Talent Attraction: The Perfect Intersection of Economic Development and Tourism

February 17, 2022

For 62 years, DCI has specialized in economic development and tourism marketing aimed at helping destinations around the world attract business investment and visitors to spur economic growth. Today, we are excited to announce formally a third practice area – talent attraction.

Make no mistake: talent attraction marketing is not new to DCI. We are building on a strong foundation and history that dates back more than a dozen years when we launched a talent attraction brand and campaign for Wake County, home of North Carolina’s famed Research Triangle Park. During the intervening years we have steadily built a robust slate of services and deep bench of experts to design talent attraction websites, talent attraction marketing strategies, talent attraction brands, talent attraction media relations, talent attraction advertising and talent attraction social media campaigns – all based on research.

For the past five years, we have also published “Talent Wars,” our groundbreaking research on how people choose jobs and locations. We use the data and insights gleaned from this highly regarded research to guide us in building and designing talent campaigns for our clients. In addition, we’ve kept tabs on successful talent attraction initiatives around the globe and recently launched a new “Talent Attraction Spotlight” series. Our first three blogs spotlight work being done in Oklahoma City, Chattanooga and Northeast Indiana.



Today’s Visitor is Tomorrow’s Talent

Our “Talent Wars” research reveals that “today’s visitor is tomorrow’s talent.” Historically, the #1 way talent determines where they want to live is by having traveled to that location in the past. The impact of visitor travel is significant.

Talent attraction marketing sits at the intersection of economic development and tourism marketing. Economic development organizations (EDOs) have traditionally launched and funded talent programs to help supply their local investors and companies with available talent so that the companies can grow and expand. But it has become crystal clear to us that destination marketing organizations (DMOs) have the expertise to best market a destination’s lifestyle assets to consumers, or visitors, who are more likely to relocate to a place where they had a positive travel experience. The two are inextricably intertwined.

Critical Need for EDO-DMO Collaboration
At the same time resources and budgets have been challenged these last two years due to the ripple effects of COVID, most areas are facing a significant talent shortage with a diminishing supply of labor due to early retirements, #theGreatResignation, people choosing to not go back to work, a skills disconnect and a host of other factors. We see a pressing need for EDOs and DMOs to share resources and expertise to position their destination in the minds of potential talent.

The headlines make it clear that finding workers – and specifically the right workers – for local businesses is a challenge among many. What’s more, remote workers are no longer bound to traditional centers of business. They are re-evaluating and recalibrating their needs between location, quality of life, and cost of living in exciting ways. For destinations that means one thing: attracting talent is an important new focus.

As economies and destinations look to build back from the pandemic, EDOs and DMOs can benefit from new collaborations like never before. Helping them work together is all part of the process that DCI’s talent attraction service practice area aims to streamline and enhance.

Embrace Our Talent to Enhance Yours
Adding Talent Attraction as a third practice area for DCI alongside Economic Development and Tourism just feels right. We take great pride in keeping our fingers on the pulse of what destinations need. Placemaking will always be at the heart of what we do, but we’re excited to enhance the way we do it as we continually evolve.

Our teams are experienced and eager to bring years of talent attraction research, website development, strategic thinking, storytelling, media relations, paid media, branding and social media savvy to the table for clients across North America and beyond. It’s time to tap into our talent so we can help enhance yours.

Interested in learning more about starting a talent attraction campaign? Get in touch with Patience Fairbrother at [email protected] to learn more about how we can get started attracting fresh talent to your destination.