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Louisville offers working-age people plenty of incentives to move to the city (or not move away), including a low cost of living, a great food scene, and world class arts groups. Oh, and bourbon. But the folks at Greater Louisville Inc. realized years ago that those assets have to be marketed. So they created Live in Lou, an initiative to marketing the city to working-age folks, whether they live down the street or across the globe. The initiative includes a website, LiveInLou.com, and a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
One person who loves Live in Lou is Caroline Smith, senior recruiter for Papa John’s International, who knows she has to sell candidates on a job, a company, and a city. Before Live in Lou, she spent a lot of time visiting websites, pulling links to interesting articles, and researching the city’s many amenities. “When Live in Lou went live, I sat here and shed a tear; it did all the work for me,” she says. “Every relocation I’ve done it’s had an impact on.”
Louisville Future caught up with GLI’s Christine Tarquinio, Director, Talent Attraction, Retention & Development, to learn more. This interview has been edited for space and clarity.
Why is it important to market the city?
According to the Talent Wars report DCI puts out every year, people are no longer moving to a place because of a job. They’re selecting the place where they want to live and then finding a job. The first place they look at is Facebook; then they look at LinkedIn, and then they look at Instagram. So if we want to showcase what it’s like to live in Lou, we need to have a good strong presence on social media.
How strong is that presence?
When I joined, we had fewer than 800 total followers across all our channels. Then we brought a digital marketing manager on to help grow that brand. And today we’re at over 29,000 followers in just under two years.
A big part of the website is the employer toolkit. Tell me about that.
We’ve developed collateral for employers so that if they were trying to recruit talent, they only have to go to one place—Live in Lou—and they can download information on neighborhoods and attractions and things to do and the food scene. The international relocation guide is another resource that was actually funded through a grant from UPS. And we’re working on developing that in multiple languages right now.
Does that get much use?
Obviously UPS funded it and they’re using it. But I find that a lot of times I get requests from individuals, and I’m working with a woman who is in Europe hoping for a spot in the green-card lottery because she wants to move to Louisville and work here.
And you have a local job board, right?
Yes. Employers can post their jobs for free if their jobs are inside the MSA [the 15-county Greater Louisville metropolitan statistical area]. I think we had around 400 individual jobs posted by employers last year. And then the rest of the jobs are pulled from various job boards like Indeed and Zip Recruiter. At any given time, we have about 14,000 jobs available on our website.