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What Is Local Hiring?

By Alex Newth
Updated May 17, 2024
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Local hiring is a hiring strategy used to ensure that publicly funded jobs are given to people in the local community. In an environmental sense, this is a much greener method of operating a business, because local workers can walk, bike or take public transportation to get to their job. Politicians usually like this hiring strategy, because it works to decrease unemployment in the voting area, which makes the politician look good. Some potential employees and employers do not like this hiring method, because it reduces the applicant pool by making applicants just outside the local area ineligible to apply for the job.

Businesses adding local hiring to their standard hiring policies will decide that anyone in a town or, perhaps, anyone within a certain radius of the business is considered local for hiring purposes. The business will then only accept applicants from within this area and will refuse to employ people beyond this distance. Businesses that participate in this form of hiring often are publicly funded — and often in the construction business, because many publicly funded construction projects may stipulate local hiring as a requirement of the funding.

One of the benefits of local hiring is that it is usually better for the environment. This is because employees who live close to work are more likely to bike, walk or use public transportation to get there. This is not always true, because the area may be difficult to travel without a car, and some employees simply prefer to drive to work.

Politicians like the idea of local hiring because it can decrease the amount of unemployment in the politician's voting districts. A politician from a specific district can boast that unemployment fell because more people were hired as a result of publicly funded projects he or she supported. While this helps the local area, it can hurt nearby areas.

The concept of local hiring is seen as a nuisance by employees. Applicants who live in areas that are too far away to be considered local may not be given the opportunity to apply, even if they live a short distance beyond the designated radius. Even if an applicant is more qualified than other workers, it does not matter, because he or she is not in the local area.

Many employers dislike local hiring for the same reasons. A local hiring policy limits an employer’s hiring pool. There may be more qualified candidates willing to commute but, because the employer is limited by hiring zone restrictions, he or she will not be able to hire them.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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