Salary and benefits aren't the only factors that professionals consider when making a career change. Talented personnel want a work-life balance that helps them to feel professional accomplishment while also allowing for quality family time. Cost of living, local weather, economic development and neighborhood quality are four factors that directly impact talent attraction and acquisition.

Cost of living

Across the U.S., cost of living varies wildly. Workers want to be adequately compensated for their labor and they don't want to spend all their money on necessities. Employers need to consider how far a dollar can travel in their home city in order to create competitive salaries.

Local weather

Everyone has his or her own preferences when it comes to weather, but research shows that job seekers prefer milder climates. In fact, 58 degrees was the average high temperature in January in the 10 counties with the best talent attraction. For reference, think Austin, San Francisco or Charlotte.

Economic development

Houses are cheap in remote parts of the country, but that's not enough to draw in fresh talent. Job seekers want to see positive economic movement in the city. A healthy economy isn't sleepy - new construction, startup expansion and business growth signal positive economic development.

Neighborhood quality

Millennials now represent the largest living generation and are quickly becoming the backbone of the economy. Research has shown that older millennials, who are now in their mid-30s, are starting to move out of cities and into suburbs as they start families. Young professionals want to live in safe neighborhoods with access to quality school systems.

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