My company, Homeology, is focused on helping people find the best community to live in the Chicago metro area. We recently discovered a unique opportunity for our company to help solve a critical problem for Chicago based companies, which is how to attract high talent employees to our area. I have lived in Chicago now for over 17 years, and I know Chicago is a wonderful place to live. However, as my company interviewed and surveyed over a hundred people during our business startup process, we heard a consistent message from people who moved to Chicago from out of town. They were all apprehensive about the move. One person even developed a complex spreadsheet on neighborhood crime statistics before he decided where to live. Also, I recently spent a few months in my home town of Roanoke, VA. When I introduced myself and said that I live in Chicago, every person I meet wrinkled their nose. “Chicago is so cold (and incorrectly reference the windy city in relation to weather) and seems very unsafe.” All people hear on the national news are stories of violent crime in Chicago. In fact, in 2013 the FBI named Chicago as the murder capital of the US 1. What I am hearing first hand is that many people don’t see Chicago as a desirable place to move and live. And the numbers support this perception, in 2012 Chicago lost over 50,000 residents 2. And this may not be a short term trend. Other designated murder capitals have struggled to overcome their violent reputations, and continue to see a loss of inhabitants.3 Tim Calkins, a strategy and branding expert who teaches at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Ill says. “When you say the name of a city, you want to have positive associations about the wonderful downtown area or the sports teams. You don’t want the first thing to be violence,” he says. “Every time Chicago is in the headlines for violence, the reputation gets a little more tarnished.” 4
At the same time, the Federal Reserve reported in June 2014 that demand remained strong for skilled workers, particularly for professional and technical occupations and skilled manufacturing and building trades. 5
All this leaves recruiters with a significant dilemma when filling Chicago based job openings. How do I convince candidates to accept a Chicago based job? One way is to have your candidate work with Homeology. Founder Karla Thomas says “Homeology is doing something no one else is doing. We deeply understand our client’s home and lifestyle desires. We then use our proprietary logic to match the client to the best community to maximize their family’s happiness. We understand family dynamics when it comes to relocation. There is a lot of apprehension within the whole family. When the candidate and their spouse can visualize where they may live, we are able to turn their apprehension into excitement. The candidate will more likely accept the position when they have the prospect of both a great new job and a happy family.”
We at Homeology see great potential in working with recruiters. We can work with a candidate in the early stages of a job consideration. We can demonstrate the livability and character of wonderful Chicago area towns and neighborhoods, and take them from negative perceptions to thinking about making a home in Chicago.
If you are interested in developing a relationship with Homeology, contact us today.
5 Federal Reserve June 2014 beige book report http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/beigebook/beigebook201407.htm?chicago