Before moving to Indiana last year, I had lived in the South, Mid-Atlantic, West and Southwest – but not the Midwest. Some of our 10-plus moves were due to my husband’s first career, but we also didn’t stay in one place once he hung up his military uniform. Our three relocations before here were also by choice – and for a job.

As a writer, I enjoy diving into a topic and tracking down information about new places, programs, opportunities and issues – either online or in person. Those same skills come in handy when moving. Before buying a home in one town, for example, I chatted up shoppers in a grocery store produce aisle to find out about the area.

Each time we moved, I learned a few things to do differently and gained insight into important considerations for our family. But it didn’t necessarily get easier, and practice doesn’t make perfect.

In today’s competitive job market, employers aim to attract quality candidates from all over. Recruiting and identifying the right person for a position is only part of the challenge. A top candidate also has to say “yes.” Offering a competitive salary, attractive benefits and positive work environment are just the start – especially if the job entails a household move.

What increases the chance that a top prospect from another area accepts?

When recruiting talent from out of the area, the job offer typically isn’t the most important consideration. How a spouse or partner feels about the move and whether the community is a good fit are almost always more important. In fact, sometimes the position and package is the last of those three factors. That’s what Lynn Reecer and her team at Northeast Indiana Talent Attraction (NEINTA) discovered by talking to top job candidates at companies they work with.

But no matter how much Googling and driving around someone does on his or her own, a huge help is having a local person who takes time to understand what’s important to a family and can answer questions, provide personal tours and address specific concerns.

And that takes time and research, which is where NEINTA comes in. Companies work with the organization, which helps recruit top job candidates by providing personal lifestyle tours, assistance and information.

Reecer started providing this service for companies based on an identified need and her own experience when her husband was recruited to Fort Wayne from Indianapolis.

“They just focused on him, and I was pretty much ignored,” she relates. “He had grown up in Fort Wayne, so he was kind of coming back. But I was reluctant to come here because there was nothing really done for me. I fell in love with this area within about a year, but I know that perspective, what that’s like to follow your spouse and move to a place where you don’t know a thing about it and don’t feel so good about it.”

After moving to Fort Wayne, she called on companies while raising funds to build the trails network. “They kept telling us over and over how difficult it was for them to get people to take the great jobs they had,” she shares. “They said they had the best jobs, the best pay even, but they were losing to other parts of the country.”

So she started filling the gap, helping employers attract top candidates by providing personalized attention for them and their families. She even helps introduce trailing spouses or partners to other contacts for their own potential employment.

That sure beats collecting business cards in a grocery store.

Learn more strategies to attract to top talent from outside Indiana, especially in the tech industry, in “Bringing Them Home: Strategies to Tap Into Tech Talent” in the current BizVoice® magazine at

Crickett Gibbons is the communications specialist for the Indiana Chamber. She is also a writer for the Chamber’s award-winning BizVoice magazine and has been with the organization a year.