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Location’s role in your organization

Chair's Message

Ben Ellingson, CPA, CGMA | September 2020 Footnote

Editor's note: Updated August 31, 2020

We all know it: Competition is tough!

It seems like every aspect of business requires constant reevaluation and an evolving strategy to keep moving forward. Over the past several years, it has become very apparent to me that recruiting talented individuals to your team is no different. Competing for talent continues to challenge many organizations, but there are things you can do to put yourself in the best spot to succeed.

First of all, it’s important to understand the most common reasons people leave — and it’s not always for salary and benefits. The causes often include limited career development opportunities, inflexible work schedules, conflict with management or, as I mentioned in my April column, the culture of an organization. If it seems like these are all in place, but the organization is still lacking success with recruiting, I suggest looking at location.

When referring to location, it’s important to think about it in two different ways. First, most people would think of the organization’s geographic location and building design. As I’ve mentioned in this space, our firm relocated our Mankato office late last year to the new Eide Bailly Tower in the heart of downtown. Many students looking to start their career after college shared with us a desire to be in a more central, urban setting for the convenience and culture those locations bring.

Moving to the heart of Mankato among the new restaurants, cafes and event hotspots allows us to stay competitive with our recruiting efforts. In addition, physical environment can be a large contributing factor to employee happiness and productivity. Creating a fresh space with updated conference rooms and technology has been a benefit for staff and clients alike.

Go where the people are

The other way to think of location when recruiting is not where the office building is, but instead where you can find the right prospective employees. It’s important to research and evaluate the various sources of talent for your organization, and then strategically identify those that would best suit your needs.

In other words, this may not be a widespread advertisement on a website to fill a position; rather, you may find and focus on certain schools, geographic areas, referral networks, etc., to be the most effective with your time and dollars. Once identified, remember to spend time with those sources throughout the year. Recruiting is done best when it’s a continuous process and not just considered at a certain point in the year or when a person leaves your organization.

As we continue to move through an unpredictable environment, don’t forget to allocate time to your recruiting efforts — the time and money spent pays big dividends in the long run.


Ben Ellingson, CPA, CGMA
Chair, MNCPA board of directors