By staff writer

February 2019

Philadelphia is a city filled with diverse and creative talent, yet many of its businesses — like those across the country — cite the inability to attract and retain a high-quality younger workforce as one of their greatest struggles. Unemployment is low (4.8 percent in Philadelphia and just 3.7 percent nationwide), competition is high and turnover is expensive. Job seekers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing a job and employer, and often they want to know about more than just salary and benefits before accepting a new position.

Our team at Invest: Philadelphia spoke with local leaders across a number of industries about innovative strategies for finding and keeping top talent in a tight labor market and the benefits Philadelphia has to offer its workforce. Here’s what they had to say:

“Employers that we are talking to in the region are working with an aging workforce. Baby boomers are no longer the largest generation in the workforce; it is now millennials. The speed of innovation is multiplying, and to keep up with trends and growth opportunities, employers have to focus on young talent. Because the generation after the millennials is smaller, there is more competition for them. We are already seeing that. Students these days are very savvy and know exactly what kind of employer they want and what kind of work they want. In order to be the employer of choice for this talent, employers are going to have to build relationships with this talent pool earlier.”

— Deborah Diamond, President, Campus Philly

“Overall, Philadelphia is a strong market. Life sciences and real estate are huge industries in the area, and businesses in these industries are investing more in their companies. These investments take the form of physical capital, improvements to buildings or machinery and technological innovations that streamline processes. These organizations have also been investing in their employees to boost retention. This emphasis on employee empowerment is beneficial for millennials whose work ethic is driven by social impact and purpose. It is important for them to understand how their work relates to their communities. Companies that spend the time empowering their employees will ultimately strengthen Philadelphia’s workforce.”

— Denise McKnight, Partner, Friedman LLP

“Philadelphia is an attractive market for people living and working here because you can have a work-life balance. There are high quality professional sports teams, engaging arts and cultural venues, great restaurants and a wonderful mix of history, tradition and modern energy. You can have a challenging and exciting career without being required to work 100 hours a week or spend all of your time commuting. Philadelphia offers an attractive and fulfilling lifestyle.”

— John Kirwin, Founding Partner and CEO, Argosy Capital

 

For more information on our interviewees, visit their websites:

Campus Philly: https://campusphilly.org/

Friedman LLP: https://www.friedmanllp.com/

Argosy Capital: http://www.argosycapital.com/