Firms consider office relocation for numerous reasons. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of logistics as the company has outgrown its existing space or facility. Other times, companies consider moving to take advantage of state incentives to create and retain jobs. Another major reason is recruiting the best talent.
The latest Manpower whitepaper shows that 36% of employers globally are reporting talent shortages. This is the highest it’s been in seven years. In the United States, 40% of employers say they have trouble finding people who can perform. More than half of them also note that this has an effect on how well they’re able to serve their customers. If you’re having trouble building a skilled workforce, an office relocation may be worth considering to bring your company to the next level.
Here’s a look at five of the best cities in America in terms of innovation and an educated workforce.
When Business Insider compiled a list of America’s best-performing cities, Austin, as well as its neighbors, Round Rock and San Marcos, took first place. National Instruments, Dell, and Flextronics have longtime roots in the community, which paved the way for others to follow. Recently, IBM and Apple swooped into the developing tech center to take advantage of its existing employment base. The University of Texas at Austin does a fair job of creating new talent, too.
Austin is also one of America’s most innovative cities, with 2,497 patents originating from the area every year. Although the main industry is computer hardware, medical companies have taken hold as well. Forbes Magazine notes that healthcare, professional and business services, and manufacturing are all experiencing a high period of growth in the area.
U.S. News chose Raleigh as one of its ten most-educated cities and a lot of this has to do with what’s known as “The Research Triangle.” North Carolina State University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke form the three points resulting in the cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Cary have an unusually large number of highly-educated citizens. Durham-Chapel Hill actually has the highest population of people with PhDs in the nation. This makes almost anywhere in the area an ideal place for science, technology, and financial firms. Raleigh also made it onto the list of most innovative cities, responsible for 1,273 patents annually. Durham made the list, too, but with only 552 patents. The region is home to huge firms like IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Biogen, Fidelity Investments and Credit Suisse.
Not surprisingly, Silicon Valley is one of the top office-relocation destinations as well. Business Insider has kept it on the list of top-performing cities, though its position has slipped a bit and it no longer takes the number-one spot.
World-renowned for technology, highly-educated people with top notch talent flock to the area in search of employment. Google and Yahoo call this area home, and they are probably a big part of the reason San Jose lands at the very top of the list for innovation, with 9,237 annual patents. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Stanford University right there, continually adding to the talent pool.
Once primarily known for manufacturing, the Trenton metro area is quickly becoming known for innovation. Every year, 1,073 patents per million residents emerge from the city and the surrounding area with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Siemens AG and Princeton University leading the way. The healthcare, educational, and financial industries are the largest employers and continue to tap the educated workforce.
Unemployment in New Jersey still hovers slightly higher than the national average, which presents opportunities for major companies to recruit top talent. New Jersey continues to add jobs with the unemployment rate falling to 5.9%, its lowest level in seven years according to the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Dr. Peter Cappelli of the Wall Street Journal came up with some interesting solutions to the problem of finding qualified employees. He seems to concede that 52% of employers are having trouble finding the right talent to fill positions, and that 47% of them blame this on a lack of skilled employees, while another 35% say it has to do with a shortage of experienced candidates. However, he believes this has more to do with high expectations set forth by employers, which is then paired with poor on-the-job training. In other words, people have to be already working in the position, rather than merely qualified, or capable of learning the duties of it. This simply isn’t possible in today’s niche-oriented, diverse workforce.
To summarize, he thinks that employees should be promoted from within more often, apprenticeships should be utilized more, and that companies should take advantage of outside sources for job training, such as universities. Here are a few more ways to engage and incentivize your workforce.
Whether moving your facilities can lead to growth depends heavily on your sector, the skills your desired workforce should possess, and numerous other factors. We can help you analyze the factors most relevant to your industry, using a data-based approach to decision-making. If you need help strategizing and navigating a corporate move, please contact us for a free 30-minute consultation. Use our online form or speak to us directly by calling 973-337-1144.
Michael Staskiewicz, CCIM is the Managing Principal of Effective Realty Advisors and Founder of EffectiveWorkplace.com. Michael helps innovative, purpose-driven CEOs clarify the strategic plan for a world-class work environment, so they can attract the best talent and reduce voluntary turnover.