After five years attracting and recruiting talent to Atlanta, the leadership of ChooseATL has decided to try more ways to draw young professionals. This week, the organization introduced new programming aimed at an increasingly mobile workforce.
“We have a new generation entering the workforce,” Ashley Tanks, senior director of public relations and programs at the Metro Atlanta Chamber and ChooseATL, tells Hypepotamus. “The timing felt right to take a look at how far we’ve come and make adjustments to ensure we’re continuing to serve millennials while also meeting the needs of Generation Z. To do this, we hosted focus groups, sat down with partners and asked for feedback from stakeholders throughout the region who care deeply about Atlanta.”
ChooseATL plans to work with community partners, business leaders and influencers to launch new initiatives in 2020 highlighting Atlanta’s community, culture, and career opportunities. The new approach to attracting and keeping younger talent in the city includes a revamped website and several initiatives that will roll out in metro Atlanta and across the country.
The new website includes a “Clock In” interface that helps users explore available jobs and internships in the city, as well as regional networking events and testimonials from successful Atlantans. A “Clock Out” feature lets users see what Atlanta’s most diverse neighborhoods have to offer, and read exactly why some of the city’s most younger workers chose to live here.
In addition to the new website, the organization will initiate on-campus activations designed to help college students learn more about what the city has to offer, and a new initiative that will help interns in the city discover the region via a series of immersive and culturally diverse experiences.
“One thing that we continued to hear loud and clear is that next-gen talent want to work for companies and live in places that value diversity, equity and inclusion,” says Tanks. “We also know that diversity is one of Atlanta’s fundamental strengths, so it was important that we made sure we were capturing Atlanta’s beautiful diversity, from our neighborhoods and cultural offerings to the people and wide-ranging career opportunities that are at the core of why next-gen talent are choosing Atlanta.”
Although most Americans tend not to move around much — U.S. Census data shows that only 10 percent changed residences between 2018 and 2019, representing the lowest moving rate on record — younger workers are more willing to relocate in search of promising job opportunities. This outlier represented an opportunity to the organization.
“Five years ago, metro Atlanta was attracting fewer millennials than our peer cities. Businesses, talent acquisition leaders, culture creators, civic leaders and young professionals responded to this challenge through ChooseATL.”
Deisha Barnett, chief brand and communications officer at the Metro Atlanta Chamber and ChooseATL said in a statement. “We’re ready to launch new ideas to convince young people from all backgrounds that Atlanta is where you can make a mark at work and in the community.”
ChooseATL has already started hosting on-campus pop-ups. The first, at Georgia State University this past December, featured a hip-hop yoga class designed to alleviate finals-related stress.
Eventually, similar to their previous installations at SXSW, ChooseATL will visit several cities this year to attract younger talent to the city, stopping at several more colleges before the end of the school year, and polling current students on which schools they plan to visit next fall.
For students entering the working world, the newly expanded Interns After 5 program will help interns from local companies immerse themselves in Atlanta’s culture.
“Each of these initiatives is aimed at helping young people from all backgrounds experience Atlanta, make connections and ultimately choose Atlanta at the place where they want to launch and grow their careers,” says Tanks.
“There is no shortage of Instagram accounts, hashtags or celebrities who celebrate all that’s dope about Atlanta. We are proud to be in that crowd, and also take our responsibility to be a resource seriously. We’re re-positioning ChooseATL as a brand whose job is to elevate the people and opportunities that make Atlanta the place we all love,” Barnett said.
“We’re also filling a gap for talent attraction teams and others who are looking for tools and information about Atlanta that truly speak to next-gen talent.”