Local vs. national recruiting: Plugging into broader workforce and recruiting trends (Part 3 of 4)

It's a good thing that there is such a concept as "healthy debate." Without it, I would definitely be losing friends quickly here at Yoh.

Last week, my colleague Mindy Fineout wrote an excellent post about the importance of a local presence in recruiting. Like Mindy, I'm all for supporting local businesses. On the flip side, I also have family ties to the supermarket business.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing I love more than spending a Saturday visiting the local farmers market, followed by the bakery and cheese shop up the street. For the most part, the level of personal service I get at these places is unbeatable. But between work, tending to the house, and all the other duties that go along with life in general, for me, the convenience and value that supermarkets offer often go further than a friendly smile.

Thanks to distribution agreements with a wide array of local, national, and global suppliers, I know a supermarket can get me just about any product I want at a great value, and I can have it in under an hour.

Plus, with the intense competition in the supermarket sector, I know that many of them are constantly on top of industry trends. They also have to be evaluating their business and making sure they are addressing the changing needs of the customer.

How great is it that if I'm really in a bind, I can simply go online and quickly pull together a grocery list that will be delivered to my door by the time I get home from work? Talk about value-added service!

Like supermarkets, national recruiting models provide a service that, while not always personal, is convenient, dependable, and valuable in terms of both time and money. Although local recruiting models are often high touch and likely have the local market for talent covered, are they really plugged into recruiting and workforce trends at a national level?

Can a "local only" supplier really ensure that you have the candidates your business needs at the value you want in the time you need? Or do they really just give you access to the candidates available in your market at the going rate in the time they are available?

In addition to the flexibility and scalability that a national recruiting model offers, one of the benefits of a national model is the intelligence it provides. It is the job of a national recruiting network to monitor workforce trends across geographies, industries, and skills in order to successfully fill the needs of its customers.

If you are in the Silicon Valley and are in need of a Java developer, your local recruiters probably have a sea of extremely qualified candidates for your needs. (Though I would bet that many of your local recruiters are national players that followed the trends and decided to set up shop there.)

But what if you are in Jackson, Miss. and need that same candidate? Can you be confident that your local supplier is plugged into a national network of talent to deliver the best available candidate for your business -- not just the best available candidate in your market?

While I can always count on my local farmers market to offer a warm hello and the best local produce around, if I've got a hankering for fresh lychees, I'm not so sure they'll deliver.



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