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Questions often heard from suburban-based hiring managers revolve around how to attract creative talent to their off-the-beaten path locations. While it’s true that in today’s job market, candidates are in the driver’s seat and major cities like Chicago, New York and San Francisco offer a plethora of advertising agencies, design firms, and corporate in-house agencies in the heart of the city, not all companies in the ‘burbs have problems attracting top digital and mobile design talent. What are they doing right? If you want the best, you must entice and make it easy for talent to get to where you are.



If your business is “locationally challenged,” it’s best to get ahead of that when recruiting talent—admit to the geographical defect up front and be prepared to offer key selling points to make your role attractive to candidates—some of these recommendations may be more plausible than others:

  • Rate: Hourly rates and yearly salaries need to be competitive to rates and salaries being offered in the city. Agencies and in-house corporate shops in the city know the competition. Even if you’re 45 miles from Chicago, you are still competing for the same talent.
  • Projects: Don’t save the juiciest work for the in-house staff. If you are struggling to identify and recruit up-and-coming fresh digital talent to your team, be prepared to allow them to work on highly conceptual projects and use that as a selling point when recruiting.
  • Transportation: If candidates can’t drive or don’t want to drive, you have to figure out a way to get them to you. Even if you’re far away, is it possible to offer some type of transportation from major public transit hubs?
  • Flexibility: Bad weather, construction, traffic, you name it—candidates want flexibility in schedule when looking at jobs that are not a bike ride away. Can candidates come in early and leave early? Can they work from home 2 days a week to alleviate the commute?
  • City Space: Many of our suburban-based clients are seeing dramatic recruiting results in the segments of creative and marketing by opening downtown satellite offices. There are major pluses and minuses when considering this for corporations, but if getting a cut of city-based creative talent is a major pain point, a temporary or leased-space is certainly something to consider.

Yes, it’s unrealistic to suddenly get a large organization to subsidize hip, urban loft space on a rental basis for city-dwelling digital talent. It may be equally unrealistic that a company will move funds to shuttle in a handful of creatives from a suburban train station depot. Considering the swell of in-house teams and how quickly mobile and digital trends are moving, it’s important to take into consideration your sizzle when promoting, talking about, and referencing the creative work your team produces. After all, if talent will be spending 1.5+ hours to get to your location, at least give them something to write home about.


WunderLand is a team of Talent Acquisition Experts who connect companies with in-demand digital, marketing and creative talent. The experience, insight and market knowledge we provide have earned us loyalty and a reputation for quality.


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