Close this search box.
Close this search box.

People Balance Out What Matters When it Comes to Location Selection

Increasingly, “human capital”—the availability, cost, flexibility, even comfort of employees and potential employees—is eclipsing taxes, regulations and incentives.

Up with people. This seems to be the attitude of CEOs when it comes to how they balance various attributes in their assessments of state business climates. Increasingly, “human capital”—the availability, cost, flexibility, even comfort of employees and potential employees—is eclipsing taxes, regulations and incentives.

That’s not surprising in an economy where talent has taken primacy over all other factors in business success.

Consider “right-to-work” laws, which restrict unions. A total of 78 percent of CEOs surveyed by Chief Executive said that they “will only hire” or “prefer to hire” in a right-to-work state.
“If you have that going against you from the beginning,” says King White, head of Site Selection Group, “it’ll minimize the amount of projects and capital investment you even get a look for.”

Indeed, each in the cluster of states in Flyover Country that recently flipped to right-to-work—Kentucky, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan—either climbed in the 2017 Best & Worst States rankings or held its spot. The causal relationship isn’t verified, but CEOs
didn’t seem to like the fact that voters boosted minimum wages in four states last fall, bringing the total number where increases will take place to 20. The rankings of Arizona, Maine and Washington took big hits, while Colorado edged up two places to No. 13.

Meanwhile, all of the bottom 10 in this year’s Best & Worst States fared poorly in CEOs’ evaluation of workforce quality. Yet, even bottom-languishing states with relatively low workforce quality ratings, such as California, New York and Massachusetts, can attract businesses seeking talent in a specific sector.

Also, CEOs’ views can shift when it comes to potential corporate relocations. “Quality of life tends to be more important [when locating your headquarters] than if you’re building a manufacturing plant,” notes Dean Uminski, a Crowe Horwath site-selection partner who recently studied the HQ-location phenomenon. “They tend to want good education and social aspects like entertainment for employees and good transportation systems to get them to and from work.”


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.