. Some of this information is publicly available. Or you can work with a real estate broker to find detailed labor analytics that uncover things like:

  • The demographics profile of residents within certain areas
  • Population densities relating to your ideal demographic
  • Labor flow between submarkets
  • Average drive times between points A and B
  • Compensation variances among locations
  • Cost of living in various cities and neighborhoods

Size up the competition

After finding areas you may be interested in, take the time to uncover your nearby competitors. After all, you’ll be tapping the same talent pool. In some cases, it may be beneficial to locate your office down the street from competitors. But if the area is oversaturated with companies vying for the same employee type, then it could be difficult to find talent—let alone retain them.

In the technology sector, recruiting and retaining strong talent is so important to success, and your real estate is one of your best tools in the war for talent. Where your office is located could be the deciding factor for your next star employee. You know how important it is to support your employees and provide the best environment for them. Why not invest the time to make sure you’ve got the location right?

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