Sabrina Perez

Recruit to Amarillo (Even During a Pandemic)

With an ever-changing workforce climate, we understand that you want to hire the right people, and ultimately keep the right people in order to build and grow your organizations. In your search to hire (specifically during a pandemic setting), you may find yourself exhausting your resources or your HR departments. We at the Amarillo EDC wanted to create tools for you to recruit and retain talent and ultimately grow your business.

As job seekers consider where they want to take root, many factors impact their choices. At the top are cost of living and the ability to live, work and play without a long commute. When looking to move to a new location, job seekers (particularly Gen Z and Millennial talent) use word of mouth, online searches, and the ever-present social media outlets to make their decisions.

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Development Counsellors International (DCI) specializes in marketing places and helping employers “sell” their location when it comes to recruitment from outside the area. DCI’s “Talent Wars” study is a survey of thousands of working individuals to understand what they look for in a job and a community—and what factors will seal the deal when they’re considering relocating for a new job opportunity. Co-author of this study and DCI Director of Talent Attraction, Rebecca Gehman, visited Amarillo employers this year and gave us insight into both workforce recruitment and COVID-19 talent trends.

How are people making decisions differently than even 10 years ago?

Rebecca Gehman with DCI says, Even before COVID-19, DCI’s research showed that talent craves success, stability and security, and they’d be willing to relocate to the location that can offer those. Talent has more options for locations than ever, especially since the pandemic has increased remote work. But from the employer’s perspective, there is still a mismatch between skills and where talent is concentrated. So even though the pandemic has changed the unemployment situation overnight—employers still have to be competitive to get the workforce they need and they need to start now.

The pandemic has forced people to take a hard look at their careers and locations. For example, those laid off in high-cost markets may be eager to relocate to lower-cost locations with ample job opportunities. People who were on the fence about their current location before may be pushed even further because of the pandemic.

Talent Trends_ COVID-19 Edition

Why is focusing on Gen Z talent just as important as Millennial talent?

Gehman points out, “Millennials currently make up the largest generation in the workforce. But right behind them is Gen Z, which some predict will be an even larger generation and is already starting to enter the workforce. If you’re only focused on the “type” of talent you need right now, you’ll miss the boat when the next wave enters the workforce. Millennials and Gen Z are paying attention to the industries, companies and communities that are willing to invest in them.”

How is Amarillo helping employers attract talent?

“When it comes to talent solutions,” Gehman notes, “it’s one thing for a community to understand the problem and the strategy, it’s another to actually put the strategy into action—that’s usually where we see communities fall short. I am amazed by just how much the Amarillo EDC has created in such a short time frame—these are resources that employers can use every single day when interacting with talent. Relocation decisions are difficult and for many communities, there is simply not enough information easily found online. The Take Root in Amarillo website helps tell Amarillo’s story, answer talent’s burning questions, and ultimately can make or break winning talent who is considering Amarillo versus another location.”

Recruit during a pandemic

This is why we created, a one-stop-shop website that positively and accurately highlights what life really looks like in Amarillo.

Not only does it have fresh, updated content like what our neighborhoods, lifestyle, and education look like, but we are highlighting what local careers look like by focusing on high-quality jobs with our Living Wage Job Board. This niche job board is designed to help companies broadcast some of their higher skilled positions, which sometimes require companies to look outside the region. There are multiple, easy ways to post jobs to, so that this tool eases the hiring process instead of overwhelming it. But don’t think that just because you aren’t a big company with big jobs, that you can’t utilize this website.

If you aren’t looking to bring someone in for a high-skill, living wage job, but maybe just need some entry-level help, there’s no better way to fill your talent pipeline than with internships. Any organization, large, medium or small, can post any paid or unpaid internship to our community’s first public Internship Board, that is also located on this site.

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Right now, college students can find internships two ways: through their university or on a company’s website. But what about the students who go to college outside of the Panhandle? This is the perfect way to recruit those students who already have roots here and invite them back to see what working in Amarillo actually could offer them for their professional careers, their personal goals, and overall quality of life.


For easy steps on how to utilize all the free resources via Take Root in Amarillo, download the Take Root Manual here. Don’t forget! The Amarillo EDC is here to help your organization recruit and retain talent. So sign up for updates for workforce resources today!

Sign up for Workforce Resources here!