Talent Wars 2023: The Importance of a Digital Presence in Talent Attraction

July 11, 2023

Nearly three years after the onset of the pandemic, the talent and workforce landscape continues to shift and evolve as the world navigates new challenges.

The U.S. is facing several factors that are shifting the talent landscape: the impacts of surging Baby Boomer retirement, mass tech layoffs, stagnant office occupancy and inflation, among other factors. Amid these changes and challenges, economic development organizations are left wondering how to reach talent interested in relocation. No surprise, digital continues to rise in importance.

DCI’s annual talent research report “Talent Wars” identifies and analyzes trends in how people make decisions about jobs and relocation and how they form impressions about an area. In its seventh edition, “Talent Wars: What People Look for in Jobs and Locations” surveys 1,000 working-age people across the U.S. (ages 21-65) who moved to a new location at least 100 miles away from their previous residence in the last three years.

When it comes to forming impressions about a region, DCI found that internet research and first-hand experience remain the top influencers of how people form impressions about a community. However, the gap between the two has increased significantly since 2022. Once separated by only 2%, the two now are separated by 13%, with internet research firmly in the lead.

In addition to the rise in the importance of the internet in relocation decisions, dedicated talent attraction websites are becoming more important. When asked how important access to a dedicated website that provides information about living and working in the area was during their last relocation, respondents rated this resource as 7.4 out of 10 on average, indicating that this is a valuable tool and a worthwhile investment for communities. From Florida Power & Light’s WonderFL campaign to Upstate SC Alliance’s Move Upstate SC to San Diego Regional EDC’s San Diego: Life. Changing., dedicated talent attraction websites are becoming essential when it comes to talent attraction marketing.

Notably for destination marketing organizations and tourism entities, 38% of respondents said they consulted a local/state tourism website during their most recent relocation. Organization’s like Destination Cleveland are proactively creating content about relocation as part of their visitor attraction websites in order to capitalize on this.

So, what does this mean for EDOs and DMOs looking to attract talent? The data shows that it is essential for communities to have a strong digital presence to compete in the global fight for talent. A strong first step is to audit your existing web presence, keeping in mind the factors that are most important to talent in relocation decisions, including cost of living, housing costs/availability, safety and diversity of job opportunities. For more information about the factors that are most important to talent, download the full “Talent Wars” report.

Interested in learning more or elevating your web presence for talent attraction? Visit our  Talent Attraction Marketing services page to see DCI’s proven results and case studies. For additional questions, contact VP of Talent Attraction Patience Fairbrother at [email protected].

Written by

Patience Fairbrother

Vice President, Talent Attraction