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Attracting employees to a rural town job

Show your job recruits why living in your rural community can be a great thing.

You’ve got an opening on your farm. You’ve got some prospects. But can you get your recruits to move to your tiny town?

Coming from a small community, I know that working in or near a rural town is a really great thing: beautiful open spaces, no traffic, and friendly neighbors. But it can be difficult to make candidates who have their sights set on more metro areas (or even just their hometown) get excited about moving to your foreign little town. Here are a few strategies to attract candidates to a rural town job.

Bring on the benefits
Sometimes, when working locations are remote or not exactly well populated, employers will pay for housing or equip workers with a vehicle. A high school friend of mine grew up only a half hour from the elevator where he got a summer job but he still had his housing taken care of by his employer. You might even go so far as to furnish said housing or pay for utilities, television and/or wireless Internet. Making your employee comfortable is a huge step in luring them to a rural town where they may have no connections. And paid housing is definitely a huge draw.

Sell the community
Every small town has something special to offer. Highlight those points to your recruits. Tell them about the mom and pop restaurant in town that has the state’s best tenderloin. Mention that the nearest Wal-Mart or mall really isn’t that far away. 

Also, let them know if there are area organizations or sports teams that they can become a part of. The last thing a young candidate wants is to move to a new town where every resident is at least twenty years older than them. Show them that there are opportunities to meet people their age. And if there aren’t, tell them about travel opportunities or educational trainings your company might offer for them to mingle with others of their age and interest.

Offer a test drive
If you have a candidate on the fence about moving to this small community, invite them out for a day or two to see what it might really be like living in this rural area. Drive them around and show them where they will work, live and play. Introduce them to people (not just potential coworkers but community members your business may interact with) so that they can see themselves there and interacting with others. You can’t really know what something will be like until you experience it. Make it a positive experience.

Ultimately, your candidates will want what anyone wants: to have friends and fit in, to enjoy their work, and to have a good place to live. Show your potential employees why living in a rural community can be a great thing and that you care enough to make their transition as comfortable as possible. 

Kristine Penning is Creative Marketing Specialist at AgCareers.com.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

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