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Case Study: Engineering a New Location Strategy

Business Issue

A global provider of end-to-end engineering services planned on establishing a new engineering center and had narrowed options for its location to two particular markets based on highly technical requirements and specialty talent needs. They engaged Talent Solutions to compare these markets’ ability to meet technical skill sets needs now and in the future, cultural fit, alignment to the clients’ global organization and more than 100 other factors/data points. This location strategy analysis would yield in-depth insights into workforce considerations at the market and occupation level, by drawing from data on supply/demand for each role, competition for talent, worker compensation, and retention/sustainability. 


Data aggregation kicked off the project, with the team identifying key workforce demographics, local employer insights, employment statistics, and other relevant data to compare market locations, using propriety and third-party data sources. They then established baseline for comparative analysis by defining, validating, and aligning assumptions related to sites, markets, workforce, employment and compensation. Interviews with employers in each market highlighted current and expected hiring perspective and intent.   

A compensation analysis compared each market’s competitive wage and non-wage compensation and benefit. Finally, the team audited all known variables and assumptions, to validate alignment of supply and demand data. Such extensive research unearthed highly specific, up-to-date details on how the two locations ranked relative to every client objective. 


The resulting report helped the client make sense of the different benefits each market offered, by providing data-backed conclusions in the following key areas:

  • The report revealed critical candidate dynamics, such as the fact that twice as many graduates remain and express willingness to work in Market A compared to Market B.
  • Market A wages are 5-7 percent lower on average for targeted positions, though senior levels can be up to 8 percent above Market B wages.
  • Employer brand is stronger in Market A, where candidates view the client as a top employer of engineering skills, while other companies dwarf client hiring in Market B.
  • Lower crime rates and higher livability indices increase target candidate access and growth in Market A, as opposed to reducing access in Market B.
  • The client ended up following Talent Solutions’ recommendation of going with Market A for their engineering center, a choice which would increase their hiring and retention by 60 percent, a key challenge they had been trying to address. 

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