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    « OFF TOPIC: Breakfast cereals, ranked | Main | An aging workforce case study: When clowning isn't cool anymore »
    Thursday
    Feb202014

    Super fast internet and talent strategies

    Did you catch the recent announcement on the official Google blog that named the initial short list of US cities that are potentially next in line for the construction and deployment of Google's super fast internet service called Google Fiber?

    If you are not familiar, Google Fiber is the search giant's ambitious project to wire up neighborhoods and cities with fiber-basd internet networks that deliver speeds 100 times faster than what most of us have at home today. Now Google is talking about expanding the Fiber program beyond the early projects in Kansas CityAustin and Provo, and has invited cities in nine metro areas around the U.S.—34 cities altogether—to collaborate and participate in an exercise to see what it would take to bring Google Fiber to those cities.

    Here is the map of Google's targeted locations, (courtesy of the Google blog):

    What can we take away, if anything, about HR, talent, or recruiting strategies from a project like Google Fiber, and more specifically, the locations where Google has or is considering investing time and resources on the Fiber project?

    I'd offer a few potential considerations:

    1. If you believe talented people will flock towards or be less likely to leave places that are 'Fibered up', then the location choices and deployment of gigabit speed internet networks should play into your talent strategy. You might be able to find talent, especially technical talent, in these locations more easily, and maybe even more cost-effectively than in other places.

    2. If you are located in an non-Fiber locale, and are not on anyone's short list for this kind of a project, then you may, eventually, have to make some accommodations on that front. If you are a Chicago company maybe you will one day need a small satellite office in a place like Kansas City, or similarly if you are looking to expand West maybe setting up shop in Portland over Seattle might be the right play.

    3.  If you are already in one of the nine large metros that are now under review for Fiber, and for some reason you are not selected, (lack of municipal cooperation, lack of infrastructure, not enough local support), and the Goog decides to pass you by, then you have to think about what that impact might be for you medium and long term. You might have to spend some time 'defending' your city, particularly with relocation candidates, as a progressive and hip place, not some backwater, (I am looking at you Birmingham), that did not make the cut for super fast internet.

    I am sure you can think of some other ideas about how, or even if, these kinds of quality of life projects impact organizations and their ability to attract and retain talent. I think too often in HR/Talent we focus so much about what is going on inside our own four walls that we forget that our prized talent, (for the most part), actually has to live and hopefully be happy living, within an hour's drive of the office.

    What do you think? Do you care about this or not from an HR/Talent perspective?

    But I bet if your city does get Google Fiber you would include that little tidbit in the 'About (insert your city here)' portion of all your job listings.

    Happy Thursday!

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