FUEL revs up recruitment, quality of life

fuel communityBy combining high octane resources and strategies, our companies will fuel the future success of the Four States Region through the recruitment and retention of highly-talented fire starters. That’s the opening mission for a group of leading edge employers that formed the FUEL Recruitment and Retention Community.

FUEL is an industry-led initiative to change the perception of the region and to ignite the growth of individual industries by improving the ability to attract and retain top talent.  The Fuel.Community online framework and task force of business and community leaders ignited from two Regional Recruiting Lunch events in April and June hosted by Innovative Objects.

The April kickoff focused on the perceptions of newcomers to the region.  With two presenters and around 25 local leaders, the meeting generated lively feedback, pinpointed concerns, and lifted momentum to change the first impressions of prospective employees and families.   Representatives from companies such as Mercy, Leggett and Platt, Tamko, H.E. Williams, and others reached consensus for additional gatherings and pursuit of solutions.

The June meeting probed deeper into factors affecting the region’s appeal in the three categories of crime rate, school performance, and cultural opportunities.  Three guest speakers specifically addressed these areas. Joplin Police Chief Matt Stewart shared statistics that help debunk the idea that Joplin is an unsafe place to live.  Dr. Norm Ridder shared his strategic plan to make Joplin a premier school district within the next 5 years. And finally, Callie Hudson with the Downtown Alliance shared a vision for what Joplin could be through creative ideas and strategic investment into aesthetics, infrastructure, and culture.

Major themes from the group discussion served as a launch pad for next steps.  Rather than recruiters maintaining individual lists of amenities, stakeholders agreed that a central web gateway would be easier to maintain with up to date information, no broken links, and overall a great resource for people considering a move to the region.

The ideal method to overcome resistance to growth and change is to focus on the common passions of those segments of residents, such as education.  Each community in the region is an essential partner in lifting the region as a whole rather than isolating from one another.  The next meeting of the group seeks to find common language from branding the region.

August is targeted for a final meeting to decide which steps may be committed for moving forward together.  Another key tool for the volunteers is the Fuel.Community website to help pool collective ideas and prompt continued discussion for Fuel stakeholders.  Contact Andrew Jordan by email to ajordan@innovativeobjects.com or call  417-680-7060.