Sioux Falls Development Foundation’s Recruitment Council offers valuable insight to business community

by Sioux Falls Development Foundation
Published 07/11/2019
Originally Published by Sioux Falls.Business

It’s probably the one topic that can easily draw dozens of executive leaders, human resource professionals and marketing experts on a Friday during the summer: talent acquisition and workforce development.

This shared priority of the Sioux Falls business community is the unifying theme for the Recruitment Council, a newly formed group organized by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation that meets quarterly to learn about and share best practices.

Led by Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development, and Sara Gillis, director of talent and workforce development, the group has grown to 190 members representing businesses of all sizes.

Approximately 140 people attended the most recent meeting June 21.

“There is so much interest in this topic, and employers recognize that their strategies and tactics must constantly be evolving in order to attract top talent in the market today,” Guzzetta said. “These sessions are one way we’re sharing our knowledge and gaining their feedback.”

The Recruitment Council is open to any business leader but is specifically geared toward those involved in recruitment and workforce development.

“We encourage anyone to join us,” Guzzetta said. “The engagement has been very positive.”

The most recent session, held at the Washington Pavilion’s Belbas Theatre, included several interactive questions that allowed employers to weigh in on elements they believe are most key to attract workers.

Guzzetta and Gillis also shared current research around recruitment trends: what’s working, what employees are seeking and how businesses can adapt their approach.

For instance, the meeting covered why employer branding is more critical to prospective employees than corporate branding.

Guzzetta encouraged Recruitment Council members to ask questions of themselves that will help guide their employer branding:

  • What makes your organization truly different as an employer?
  • What do your employees say your differentiators are?
  • How does your organization make your employees’ lives better?

“This is what younger employees push through their communication, both on social media and in peer-to-peer networking,” Guzzetta explained. “Asking these questions will help you develop and modify your employer branding.”

And research shows it’s worth it.

Two-thirds of job-seekers say they would even accept a lower salary if the employers’ brand is strong.

“We know employers are so committed to their hiring that sometimes they don’t have the bandwidth to go out and study best practices and pull together valuable research like this,” Guzzetta said.

“That’s where the Recruitment Council, combined with our ongoing WIN in Workforce engagement platform, can play such a helpful role in augmenting the data available to our partners in the business community.”

And finally, the quarterly meetings serve as a chance to ensure these business representatives are well informed about other efforts being undertaken by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation around workforce development.

At this session, they learned about the new WIN in Workforce engagement and communications platform, opportunities to offer Talent Tours to college students, the Your Future career education program being offered to middle school students and the upcoming WIN Summit on Aug. 22.

“This is our second Recruitment Council meeting, and we are very pleased with the response from the community,” said Bob Mundt, president and CEO of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “We hope people leave feeling inspired to take action to do even more when it comes to being intentional about recruiting and attracting workers.”

To join the Recruitment Council, email Sara Gillis at