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Why Hire Local?

Posted on Posted in Strategy, Uncategorized

When I was a kid, my mother would send me to get something from the pantry, and I’d stand there staring at the shelf. Then, I would return to her to admit I couldn’t find it; it wasn’t there. She would walk up, pluck it off the shelf immediately (exactly where she’d said it would be) and declare, “If it’d been a snake it woulda bit ‘cha.” We often fail to notice the familiar — what is right in front of our faces. Similarly, companies often look out-of-state or even abroad for employees, failing to see the talent underneath their noses. Sometimes the employee you’re looking for can’t be found at home, but before you start exploring the far reaches of the earth, first look local — in your own proverbial backyard. Here’s why:


It’s a lot easier to look up references for someone in your hometown. Not only are you more likely to be familiar with them already, there’s a better chance they’ll give you an honest account of your candidate, instead of the typical, canned spiel. Even if the reference doesn’t know you, the fact that you are local breeds a certain comfort level.


When you hire someone local, they’ll more likely fit into your company culture. They’ll be familiar with the micro culture of your state or city and will have more in common with coworkers. An employee who is comfortable in the workplace is more productive and will be better able to focus on learning new tasks.


If you hire in your own state, or better yet, in your own town, you’ve got not only a new employee, but a connection. A local hire is more likely to plug you into their own network for future hiring or outsourced projects, making the task of hiring down the line that much easier.


Relocation is stressful. When a person has to uproot family and move to start a new job, they are additionally taxed by the stress of moving and settling into a new community, in addition to learning the ropes of their employment. And should it not work out, a local will be less devastated than one who had had to make a move.

Diversity in the workplace is good. No one is saying you shouldn’t be open to — or even actively seek — employees from a variety of locations. Just don’t ignore the opportunity right under your nose, with the assumption that whatever (or whomever) is harder to find is necessarily better. So next time you’re staring at that shelf, looking for the right person for the job, before you start pushing things around at the back of the shelf, start with what’s staring you in the face.


Sources:, statistics

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