In a landscape where pandemic practices brought work-from-home positions and widened the talent pool to a global market, there are still key positions in any company that work best when locally sourced. This is never truer than in service and manufacturing positions where a boots-on-the-ground mentality is a must. Just as bringing in a wider talent pool for executive and advisory roles is a new best practice, local talent sourcing for specific positions benefits stakeholders in different ways.
From traditional business benefits to the social aspect of local talent sourcing, let’s examine the upside of a local workforce.
Customer trends have been moving toward a local push for quite some time. Grocery chains are quick to tout the locally sourced producers and that same sentiment translates to hiring and ensuring customer satisfaction. The promise of a local workforce sends the message that companies have their eyes on operations and their hands in production—giving the unspoken assurance that the brand believes in quality. In the newer subscription box niche, such assurances are a selling point for customers.
“Our brand builds trust by letting folks know that we source responsibly,” says a representative of Knotty Knickers, a leading subscription box service specializing in cost-conscious, stylish underwear for women of all shapes. “That promise looks very different for our goods and materials versus our workforce. While it’s important for people to know that we bring in our materials from sustainably sourced manufacturers across the globe, we further ensure our quality and commitment to excellence by bringing in a local workforce to pack and ship our boxes. The trust factor is important to our brand.”
Citizenship in action is projected when companies hire from the local talent pool. It speaks to your investment in the health of the local economy and the growth of your local operation.
HR Gets Easier when Vetting and Hiring Candidates
A local workforce mitigates the unknowns of hiring candidates for remote work, sight unseen. The shift to work-from-home positions brings with it a large risk when it comes to the fit of the candidate within a team and the onboarding experience. Work-from-home hires present a larger gap between trouble spots in work and identifying that there’s a problem. Using the subscription box example once more, consider this:
Packing and shipping of goods are outsourced to a workforce geographically absent from a company’s headquarters. Decision makers must wait for a quality control test failure or worse—a customer complaint—to identify that there is a problem. Discerning the exact nature of the problem and its cause takes even longer.
Knowing that you have the best members on the team requires discernment and access to those employees, specifically in production and packing situations. Keeping the workforce nearby can be illuminating in the HR process.
Benefit the Community
Every stakeholder matters and your community is a huge stakeholder in your business. Any time a company can do good in the community as part of operations, it pays off in both tangible and intangible ways. Using local employees increases business within the community, providing more jobs and increasing community investment.
Helps the Environment
A localized workforce and supply chain benefits the environment due to reduced shipping and storage needs as well as limited travel. Reduced shipping lowers carbon emissions while lowering storage needs minimizes land needs and the carbon footprint of building construction and the supply chain for the building products.
The expanded local economic health also makes your employees happier. Living in communities that are growing and prospering results in employees that are more productive and tend to stick around.
Working with a local employee base means greater control over day-to-day production and operations. It also facilitates employee buy-in and fosters connections between teams and employees. Close-knit teams present a unified front and can provide quality customer service.
The ability to meet face-to-face can lay the groundwork for meaningful, transparent conversation without the concern of being too removed from your workforce and their daily environment.
The benefits of engaging a local workforce are immense. All stakeholders including upper management, staff, and the local community see direct benefits. Profits and flexibility can increase as well when the workforce is managed well. These factors culminate in increased value for your company and an ultimately positive decision.