A Day in the Life of Our Not-So-Traditional Company
When people ask what Acclimate does, here’s our standard reply: We help people who are concerned about moving to St. Louis move to St. Louis.
In a nutshell, we address the “St. Louis factor” for job candidates thinking of taking a job here, for new hires and for existing employees or their families who haven’t yet found their niche socially or have yet to fully integrate into the community.
Employers of all shapes and sizes across a wide range of industries hire us for one of three reasons (or pain points):
Here are a couple of examples …
Scenario 1: An employer is seeking to attract top-tier talent to St. Louis. They’re very interested in a specific job candidate, student or recruit – but that prospect, while perhaps excited about the company, school, position, etc., is on the fence or reluctant to move to St. Louis. (And if not the recruits themselves, it's perhaps a partner or family member who has concerns). They are typically at a key stage of the interview or assessment process, and they may be reluctant to even get on a plane and make the trip here. These scenarios make up about 70 percent of our work.
Scenario 2: An organization has no trouble getting talent in the first place, but attrition or turnover is high. It's here that we try to help make St. Louis a little “stickier,” so to speak.
Why do you exist?
We exist because middle-market cities like St. Louis aren't exactly on the bucket list of most people during their job search, so they often need a little extra push or support when recruits consider a move here.
We are engaged by employers, but we focus our attention on individuals. Our services are not traditional in the way a Realtor, mover or recruiter might work. We’re solely focused on culture and community. We don’t sell real estate or get paid for housing in any form. We aren't paid on commission or by outcome. We’re not headhunters or recruiters. All conversations we have with candidates are completely confidential.
How are you different?
The first major differentiator (compared to nearly all services in relocation, global mobility or recruiting) is how we get paid – which is the same win, lose or draw. Employers pay us for our time and service alone.
While this sounds a little odd at first, it actually works to everyone’s benefit. Our team of hosts are not incentivized by someone saying yes or no. They’re not paid based on what the candidate may buy or sell.
Our team’s sole job is to get to know each transferee and their loved ones – and then create a custom, authentic city experience, with personal introductions to follow. Without sponsorships, advertisements or kickbacks, we can stay focused on the schools, congregations, clubs, restaurants and services are that right for the families who move, not who has paid us.
We take our responsibility to the individual quite literally. For example, one Sunday morning we picked up a client visiting from Wisconsin. He was supposed to be diligently looking at neighborhoods, schools, and whatnot for the family. However, he politely informed us that we would be doing none of that. Instead, he was going to watch the Packers game. (Incidentally, this was not the first time we had a hard stop for a football game.)
We headed for the Hot Shots in Manchester, which was where the St. Louis Packer Backers watched games at the time. We walked him into an ocean of people in cheese hats who swallowed him into a yellow and green abyss.
Four hours later, we dropped him back at the hotel. He said he had learned everything needed to know and thanked us profusely for a wonderful day. We have no idea what he told the family back home, but he said yes to the offer the following morning.
Another example was an investment banker who politely declined to see any of the conventional St. Louis sights. Rather, he wanted to taste all the artisanal, hand-crafted chocolate St. Louis had to offer instead. He had a list of establishments (and, somehow, a hard copy of the Riverfront Times).
It turns out he was somewhat renowned as the equivalent of a master sommelier of dark chocolate. After we visited all the stops on his list, he informed us that he very much enjoyed the local chocolate and would be happy in STL. We took him back to the airport, and that was that.
Obviously, we’re equally happy to dive into local schools in-depth or do a windshield tour of city pockets. The fact we never get the same requests twice just reaffirms to us how important our role is in making St. Louis feel like home for the wonderful diversity of people who are thinking about moving here.
Anthony P. Bartlett is the Founder of Acclimate. Acclimate helps companies attract, hire and retain top talent within the St. Louis region by connecting prospective candidates and new hires with the lifestyle, communities, preferences and affinity groups that maximize their quality of life.