From Radius Indiana:
Southwestern Indiana’s labor force provides an ongoing stream of new talent and skill that businesses in the region rely on to increase their growth and productivity, but sometimes the local labor force may need to be bolstered with the arrival of additional individuals who bring unique skills and experience. That realization has led regional economic development organization Radius Indiana to experiment with high tech campaigns to recruit military veterans and retirees to move from outside Indiana to join the local population and workforce.
The need for economic development groups to support workforce growth efforts has become abundantly clear in recent years. It was no surprise when Radius’s newest strategic plan, revised by the Board of Directors in 2018, directed the organization’s staff to support new approaches to ‘Workforce/Talent Retention and Attraction’.
“Attracting talent to the Radius region is important now more than ever. We know that the rural setting with a strong quality of place and patriotism is attractive to veterans and their families transitioning out of service,” said Radius Indiana Vice President of Talent Retention and Attraction Keeley Stingel. “Radius looks forward to welcoming the new residents and workforce in the region.”
Beginning in 2019, Radius began studying and implementing new programs to help local workers meet the talent needs of companies in the region. That same year, Radius began working with Magnitude Agency, an Indiana-based digital marketing and advertising firm, to conduct a series of social media and digital marketing campaigns with the goal to connect distant military veterans with southern Indiana defense contractors looking to expand their workforce.
“Recruitment is not a traditional part of economic development, but it’s growing increasingly important for us to practice recruitment, along with our programs to help upskill and support the existing workforce that lives in our region,” said Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle. “Our hope is to continue using these tools to expand our recruiting efforts to help all of our counties and industries.”
Radius’s on-going campaign is now in its third round. The first two flights of the campaigns focused on geotargeting military bases and cities where many veterans live and routing users to a website specifically created for the campaigns. Evaluating the results of previous campaigns have allowed Radius and Magnitude to modify and improve each succeeding effort.
The newest campaign launched October 28 and is taking a new approach. The latest effort focuses on the specific needs of two defense businesses, Artisan Electronics and TRISTAR, and connects veterans directly with the job opportunities they have available.
In addition to producing regional efforts for veteran recruitment, Radius and the regional companies are also closely partnering with a state-level veteran recruitment program called INVets.
“At INvets, part of Indiana’s Next Level Veterans Initiative, we have benefited greatly from the proactive work that Radius has done to market Hoosier careers and communities to the veteran population,” said INVets Executive Director Wes Wood. “Our efforts to attract and retain veterans to Indiana, as a whole, is complementary to the work Radius has been conducting in Southern Indiana. We could not be happier to partner with them to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of both our efforts.”