Talent Brings Business

Whether it is being recognized as a top 10 best big city to live in right now (Money), the 4th best city for job seekers (Forbes) or one of the best U.S. cities to start a business (Inc.), Jacksonville is hot. All these accolades are good news for our region in the competition for attracting and retaining talent.

If you’ve heard me speak recently, you know that talent management is a key focus for me and our team. Talent availability has become the single most important factor in real estate decisions and employers are evaluating potential headquarters locations in light of their ability to help recruit and retain talent. At a time of historically low unemployment in the region and across the United States and a surplus of job opportunities, the talent wars among cities are leading to fierce competition.

To compete now, whomever wins the talent wars will be better positioned to win more of the battles over the attraction, expansion and retention of companies. To put it simply, companies want to be located in close proximity to a young, high-performing talent pipeline, thus recent activity shows that talent begets business.

I like to compete, so I say, bring it on.

Talent attraction and retention with an identifiable global brand that touts our region as a business destination is a key goal of JAXUSA’s recent Elevate Northeast Florida strategic plan. In identifying and marketing the assets that are attractive to talent, such as affordability, culture, good schools and job availability in highly sought industries, Jacksonville has a real opportunity to capitalize on downtown Jacksonville’s potential and the smart economic growth we are seeing throughout the region.

At JAXUSA, we are developing initiatives that answer the question, “Why JAX?” to desirable talent and businesses. Over the last year, JAXUSA developed the Talent Advancement Network (TAN), a collaboration of HR/talent acquisition professionals committed to creating a stronger regional talent pipeline by improving the relationship between educational systems, target industries and businesses. CareerSource Northeast Florida is a key partner with the TAN and their survey located in this issue of “Invest in JAX” will help in solving the challenges our businesses’ workforce needs. Take the time to provide your confidential feedback when you can.

Also, Find Your JAX, the initiative geared to educating and attracting potential talent to our region’s jobs and businesses will see a complete overhaul this year complete with a new website to include job/internship/apprenticeship boards and quality of life resources to help out-of-market talent “find their JAX.” JAXUSA will also introduce digital ambassadors, PR efforts and advertising to generate more awareness of the region’s offerings.

Exciting times are on the horizon for the region. Stay tuned.