Facing my last semester as a senior (second year) in college I was facing thee question, what next? Time for reality, a full-time “grown-up” job was hopefully coming my way very, very soon. But how was I going to find it? For an anthropology major I maybe should have dissected the career opportunities and employment potential a little further, but none-the-less I was determined to land a job as, get this – an archeologist.


Pictured: Article Author Amy Linde, Director of Marketing & Communications at Greater Mankato Growth

Crazy? Yes. I would have gone anywhere, literally anywhere. Under consideration was taking a job helping to excavate bodies from mass graves in Iraq. The job description wrote “be advised that Iraq is a hostile, dynamic environment; extensive precautions are taken to ensure the safety of all personnel”. Not exactly glamorous or safe, but I saw it as interesting, a possible jump-start to a career and also really, really not where I wanted to be working at all. Luckily I was hired a week out of college full-time as an archaeological/cultural resource technician in Minnesota, no risky time in Iraq to get my career off the ground.


Most of my classmates who ended up working in the field took jobs states and states away, they did end up going anywhere for thee job. No matter if there was what they were looking for in a community. This was the norm. Fast forward a dozen years or so and the job landscape has taken a dramatic shift in how people and jobs are uniting.

With the successful economic landscape in the recent years, coupling with the demographics of an aging workforce, have shifted the job game from being driven by the employer to the employee. This is a nationwide trend being experienced right here in Greater Mankato. No longer is it common for employers to have heaping piles of resumes to review, making filling a position an easy task. Now we hear from employers, they cannot find the right talent in a timely manner which means they spend more time and energy to fill the vacant positions, if they end up filling them at all.

With more jobs than ever before employees can now choose for themselves where they want to work more than any recent time in history, or possibly ever. Employees are not just looking for their ideal job but they consider many items unique to them that add to their quality of life. From arts and culture, entertainment and food to education, health care and safety employees now look at the community – and the region- as a whole before deciding whether a job is right for them.

Greater Mankato Growth (GMG) is in-tune to this shift and continues to proactively collect data and input to move our economy forward by providing information and resources that employers can use to put together and sell not just their business and job but also the experience of a potential employee and their family. As employers, you should utilize these tools to show off the vibrant and livable landscape that is Greater Mankato. Power is seen in numbers, the more we all talk about the assets and lifestyle that is had here, the more we can work together to attract and retain the workforce that is needed to keep our businesses and economy flourishing.

Trends change, but the shift in the current job attraction and retainment environment have no signs of slowing down. Data predicts that the days of the employer having piles of waiting and qualified candidates – without having to also sell the community and its assets, won’t be seen again until after 2030.

For more information and to utilize the recruitment toolbox please visit: greatermankato.com/toolbox

(This article was originaly published in the June edition of Minnesota Valley Business magazine.)

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